cleaning wheels

    cleaning wheels

    ……………………………………

    cleaning wheels

    The time comes in the life of every car owner when he has to try to clear his car more cheaply than the upscale neighborhood car wash. Today, the day after Valentine’s Day, is our day. We had the car washed several weeks ago, but frequent rain and use has made our chariot dusty and the wheels grimy. (Here you see our wheels parked in front of .)

    Besides the bird poop (not shown), the airborne particulate and Isaac’s fingerprints are to be seen everywhere.

    Today, with the help of the guilty party – aged three years and two months – and a convenient parking space, we’re going to focus on cleaning the wheels. One step at a time.

    Why the wheels? Well, because of all the visible surfaces it’s the wheels which show muck the most (at least on my black car).

    I have the stock wheels for the 1995

    318is, the 18-spoke wonder. It’s a look I like, although I have become partial to the 3- and 5-spoke varieties. As you can see from the photos, above and below, road dirt and used brake pad dust make for an ugly look.

    and I assemble the tools of our trek. He’s holding a generic spray bottle, $0.89. At his foot is a plastic toilet scrubbing brush, $1.99, a big bottle of Simple Green, $7.99, and my trusty rotary drill. A tiny amount of Simple Green

    comes with a spray bottle, but at $4.99 it’s no bargain.

    Our first task is to adapt the scrubbing brush to the drill. A quick attack with my Japanese saw (perched on the trash can) does the trick. Isaac shows the two parts. I still have to whittle the end to be small enough for my drill’s grasp, a diameter of a quarter-inch.

    Here, in a pose eerily reminiscent of Clyde Barker, Isaac shows off the results of our hacking. Now we’re ready to work on the wheels.

    After I hose the care down from the top to clean off the road dirt, bird poop, and fingerprints then Isaac grabs the garden hose and wets down the wheels. Soaks them, actually. The wetter the better.

    After the front wheel is done, and I spray the Simple Green all over, Isaac continues by soaking down the rear wheel. (Because we’re parked on the street we do one side at a time, turning the car around to finish the other side. Isaac likes to steer while sitting on my lap.)

    I use the drill to spin the brush in each of the openings, across the face of the wheel, and along the outside of the rims. Of course it would be my luck to have the batteries on the drill begin to wear down. So I grab the batteries from my portable screwdriver, and of course it wears down too. Sigh.

    Here is what the wheel looks like after about two minutes of work with the drill and a wash-down. At first glance it looks great. It is certainly much better than it was before. But I’m not satisfied.

    At closer look you can see smudge marks left where the toilet brush couldn’t reach, deep in the spoke holes. I have to measure the width and find a narrower brush. That ought to be easy enough.

    A closer look also shows some black spots on the rim surface. It looks pitted, and I’m not sure the car-wash was able to do a better job. This may have happened in the six years the previous owner had the car. Does the road gunk actually eat away at the wheels if not cleaned frequently? Hmmm.

    Well, there you have it. Our journey to the heart of darkness of my dirty wheels. Just after finishing the wheels the plastic handle broke off, so now I have another criteria for the next scrubbie brush: a solid handle, possibly wood, already at the desired size.

    Usually I would also put some Armor All on the tires to make them shiny and pretty, but we ran out of daylight today. Perhaps the next time.

    No I have nowhere to drive. So it goes 🙂

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