Winter weather can be harsh on chrome wheels if they are not properly protected. The best way to protect them is to remove them from the vehicle and store them for the winter. If this is not possible, or you prefer to continue using your sporty chrome wheels, you can take steps to protect them from the winter weather. These steps must occur before the winter weather is upon you, and throughout the winter as well.
1. Clean the chrome wheels before winter weather arrives. Wash the wheels thoroughly with hot soapy water. Rinse them and dry well with a soft cloth. Re-clean the wheels with a good quality chrome cleaner from an auto parts store. This will ensure that you have removed all dirt and road grime.
2. Polish the chrome wheels with a quality brand of chrome polish or car polish. Apply a heavy coat and let it dry, then buff to a shine. Add a second coat of polish for even greater protection against the elements.
3. Wash the wheels off right after you drive on winter roads. Road crews apply a salt brine to winter roads to melt the snow and ice. This salt brine may help you to drive but it will eventually ruin your chrome wheels. The entire car should be washed to remove all of the salt brine, but if not, wash the salt from the chrome.
4. Re-apply the chrome polish several times throughout the winter, depending on how often you drive on the salted roads. Salt will dry out and adhere to the wheels’ surface. It will eventually eat through the polish and pit or flake the chrome. This may cause the chrome wheels to rust. Cleaning the wheels regularly and re-applying polish can help avoid this.
5. Run the entire car through a car-wash immediately after driving on salt-covered roads, if possible. The hot water the car wash uses will help dissolve any salt particles that get caught in the wheels.
6. Keep the chrome wheels cleaned and polished all year long for added protection. This way you won’t have any small pits or flakes forming that snow and salt can get trapped in and cause more damage. Preventative maintenance is the best way to protect your chrome wheels in the winter, and all year round.