4 Simple Steps To Protect Wheel Wells Even If It Gets Dirty All The Time (Faster And Easier Way)

4 Simple Steps To Protect Wheel Wells

A lot of people unconsciously leave out cleaning their car’s wheel wells. Come to think of it, it often gets overlooked because it’s out of sight. 

But the thing is, wheel wells are a lodging place for cakes of mud, dust, and road grime. When left unclean for long periods, these contaminants will cause corrosion and pitting. 

You don’t want to get in your car one day and be stunned to see the road when you look down on the floor. Worse, you’ll get your shoes splattered with mud that splashes from the road. 

Because of this, we’re going to talk about 4 easy steps to protect your wheel wells together with 3 options to minimize mud and grime sticking to them.

If your goal is to get your wheel wells cleaned and pit-free, this post will help you out.  

Read on to find out the best way of taking care of your wheel wells.

What Are Wheel Wells Anyway?

Wheel wells are part of the lower portion of a car, it’s the space where the wheels sit. They’re rounded arches for the wheels, hence called wheel wells. 

wheel well

In some vehicles, mostly off-road trucks, the huge gap it has from the wheels makes it more visible. But in most city-drive cars, the gap is so narrow it’s a challenge to get it cleaned, another reason some people just avoid cleaning this part altogether. 

But as mentioned earlier, even if it’s not as prominent as the car doors, windows, and windshield, it still needs a regular wash to avoid pitting, making it look older and more worn-out than it should. 

Here is a 4-step washing process you can follow to ensure you clean it thoroughly and minimize the mud and other contaminants sticking to it. 

Step 1: Pre-wash

Especially for wheel wells that collect thick chunks of mud, softening the dirt will make the wheel wells easier to clean. To do this you need to douse the whole area with water.  

Getting it wet softens the mud so there’s less resistance when you start applying the cleaning solution. 

protect wheels wells rinse first

What do I mean by that?

You see, the cleaning solution also acts as a lubricant. If the mud is too hard and thick, the solution won’t penetrate the wheel well surface and carry all the dirt away. 

You can either hose it off, or use a car cleaning gun with water on the container so there’s also air pressure pushing the liquid deep into the chunky dust and washing it off the surface. 

This also helps you save on the cleaning solution.   

When you’re done getting the wheel wells doused thoroughly, it’s time for step 2. 

Step 2: Apply The Cleaning Solution

For this, you can use body solvent, all-purpose cleaner, or degreaser. 

Tip: Wear gloves to keep your hands from getting dry and rough. 

Normally you’d use a towel to apply this to the wheel wells and agitate it using a brush. But the thing with this method is, it’ll take a lot of time, plus a strained back and a twisted arm from trying to reach through the tight gap. 

With this scenario, you wouldn’t like cleaning your wheel wells ever again. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can use the car cleaning gun with water and the cleaning solution on the container to push through the tight spots and crevices. 

A car cleaning gun’s airpower blows away stubborn mud while decontaminating the area from other harmful elements.

Especially during winter when roads are covered in road salt that causes corrosion and pitting. 

With a car cleaning gun, you can do away with using a towel and brush to clean the area. It’s faster, more efficient, and gets rid of the hassle. 

Recommended Reading: 5 Things To Look For In A Car Cleaning Gun 

use a car cleaning gun to apply cleaning solution to protect wheels wells

Some have the luxury of time to remove the tires to make the work easier. But most people don’t, it’s a little too much for most car owners. Using this high-pressure jet cleaner is the next best choice for taking the wheels off. 

Now that you’ve covered the wheel wells with a cleaning solution thoroughly, it’s time for the third step. 

Step 3: Rinse

For this step, you can hose the cleaner off the wheel wells. But you can use the car cleaning gun too. Just remove the cleaner from the container and replace it with pure water. 

It’s faster and the air pressure along with the water will be a duo that will doubtlessly rinse the whole area thoroughly. 

After rinsing it fully, wipe it dry with a microfiber towel. For hard-to-reach areas, use the car cleaning gun switched to the air-only mode to blow the surface dry. 

Step 4: Protect

Step 4 has 4 options. You can choose any from the list with whatever works best for your wheel wells and your budget.  

  • Water-soluble undercarriage sprays 

  • These kinds of sprays are made for plastic wheel wells. It helps repel dirt while treating the plastic to enhance its color back to when it was new. Just keep in mind that this is a bit of a pricey option. 

  • Fabric protectant

  • Some expensive cars have wheel wells covered with felt fabric. Its main purpose is to reduce the sound coming from the outside. The downside though is it allows more dirt to cling to the wheel wells. 

    While you can’t prevent contaminants from sticking to it definitely, you can use the fabric protectant to repel some of the contaminants that get in contact with the wheel well’s surface.  

  • Attach wheel well liners

  • Made from plastic material, wheel well liners have 2 purposes:

    • Protect the metal part of the wheel well and engine bay from contaminants
    • Deadens the sound from the road

    This third option can protect the metal part from corrosion, but the plastic part still gets dirty so you still have to clean it regularly.

    Recommended Reading: Does Washing A Car Prevent It From Developing Rust?

    Wheel Wells Shouldn’t Be Overlooked 

    If you’re an average car owner, giving attention to your wheel wells preserves your car’s build for a longer time. If you ever plan on selling it in the future, you can still do so at a high value. If you plan to keep it forever, you can avoid metalwork repairs from corrosion. 

    On the other hand, if you’re a car detailer, getting thorough cleaning with this not-so-visible part of the car will set you apart from the competition.  

    It means the difference between satisfied clients who promote your services to others and come back or clients who do home unsatisfied never to return. 

    Get thorough with your wheel wells so you can keep them in their best condition. 

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