Tips from Used Car Advisor

Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Wheel Trims or a Cheap Way to Give Your Wheels a New Look - Vol.259

Manufacturer wheels tend to get rusty and scratched over the years, and they are not that exciting to begin with. Many car owners would like to replace their original wheels with cool new after-market wheels, but this usually requires a hefty investment. A much cheaper way to give your wheels a new look is with wheel trims. Wheel trims are widely available in car accessory shops as well as online in a variety of styles, from simple designs with plain matt finishes to expensive-looking chrome finishes to eye-catching colorful styles.

Most wheel trims are made from reinforced plastic, which means that they not only make your car more beautiful, but also protect the wheels from stone chips and other damage. Wheel trims are easy to fit over your wheels because they can be quickly clipped on the wheel rim, provided of course that you choose the right size for your rims. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to give your wheels a new look with wheel trims.

1. Clean the wheels
Use a stiff brush and an appropriate cleaning substance to remove any dirt from the wheels. For best results, you may want to allow a few hours or even longer for the cleaning substance to fight the dirt before scrubbing and rinsing it. When you're done, dry off the wheels with a rag. It's important that the wheels be dry before proceeding to the next step.

2. Paint the wheels
Before installing wheel trims, it's a good idea to give the wheels a fresh coat of black paint, to hide any rust and scratches that may otherwise be noticeable through the wheel trims. There's no need to remove the rims before painting them. Just apply some masking tape to the tyres and spray- or brush-paint the wheels. While you can use other colors as well, black is a great choice because it hides rust and scratches well and provides a nice contrast to the wheel trims.

3. Fit the new wheel trims
If you've chosen right-sized, good-quality wheel trims for your car, you should be able to clip them on to your wheels in no time. Just secure the clips and then bend them out to improve the fit. Don't forget to place the tyre valve cut-out correctly, so you can easily access it when you need it. Push it and knock it with your hand in place, but don't use a hammer, or you may shatter the wheel trim.

Removing a Wheel Trim
When you have to remove a wheel trim, don't force it out in one try or you may crack it. Instead, level the trim out slowly with a screwdriver that you place carefully between the wheel and the trim. Work round the wheel, removing one clip at a time. You have to be especially careful with the clips so that you won't break or make them too lose. Fitting wheel trims to your wheels with ducting tape alone isn't a good idea either, though you could use tape to improve the fit if the clips are not tight enough.

The Bottom Line: Wheel Trims Are a Great Investment
Your new wheel trims will give your car a fresh new look and make it stand out. And remember that wheel trims won't just enhance the look of your car, but also protect the wheels from all sorts of damage likely to occur on the road. And because wheel trims are affordable compared to buying new rims, you can easily change them in a few years' time if you want a new style. There are many varieties around in local car accessory shops as well as online, and you can also order them online.