How To Clean Wheel Wells
| Jeff McEachran
Of all the areas of your car, the wheel wells take the most abuse. Dirt, grime, oil, tar, brake dust, leaves, roadkill, and really everything, splatters as our wheels drive through. It leaves the underside of the arches completely covered. What’s more, when it comes to cleaning and detailing, our wheel wells are incredibly neglected. For one, many don’t know how to clean wheel wells properly or the benefits of paying careful attention to this area.
Largely out of our view, it’s easy to forget about the wheel wells. Although they can be somewhat hidden, wheel arches need love, too. Today, we’re going to take you through the pro Gyeon Quartz wheel well maintenance guide, addressing how to clean wheel wells properly and completely.
Stick with us, and we’ll have your wells looking as fresh as the day you test drove your car.
How to Clean & Protect Wheel Arches
Wheel arches, or wheel wells, are probably the dirtiest area of the car. They can collect brake dust, tar deposit from rubber and road grime, and anything else you can find on the road. To clean we are using the following products:
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s clarify a wheel well. What is it and where can you locate it? A wheel well is an important part of a vehicle’s exterior. Without it, mud, rocks, and sticks can injure the car's engine and make extreme dents in the body. Sometimes referred to as the fender well or wheel arches, it’s the area in which the wheels sit in relation to the vehicle. It’s usually protected by the inside fenders that can collect everyday grime from the roads.
Step 1. Wheel Off
You don’t absolutely have to remove your wheel to clean the arches, especially if there’s a decent amount of clearance space, but in this guide, we’re going to go the whole hog and give our brake calipers and suspension some care too, and it’s easier to do so with wheel out the picture.
Step 2. Rinse (For Big Messes Only)
If you can see a lot of caked on grime and debris, it’s best to give your arches a quick blast with a hose, but as long as it’s not looking too much like a Cronenbergian monster, you can go ahead and apply Gyeon APC dry. When you have encrusted dirt or mud, hosing it down is usually recommended.
Step 3. Applying Gyeon Quartz Q2M APC to the Wheel Well
Gyeon Quartz Q2M APC is an all-purpose cleaner that can be used for exterior degreasing and surface cleaning, and interior stain removal. The ratio of dilution is determined by the task at hand. For instance, if you just want to give your paintwork a good once over, the minimum 1:15 dilution will be sufficient, but if you’re wrestling with some gnarlier areas, a 1:1 mix is what you need.
In this case, it’s okay to use the full-fat, concentrated solution, but this is only safe for cleaning wheel wells and engine bays, so stay off the paintwork, and don’t forget to wear gloves.
Spray the underside of the arch and the back of the well, then leave APC to do its thing. In the meantime, we can shift our focus to the brake caliper.
Step 4. Applying Gyeon Quartz Q2M Iron to the Brake Caliper
Gyeon Quartz Q2M Iron is one of the most powerful iron removers on the planet. It can eliminate stubborn ferrous deposits, such as rail and brake dust in seconds — the perfect brake caliper tonic!
While Iron is incredibly strong, we managed to maintain a balanced PH, ensuring it’s completely safe to use on delicate surfaces such as polished rims.
Avoiding your brake pad, spray both sides of the caliper. Don’t worry if you get a little bit of Iron on your pad, as it won’t cause it any harm; it’s just a bit of a waste of product, is all.
Now we need to let Gyeon Iron flex its muscles for 1–2 minutes, so we can bring our attention back to the wheel wells where APC has weakened the bonds of debris and melted away some of the grime.
Step 5. Scrubbing The Wheel Wells with the Gyeon Quartz Q2M TireBrush
Here at Gyeon Quartz, we’re not usually proponents of brushes when it comes to car cleaning and maintenance; however, for wheel wells, we have to make an exception, but we’re not going to use just any brush, we’ll be using the Gyeon Quartz Q2M TireBrush.
Ergonomically shaped to fit the biomechanics of your hand, the chemically resistant handle keeps you comfortable when tackling tough tarnishing on your tires and wheel wells. Use your TireBrush to agitate the APC on the wells, then let the chemicals work their magic once more.
Step 6. Cleaning Your Suspension Springs
For cars with long suspensions, wet a high-quality tube brush, thread it through your wheel well, and give your springs a scrub — we’re talking 8–10 quick passes.
Step 7. Brushing Your Calipers
Next up, use a small wire brush to agitate the Gyeon Iron on your brake calipers. You don’t need to spend hours doing this. A few brush strokes are all you need to get the molecules moving and banish that build-up!
As you well know, wire brushes don’t play nicely with painted surfaces, so, if you can, avoid the paintwork on your caliper, and focus on the sides and any exposed metal.
Step 8. Break Out the Gyeon Quartz Q2M Smoothie
This ain’t the alarmingly green smoothie your overly health-conscious friend suffers through every morning; this is the super-soft, extra durable Q2M Smoothie designed to make cleaning your car as easy as possible.
Wet your Smoothie down, then go to town on your wheel well. The fibers are engineered to grab as much debris as possible, making it the perfect tool for clearing out all the gunk Gyeon APC has dislodged from your car.
After you’ve given your wheel well a thorough once over, use a pressure washer on a low-to-medium setting to clean the grime off your Smoothie, then use it to wipe your brake caliper down.
Step 9. Rinsing the Products Off (End of the First Stage)
Before we move onto the next step, it’s important that you use your pressure washer to rinse off any remaining Gyeon APC or Iron from your wheel well and brake caliper, as you should never allow chemicals to dry to a surface.
Step 1. Applying Gyeon Iron (Again)
Okay, so we’ve all but obliterated the iron deposit on your caliper, but this stuff gets everywhere, so next up, spray your entire wheel well with Gyeon Iron, and while you’re at it, give your caliper a second treatment.
Leave the chemicals to do their thing for 2 minutes, then grab the pressure washer because, you’ve guessed it… it’s time for another rinse.
Step 2. Applying Gyeon Quartz Q2M Tar
Another unwelcome guest hitching a ride on the wheel wells of our car is tar, but it’s nothing Gyeon Quartz Q2M Tar can’t handle in a couple of minutes. Much like Iron, this product is PH-neutral, so even though it’s tough on dried-on hydrocarbons, it’s gentle on your paintwork, glass, plastic trim… you name it.
Just as you did with APC and Iron, give your whole wheel well a generous spritzing of Gyeon Tar, and don’t neglect that suspension either! Once complete, let the chemicals rest for 2 minutes.
Step 3. Agitating Gyeon Tar
To make sure Gyeon Tar is working to the best of its abilities, grab your Q2M Smoothie and agitate the product. Once you’re confident you’ve knocked as much of the debris loose as possible, rinse your wells with your pressure washer.
Step 4. Applying Gyeon Quartz Q2M WetCoat
Your wheel wells may be clean as a whistle, but they’re not protected. If you pop your wheel back on now and take your ride for a spin, they’ll be filthy again before you break 60 mph.
If we’re going to keep your wells clean as you burn some rubber, you’ll need to apply Q2M WetCoat, our groundbreaking hydrophobic compound.
Apply WetCoat liberally to your wheel well and chassis to give it a slick chemical-resistant, self-cleaning layer, then rinse the product off immediately.
Step 1. Lifting Your Car and Drying Your Wheel Well.
For the final touches, it’s important to get your car on a lift. As such, you’ll need to refit the wheel and drive it into a garage. Once your vehicle’s in the air, we recommend using this AIR-GT Car Blower to blast away all the residual moisture from the wheel well and the surrounding materials.
Step 2. Applying Gyeon Quartz G2 Trim
Now your wheel well is nice and dry, grab your Gyeon Trim, our ceramic-based sealant, sprinkle 15–20 drops onto the Gyeon MF Applicator, and spread the product all over your wheel arch. Use a powerful light, such as the Gyeon Prism Mini to check if you’ve missed any spots.
Step 3. Top-Ups with Gyeon Quartz G2M PreserveCongratulations, that’s the job done. Your wheel wells are clean enough to eat off, and they’re protected for your future road trips. All you need to do now is top up the Gyeon Trim coating with G2M Preserve after your weekly wash.
To use Gyeon Preserve, simply dilute it 1:2 with water, spray your arches, then use your AIR-GT dryer to blow it into all the hard-to-reach areas, giving you full protection — No gaps!
Cleaning Wheel Wells Wrap Up
If you prefer visual guides to car maintenance, feel free to check out our accompanying video on cleaning & protecting wheel arches, in which Yves Heylen revives the wheel wells of a 60,000 km car.
Otherwise, that’s all there is to it, folks. Now you can give your wheel wells the pro-grade TLC they both need and deserve, and as long as you keep up with your Gyeon Preserve applications, you won’t have to worry about doing another deep clean for some time. See you on the road!