The fundamentals of good rim maintenance

Like tires, rims can vary in durability from one model to the next. Their lifespan usually depends on the quality of their material and how well you take care of them. To keep your vehicle’s rims in good condition and ensure a long service life, proper maintenance is a must. That means using the right tools and techniques and following key guidelines.

Understanding rim maintenance

Why it’s important to maintain your rims

Rims get dirty very easily. They’re subject to all sorts of daily wear and tear. Not only are they exposed to dust and mud, but they can also hit curbs or get dinged by rocks kicked up from the road. Maintaining your rims is the only way to keep them in good shape. And since all metal is subject to corrosion, proper care is essential to protect your rims from irreversible damage.

How to maintain your rims

Rim maintenance is something you can easily do at home, as it doesn’t require special training. Just follow these three steps:

  • Start by using a fallout remover to get rid of iron buildup. Simply spray the product on your vehicle’s rims and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
  • Next, clean the rims using a suitable cleaning product. Spray it directly on the dirty areas, scrub with a brush, and then rinse. Wipe dry using a microfibre cloth.
  • Finally, apply a sealant to protect your rims and keep them nice and shiny. You can find the right products at professional or specialized stores.

In some cases, proper maintenance isn’t enough to protect your rims. For example, if they’ve suffered serious damage from repeated curb impacts or a violent collision, you need to take your car to an expert. A professional repair shop will have the skills and tools to do the job right.

Do all rims require the same kind of maintenance?

There are several ways to extend the life of your rims. The best method mainly depends on what model you have. For example, RTX wheels all have different maintenance requirements.

RTX alloy rims

RTX Wheels is a brand of alloy wheels. Since its launch, RTX has continued to innovate and improve its offering. Its increasingly diverse lineup now includes more than 150 models, each with specific care guidelines based on unique characteristics.

RTX

The RTX series comprises a wide selection of wheels. They’re available in the most common dimensions and applications to ensure that every vehicle owner can find the model they need. To maintain RTX rims, you first need to know what they’re made of.

In general, the rims on RTX wheels should only be washed when completely cool, whether you have the Courier, Crystal, or Dakar model. You should never clean wheels while they’re hot or even warm. If you’ve just driven your vehicle, wait a few hours before cleaning it.

RTX Off-Road

The RTX Off-Road series is dedicated to pickups and SUVs. The rims on these wheels vary considerably. On a glossy model like the Goliath in gloss black with machined red spokes, it’s best to use a mild detergent. You should also use a softer brush or sponge to avoid damaging your rims.

The same goes for the Titan wheel in satin black, which is popular among truck owners. During rim maintenance, always remember to protect the brake discs. To clean the rims, you should use a specially formulated product (RTX has a few). You should also buy a special rim cleaning brush to avoid leaving scratches. That said, an ordinary toothbrush is your best bet for cleaning hard-to-reach areas; it’s an extremely effective tool for removing dirt in tight spaces. And to keep your rims looking brand-new, consider waxing them three to four times a year.

RTX R-Spec

The RTX R-Spec series is largely made up of lighter, stronger alloy wheels. Featuring brighter colours and bigger dimensions, these wheels are made for sports cars, but are suitable for electric vehicles and more classic models as well. They also come in a wide range of designs and finishes.

The RS02 gloss black machined model is sturdier and lighter than conventional wheels. It’s recommended to wax them more often than other models to preserve their shine. If you plan to change your wheels in the winter, remember to clean them before putting them in storage.

The same guidelines apply to the RS05 and RS06, both in gloss black. If you have the RS01 in satin bronze, it’s best to use a special rim cleaning brush with a tapered head so you can reach every nook and cranny of its five double spokes.

RTX OE

The RTX OE series features all kinds of winter wheels. It also offers OEM-like rims with wider dimensions and wheels designed to give your car a more luxurious look. RTX OE models come in many different colours, including silver, gloss black, satin black, and dark gunmetal.

Whether it’s the Kazaki with its five spokes or the Kita with its five split spokes, winter rims require special care to keep them free of road salt residue. It’s important to clean them as soon as possible after every trip so that dirt doesn’t have time to accumulate. To finish, simply wipe the wheels dry with a microfibre cloth.

Tips for extending the life of your rims

Use the right technique

If you don’t use the right technique when cleaning your rims, you can end up doing more harm than good. To avoid any mishaps, follow these guidelines:

  • Clean them regularly: In general, washing your rims with soap and water two to four times a month is enough to keep them dirt-free. Routine maintenance prevents the buildup of dust and grime. If you wait too long between cleanings and allow impurities to become embedded in the varnish, you’ll have to resort to stronger, harsher products that could damage your rims.
  • Rinse them properly: Rinsing is an essential part of the cleaning process. It’s important to rinse the rims thoroughly, especially around the hub. If possible, use only clear or demineralized water to prevent corrosion.

Use the right products

In addition to the right technique, you have to use the right products. To maximize the longevity of your rims, avoid chemical cleaners at all costs, as these can damage the finish. The same goes for acidic products—always choose formulas with a neutral pH. If you have RTX wheels, you can also pick up some rim cleaner from your local RTX store. The brand has a range of maintenance products that are sure to meet your needs.

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Including, if applicable on selected products, installation and balancing in stores, environmental fees and taxes.

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Traction - dry road

Dry-road traction is a tire's ability to brake effectively and respond well to the steering wheel on dry roads.

Traction - wet road

Wet traction is a tire's resistance to hydroplaning and its ability to provide safe driving in wet conditions.

Traction - snowy road

Snow-covered road traction is a tire's ability to operate on partially or completely snow-covered pavement.

Traction - icy road

Ice traction is a tire's ability to operate on partially or completely ice-covered pavement.

Durability

Durability refers to how many kilometres a tire can go before it stops performing.

Comfort/noise

Comfort refers to the ride quality of a tire and the noise it emits on the road.