Wheels and Tires

Machined wheels in winter: What best to use to protect?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 29th, 2019 10:40 pm
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19666 posts
5757 upvotes
Toronto

Machined wheels in winter: What best to use to protect?

OK, I made a mistake and ordered these wheels for my winter tires. Almost everything is perfect: Size, width, offset, bore size, lug nut type... except they have machined faces. Oops. See here:

why-these-aluminum-rims-so-much-cheaper ... n-2307419/

Image

I tried to change the order but it was too late. WheelWiz was very efficient in shipping out the rims so they were already en route before I contacted them. I didn't want to return them because I'm in a different province and I'd probably be out about $100 in shipping charges (both directions), and I'm OK with keeping them since I like the look of these rims better than the fully painted ones anyway.

In the meantime, what products are best to use to keep them in reasonable condition? The caveat though is my car is parked outside on our driveway, and I live in Toronto. I know, bad scenario. Oh well, I will treat this as a relatively inexpensive experiment. Since these are 15" rims, they are a lot cheaper than others, and these particular ones are just inexpensive overall. Previously I didn't think it was possible to buy machined alloy hub-centric rims for under $100 each, but that's how much these DAI ART Replica 95 rims cost. Supposedly they are guaranteed to meet JWL/VIA standards too.

I only plan on keeping this car another 2-3 years, and since they're 15" rims, I probably won't have any use for them after that if I get a new car. My summer wheels are OEM Toyota and fully painted, but I don't want to bother swapping rims, at least this year. That would add yet even more cost. I'd figure I'd keep the OEM wheels in better shape if possible too, and treat the aftermarket rims as almost disposable. ;) BTW, my previous winter rims were also OEM, but they were 15 years old, and corroded as well. Lots of road rash though and I never washed them. I had repeated slow leaks from those.

What products do you use on your machined wheels? The shop suggested ceramic products. Any suggestions as to brand? Other types?
14 replies
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12335 posts
6901 upvotes
Brampton
Wax or seal them. Basically treat it like car paint if you really want to protect it.
"Machined" is just a designer term these days. No one sell a sell that's bare aluminum anymore it would get wrecked and look like crap in no time. The whole wheel is likely clear coated.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19666 posts
5757 upvotes
Toronto
tebore wrote: Wax or seal them. Basically treat it like car paint if you really want to protect it.
"Machined" is just a designer term these days. No one sell a sell that's bare aluminum anymore it would get wrecked and look like crap in no time. The whole wheel is likely clear coated.
Yes I believe they are clear coated. However, I was just wondering what seal/polish the car guys here use. The shop suggested ceramic polish but I know nothing about that stuff.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12335 posts
6901 upvotes
Brampton
If you want something easy like spray on hose off use Meguiars Hybrid Ceramic wax It's long lasting and super easy to apply and available at Canadian tire.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19666 posts
5757 upvotes
Toronto
tebore wrote: If you want something easy like spray on hose off use Meguiars Hybrid Ceramic wax It's long lasting and super easy to apply and available at Canadian tire.
OK thanks. I found this video for that. BTW, any problems getting that on the brake rotor?

Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12335 posts
6901 upvotes
Brampton
EugW wrote: OK thanks. I found this video for that. BTW, any problems getting that on the brake rotor?

Itll burn off after a single stop.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 30, 2006
2834 posts
2471 upvotes
Markham
EugW wrote: OK thanks. I found this video for that. BTW, any problems getting that on the brake rotor?

It may feel slippery initially but the stuff will burn off the rotors so you’ll be fine.

I would suggest a full or proper wax/seal/coat before swapping wheels for the seasonal change over. You can then use the spray as a booster every month during winter.

My wheels are waxed (both sets). I may ceramic coat for next year though.

Koodo $40/8GB
Public Mobile $38/5GB
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19666 posts
5757 upvotes
Toronto
HDawg wrote: It may feel slippery initially but the stuff will burn off the rotors so you’ll be fine.

I would suggest a full or proper wax/seal/coat before swapping wheels for the seasonal change over. You can then use the spray as a booster every month during winter.

My wheels are waxed (both sets). I may ceramic coat for next year though.
What do you mean by “proper”? Use a wax/ceramic conventional rub-on polish on the wheels?

BTW, spray-on every month is going to be a problem because I park outside. I suppose I could do it in a parkade or something after a wash.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12335 posts
6901 upvotes
Brampton
Ceramic coating cast wheels is IMO excessive.

Even the act of sealing them with a sealant is a PITA. If I had $1000 Vossens sure.

@EugW the Meguiars stuff will last about 2-3 months on wheels. When you go to hose them off at a coin wash just bring the bottle with you, clean the car and wheels and then spray the bottle all over the car and wheels and then just use the rinse setting to get it protected again. That's my winter scenario.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 30, 2006
2834 posts
2471 upvotes
Markham
EugW wrote: What do you mean by “proper”? Use a wax/ceramic conventional rub-on polish on the wheels?

BTW, spray-on every month is going to be a problem because I park outside. I suppose I could do it in a parkade or something after a wash.
Sorry, by proper I meant with the product (wax or whatever you use) before you mount the wheels. I personally do my own change-over (my tires are installed on my wheels already). This past spring, when I took my winters off, I applied wax on all the alloy surfaces of my summer tires. My summers were already washed last fall when I did the change-over. I thoroughly wash my winters and repair any damage (chips or minor curb rash if any).

When I change this fall, I will wax my winter tire wheels (I already washed), swap my tires, wash and touch-up my summers.

I suppose I could just wax right after washing during change-over, but this was always how I've done it. I don't use anything high-end either. It's just some Eagle-One spray on stuff.

As for the spray on, yes, it is annoying in the winter, I did suggest you spray once a month (since I thought you were considering the product) but personally, I don't. I've never had a huge issue with it as I expect my wheels in winter to be more abused than summer. I will hose them off whenever we get some warmer days, like around 2C to 5C which happens on occasion and if I feel like it, reapply some wax to the face of the wheels, but I don't get too OCD about it.

Koodo $40/8GB
Public Mobile $38/5GB
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19666 posts
5757 upvotes
Toronto
My local Canadian Tire doesn't sell that Meguiar Ceramic wax. I'll have to go to another place to get it. The parts guy at CT said I'm fighting a losing battle, but hey, whatever. ;)

BTW, my local garage said they wouldn't reuse the TPMS sensors from the old rims with the new wheels. Since the old rims were heavily corroded, I put them out on my front lawn for anyone to pick up free. I left the TPMS sensors on them. Then when I was out shopping for the Meguiar stuff I got to reading about reusing TPMS sensors, and it seems most of advice out there is that it's OK to reuse the valve stem attached TPMS sensors, so I decided to go back and reclaim my sensors. However, by the time I got back 20 minutes later the rims were already gone. Confused Face Luckily I had already removed the centre caps so at least I have those.

Oh well, I'm fine not having TPMS on my winter wheels anyway. I had aftermarket TPMS sensors on those rims and despite the claims by Active Green & Ross that they could clone the OEM sensors on my other wheels, they couldn't, so I had to get them reset every damn time I changed the wheels, twice a year. My 2012 Prius Plug-in only recognizes 4 sensor IDs so it's really irritating. Plus one time the tire had a slow leak at the TPMS valve stem. Not worth the hassle IMO. I'd rather just check my tire pressures manually every few weeks. My wife's 2016 RAV4 Hybrid has no TPMS and I much prefer it.

Here are the old rims, horribly corroded:

IMG_7010.jpeg
IMG_7012.jpeg
IMG_7014.jpeg
IMG_7015.jpeg

Here are the new ones:

IMG_4698.jpeg
IMG_6999.jpg
IMG_7002.jpg
IMG_7003.jpg
IMG_7029.jpeg
IMG_7026.jpeg

Here are what the centre caps look like:

IMG_7027.jpeg
IMG_7024.jpeg
IMG_7028.jpeg

The first one is the Toyota cap transferred from the old rim. The second is the aftermarket blank, and the third one is with the aftermarket stick-on metal cap applied. I like the ART logo better, but I suspect the plastic base with stick-on thin metal front for the aftermarket one won't last too long. The machined aluminum of the rim is nicely clearcloated though.

I wonder what that person is going to do with my old rims. Clean them up and resurface to sell? Use as is? Harvest the TPMS sensors? Metal salvage?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 30, 2006
2834 posts
2471 upvotes
Markham
EugW wrote: My local Canadian Tire doesn't sell that Meguiar Ceramic wax. I'll have to go to another place to get it. The parts guy at CT said I'm fighting a losing battle, but hey, whatever. ;)

BTW, my local garage said they wouldn't reuse the TPMS sensors from the old rims with the new wheels. Since the old rims were heavily corroded, I put them out on my front lawn for anyone to pick up free. I left the TPMS sensors on them. Then when I was out shopping for the Meguiar stuff I got to reading about reusing TPMS sensors, and it seems most of advice out there is that it's OK to reuse the valve stem attached TPMS sensors, so I decided to go back and reclaim my sensors. However, by the time I got back 20 minutes later the rims were already gone. Confused Face Luckily I had already removed the centre caps so at least I have those.

Oh well, I'm fine not having TPMS on my winter wheels anyway. I had aftermarket TPMS sensors on those rims and despite the claims by Active Green & Ross that they could clone the OEM sensors on my other wheels, they couldn't, so I had to get them reset every damn time I changed the wheels, twice a year. My 2012 Prius Plug-in only recognizes 4 sensor IDs so it's really irritating. Plus one time the tire had a slow leak at the TPMS valve stem. Not worth the hassle IMO. I'd rather just check my tire pressures manually every few weeks. My wife's 2016 RAV4 Hybrid has no TPMS and I much prefer it.

Here are the old rims, horribly corroded:


IMG_7010.jpegIMG_7012.jpegIMG_7014.jpegIMG_7015.jpeg


Here are the new ones:


IMG_4698.jpegIMG_6999.jpgIMG_7002.jpgIMG_7003.jpgIMG_7029.jpegIMG_7026.jpeg


Here are what the centre caps look like:


IMG_7027.jpegIMG_7024.jpegIMG_7028.jpeg


The first one is the Toyota cap transferred from the old rim. The second is the aftermarket blank, and the third one is with the aftermarket stick-on metal cap applied. I like the ART logo better, but I suspect the plastic base with stick-on thin metal front for the aftermarket one won't last too long. The machined aluminum of the rim is nicely clearcloated though.

I wonder what that person is going to do with my old rims. Clean them up and resurface to sell? Use as is? Harvest the TPMS sensors? Metal salvage?
I agree the ART logo is nicer, though maybe because it color matches the rims. Those are actually nice wheels and since you are using them for winter, I wouldn’t kill myself keeping them pristine.

Your old wheels are probably going to be reused. It’s not too hard to clean and restore, but at the same time, there is work and time involved. If I happen to need a set of Prius rims, I’d take free ones to use on my winters. Anything beats black steelies.

Koodo $40/8GB
Public Mobile $38/5GB
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12335 posts
6901 upvotes
Brampton
EugW wrote: My local Canadian Tire doesn't sell that Meguiar Ceramic wax. I'll have to go to another place to get it. The parts guy at CT said I'm fighting a losing battle, but hey, whatever. ;)

BTW, my local garage said they wouldn't reuse the TPMS sensors from the old rims with the new wheels. Since the old rims were heavily corroded, I put them out on my front lawn for anyone to pick up free. I left the TPMS sensors on them. Then when I was out shopping for the Meguiar stuff I got to reading about reusing TPMS sensors, and it seems most of advice out there is that it's OK to reuse the valve stem attached TPMS sensors, so I decided to go back and reclaim my sensors. However, by the time I got back 20 minutes later the rims were already gone. Confused Face Luckily I had already removed the centre caps so at least I have those.

Oh well, I'm fine not having TPMS on my winter wheels anyway. I had aftermarket TPMS sensors on those rims and despite the claims by Active Green & Ross that they could clone the OEM sensors on my other wheels, they couldn't, so I had to get them reset every damn time I changed the wheels, twice a year. My 2012 Prius Plug-in only recognizes 4 sensor IDs so it's really irritating. Plus one time the tire had a slow leak at the TPMS valve stem. Not worth the hassle IMO. I'd rather just check my tire pressures manually every few weeks. My wife's 2016 RAV4 Hybrid has no TPMS and I much prefer it.

Here are the old rims, horribly corroded:


IMG_7010.jpegIMG_7012.jpegIMG_7014.jpegIMG_7015.jpeg


Here are the new ones:


IMG_4698.jpegIMG_6999.jpgIMG_7002.jpgIMG_7003.jpgIMG_7029.jpegIMG_7026.jpeg


Here are what the centre caps look like:


IMG_7027.jpegIMG_7024.jpegIMG_7028.jpeg


The first one is the Toyota cap transferred from the old rim. The second is the aftermarket blank, and the third one is with the aftermarket stick-on metal cap applied. I like the ART logo better, but I suspect the plastic base with stick-on thin metal front for the aftermarket one won't last too long. The machined aluminum of the rim is nicely clearcloated though.

I wonder what that person is going to do with my old rims. Clean them up and resurface to sell? Use as is? Harvest the TPMS sensors? Metal salvage?
Those stock wheels aren't that bad they just need a refinishing. Did they get picked up already. I wish I was your neighbour I would have snatched them up if they were 17" or larger. Toyota Rims run a common bolt pattern and centre bore. Refinishing a set of rims would have been better than getting cheap cast wheels.

And yes I would do all of the above clean up the TPMS and reuse for my winters. Refinish the rim and use or sell.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19666 posts
5757 upvotes
Toronto
Yeah the old rims (and sensors) are now long gone. There’s no way I would have had the patience to refinish them myself, and the cost to professionally refinish them is actually significantly more than the cost of the new rims ($99 each plus tax, free shipping). Since they meet JWL/VIA spec, I am happy.

Plus the old rims have partial plastic cover that is cracked focally. However that partial cover is I suppose optional. I don’t know why Toyota spec’d a plastic cover for aluminum rims. It covered the outer aspect of the spokes but not the centre portion.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19666 posts
5757 upvotes
Toronto
Some feel 15" is a bit small, but hey, they're winters! Smiling Face With Sunglasses

IMG_7094.jpeg
IMG_7095.jpeg

Top