Why Regular Vehicle Washes Are Essential For Wheel Health

Nov 21, 2023

Your car’s wheels bear the brunt of the road, facing everything from potholes to road salts. Alloy wheels crafted from robust materials like aluminum and steel are designed to withstand these challenges. However, even the toughest metals need care. Neglecting your wheels can lead to a common issue: corrosion. In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes and consequences of alloy wheel corrosion. The emphasis will be on why regular car washes (particularly at Xpress Car Wash) are crucial for maintaining wheel health.


Understanding Alloy Wheel Corrosion

Alloy wheel corrosion is a chemical process triggered by the interaction of moisture, iron and oxygen. This process leads to the deterioration of the protective coating and the underlying metal, compromising the wheel’s appearance and structural integrity. When the factory clear coat on your wheels peels off, the exposed metal becomes vulnerable to environmental factors like water, debris and chemicals from the road.


Aluminum (a primary component of alloy wheels) doesn’t rust in the traditional sense. Instead, it forms a protective oxide layer upon contact with the elements. However, corrosion akin to oxidation can occur. This manifests as white patches due to iron presence, and it can begin to make those nice wheels look unsightly.


Factors Contributing to Alloy Wheel Corrosion

Several factors contribute to alloy wheel corrosion, emphasizing the need for proactive care.


Iron Contamination: The interaction between brake discs and brake pads generates heat during braking. Worn-down brake pads release heat deposits containing iron, resin and metal particles that adhere to the wheels. These contaminants can have the effect of accelerating corrosion on the exposed, bare metal portions of your wheels.


Pitting: Exposure to aggressive chemicals, road salts and moisture can cause localized spots (also called pitting) on the wheel’s surface. Pitting not only mars appearance, but it also weakens structural integrity. This type of pitting around the circumference of the rim can potentially lead to tire leaks.


Cleaning Products: While regular cleaning is essential, using harsh or abrasive cleaning products can also damage the protective coating on your wheels. This makes wheels more susceptible to corrosion.


UV Light: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can break down protective coatings and finishes, promoting corrosion.


Moisture and Salt Exposure: Alloy wheels frequently encounter moisture, especially in rainy or humid conditions. Road salt (commonly used in colder climates during the winter months) accelerates the corrosion process. This creates an electrolytic environment that deteriorates tire quality.


The Impact of Corroded Wheels

Corroded wheels not only compromise the aesthetics of your vehicle, but they can also lead to structural issues. Potential consequences are listed below.


Weakened Structural Integrity: Pitting and corrosion can weaken the structural integrity of alloy wheels, potentially causing tire leaks and compromising safety.


Reduced Resale Value: Corroded wheels significantly diminish the resale value of your vehicle. Potential buyers associate well-maintained wheels with a well-cared-for vehicle.


Increased Repair Costs: Neglecting corrosion can lead to costly repairs, including wheel replacement and addressing structural damage.


Xpress Car Wash Benefits

Regular car washes (especially those provided by Xpress Car Wash) play a pivotal role in preventing alloy wheel corrosion. Here’s how Xpress Car Wash ensures the health of your wheels.


Dual Conveyor Belt System: Xpress Car Wash’s dual conveyor belt system takes the hassle out of car alignment. You can navigate your car with ease, eliminating concerns about lining up perfectly and preventing potential damage to your wheels.


Convenience and Accessibility: With multiple locations across Texas and Louisiana, Xpress Car Wash offers convenient access to its services. Keeping your wheels clean and protected is made easy with their widespread presence.


Affordable Memberships: Consider Xpress Car Wash’s affordable monthly memberships. They provide unlimited washes and access to services for ongoing wheel care and prevention of corrosion.


Alloy wheel corrosion is a threat to the longevity of your wheels, as well as their overall aesthetics. Regular wheel maintenance through frequent car washes can help safeguard your wheels and preserve their longevity. Xpress Car Wash’s commitment to convenience, quality and affordability makes it your ideal partner in maintaining the health of your wheels. Regular care today ensures a smooth and stylish ride tomorrow.