Tires & Wheels

Your tires have some fierce enemies, including water, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, ultraviolet light, and ozone.  Water removes the natural oils in rubber that keep it elastic.  Formaldehyde and petroleum distillates are solvents that eat away at rubber. When ozone, an odorless gas which is part of the air we breathe, is combined with ultraviolet (UV) light, a harsh reaction occurs that attacks the polymers used to bind the rubber.

To protect against ozone and UV damage, a stabilizer molecule called a competitive absorber is blended with the tire polymer.  Competitive absorbers, typically carbon black, capture and absorb UV radiation, converting it to heat for dissipation.

Carbon black is sacrificial; it expends itself to convert UV light into heat.  However, as carbon black loses its ability to perform, it turns gray.  You may have noticed this on your own tires.

To add extra protection from ozone and water, tire manufacturers add wax to their mix.   As a tire flexes when in use, the wax molecules will slowly migrate to the surface.  This creates a slim protective barrier.  Unfortunately, the wax protection does not last long.

To combat the negative effects of water, solvents and UV light on tires, Zaino developed Z-16 Perfect Tire Gloss.  Z-16 is a water-based tire and rubber dressing that protects tires and rubber trim from ozone, UV rays, water and low levels of formaldehyde.

Proper Tire & Wheel Cleaning

To properly clean your tires and wheels, you will need a 3-5 gallon bucket, a soft tire and wheel scrub brush, a sponge or wash cloth, a water hose and nozzle, and Z-7 Show Car Wash.

Warning: Do not clean your wheels if they are still hot from driving.  Let them cool, or thoroughly hose them down.  If your brakes are hot, spraying them with cold water may cause severe damage.

Here are some step-by-step tips to make tire & wheel cleaning easier:
  • Clean one wheel at a time.
  • Clean your tires and wheels first before washing the rest of the car.  This prevents splattering cleaners, dirt and brake dust on already cleaned panels.  Your car is also less prone to getting water spots from drying while you wash your wheels.
  • Mix a bucket of Z-7 and water, using double the recommended strength.
  • Thoroughly rinse the tire and wheel with water using a hose and spray nozzle.  If exposed, rinse the brake caliper to flush away loose brake dust.  Finally, rinse up into the wheel well to wash away road grunge and other debris. 
  • Use a quality tire and wheel brush and your soapy water to agitate the tire and wheel surface.  Use plenty of soapy water.  The soap acts as a lubricant to lift dirt and grit away from your wheels gently.  Follow-up with your sponge or washcloth to wash the remaining dirt from the tire and wheel.  If your wheels have large open areas, use the sponge to get behind these areas.  Make sure the tires are scrubbed.  Many people put layer upon layer of dressings on their tires but never clean them.
  • Use your wheel brush and soapy water to scrub the accessible areas of the wheel wells, too.  This small detail keeps your car looking fresh and new.  If your wheel has a lot of small nooks and crannies, use a soft parts cleaning brush.
  • Thoroughly rinse the tire, wheel and wheel well.  Use plenty of water. 

After washing your car, remember to dry your tires and wheels using a terry cloth towel

Proper Tire & Wheel Conditioning

After cleaning your tires and wheels, you need to protect them.  Tire dressing accents the appearance of your tires and protect against cracking and fading.  Likewise, coating your wheels protects their finish from brake dust, and makes them easier to keep clean.

Your wheels should be protected each time you wash your car.  You can significantly reduce your wheel cleaning efforts by coating your wheels with a light spray of Z-6 Ultra Clean™ Gloss Enhancer Spray.  Just spray a light mist on your wheel, wipe, and walk away. 

To apply Z-16 Perfect Tire Gloss, follow these instructions:
  • Use a cloth applicator.  To avoid getting tire dressing on your car, apply the dressing to the applicator, not directly to the tire. 
  • Allow Z-16 to penetrate into the tire before wiping off the excess dressing.  Five to ten minutes is okay.
  • If your wheel wells have a black plastic liner, wipe the wheel well liner with Z-16, too.  This simple detailing step makes a big difference.
  • If you like your tires to be shiny, do a final wipe down with your applicator.  If you prefer a satin finish, buff the tires down with a terry cloth detailing towel.