I love getting into the nitty gritty of how ceramic coatings work and some of the lesser talked about features. Today I choose to focus on a lesser mentioned coating, but one of the most important Ceramic Coatings in my mind… Ceramic Coating for Your Rims / Wheels!

First, Should I Ceramic Coat My Wheels?

Neither I, nor Kings Valet believe in “hard selling” or “high pressure sales” – BUT this is a coating we will recommend EVERY time. Ceramic Coating on Rims / Wheels is likely the most perfectly suited application of Ceramic Coating. Yes, even more so than applying Ceramic Coating to your Paint.

I know the above may seem like a bold statement, but what do you spend the most time cleaning on the exterior of your vehicle? For this question I am referring to detailing the entire exterior of your vehicle, not just a quick wash and dry. No matter how fast and efficient you can work around your Ceramic Coated vehicle, rims will ALWAYS slow you down. Also, unprotected rims will require repeated use of harmful chemicals over and over. I’ll explain more in the Cleaning Ceramic Coated Rims section below.

Why Should I Have Ceramic Coating Applied to Rims?

Ceramic coating offers an excellent method to safeguard your wheels against detrimental road elements such as water, salt, and dirt, which have the potential to harm your car’s wheels. It is crucial to spend considerable time cleaning your wheels, aiming to ensure they are thoroughly protected with long-lasting defense. Often, consumer-grade DIY ceramic coatings fall short in providing a satisfactory finish and durability. In contrast, Kings Valet has a specialized coating explicitly engineered to repel brake dust and shield your wheels from harmful road contaminants.

Ceramic Coating on a Rim Being Cleaned with Iron Remover.
Ceramic Coating on Wheel After Removing Brake Dust with Iron Remover

What is Brake Dust and Why Should I Care?

Every time you pump your brakes in your new car the brake pads press against a rotor to slow your vehicle. The friction that slows you down also produces brake dust (mainly metal shavings). With new high-end sports cars; like corvettes or hellcats, this dust takes no time at all to accumulate. It looks like a layer of black / brown debris and embeds on your shiny alloy rims. If left unattended this dust will cause pitting. The maintenance to remove brake dust? A PAIN! It is literally embedded metal in the pores and surface of the clear coat protecting your rims.

A Ceramic Coating being applied to your rims and wheels is very similar to the paint of the vehicle. Most alloy wheels have some form of a clear coat applied to help protect them. The Ceramic Coating penetrates and bonds within the pores of the clear coat to add a hardened layer of protection. With your rim ceramic coated you can clean it with NO corrosive chemicals. The brake dust literally wipes off with a single swipe of your index finger.

How to Clean and Maintain Ceramic Coating for Your Rims

Easy as can be! Our shop hand-cleans every coating client’s rims. No wheel douches or brushes as we don’t want to leave micro-marring and reduce luster. The process is as simple as mixing 1 part isopropyl alcohol (IPA) with 1 part distilled water. We use 91% IPA, but even 70% is fine for this mix. Put it in a spray bottle and grab a couple high-quality microfibers (like Mr. Everything from Autofiber). Once the vehicle has been washed and dried; simply spray the 50/50 solution on and wipe off. It will take NO effort.

Anyone who knows brake dust probably doesn’t believe me. I get it and I didn’t believe it at first either. This is one of the few things I preach being “pure magic” about Ceramic Coatings. My wife’s 2020 Cx5 has had ceramic coating on the rims since the day we bought it. Almost 3 years later they still clean as easily as the day they were protected.

How to Remove Brake Dust from Unprotected Wheels and Rims?

Brake dust is tiny shards of metal (typically iron) and will not easily “wash off” an unprotected rim. A professional detailer will always start least aggressive with a simple wash, then move to an iron remover (commercially called “wheel cleaner”). This iron removed is specifically designed to break down – you guessed it, iron. It will turn purple during the interaction to show you that it is working. If your vehicle is regularly maintained this may be enough to cure your brake dust problem until your next detail.

If this level of cleaning does not fix your brake dust issues we suggest handing it over to a professional. A professional will move on to corrosive acids better known as Acid Wheel Cleaner (AWC). While you could likely purchase this yourself, the risk to reward is not worth it for someone who is inexperienced with working with AWCs. You can EASILY damage your wheels or any other portion of the vehicle that the acid comes into contact with.

Lifetime Ceramic Coating Applied to Full Exterior Including Rim Faces.

Conclusion: Ceramic Coatings on Rims

If you follow my blog you know that I try to leave conclusions open ended versus definite. Not today. Ceramic Coating is a MUST for rims on new cars or trucks. The cost of replacing or refinishing rims WELL exceeds the cost of applying a Ceramic Coating to protect them. It will also increase the gloss of any rim. What about matte? It will turn it to a deep satin color (and looks amazing). There isn’t a single reason I can think of why you wouldn’t want or need Ceramic Coating on your rims. 

If you have any questions on cleaning or Ceramic Coating rims – I am always an email away: George.Hunt@kingsvaletind.com. Have a blessed day!