How To Polish your Corvette’s Rims

Keeping your Corvette rims nicely polished will help to not only improve the overall appearance of your vehicle, but also to enhance the resale value as well. The more often that you polish the rims on your Corvette, the easier it will be to prevent them from becoming scratched or otherwise damaged as a result of the way that you drive your car. Generally, it’s a good idea to check on your Corvette rims every 2 to 3 months, although most people won’t polish them until it’s been about 6 months or so. Because the polishing process can be somewhat time intensive, it’s often times better to wait until the rims themselves are quite dirty before you go through with the procedure, although this will also make them more likely to suffer damage that you’ll need to repair later on.

Step 1 — Gather Your materials

You’ll need the following materials in order to polish the rims on your Corvette:

  • Rim polishing kit (available online or at different auto body repair shops)
  • Brush set
  • Towel set
  • Sponge and bucket of water
  • Drill that operates at a high RPM
  • High quality, fine grade sand paper (around 1000 grit)

Step 2 — Clean Off and Prep the Rims

Begin by removing all of the excess dirt and debris that may have built up or accumulated on the rims of the car. This will help to ease the process of polishing the rims and will ensure that nothing other than the polish coats the rims of the car. You can start by gently rubbing down the rims with a sponge and bucket of water. Work to loosen and remove any of the larger pieces of debris so that you can clean them off.

Next, you’ll need to deal with the phenomenon that is commonly referred to as curb rash. Curb rash is the scraping and general wear and tear that occurs on the sides of the rims either as you drive or, more commonly, as you park the car against a curb and the rims come into contact with cement. Use the sandpaper to scrub off the curb rash, even if it removes some of the top coats of the chrome polish. The cleaner and smoother the rims are when you begin your process of polishing them, the better they will end up looking.

Step 3 — Polish the Rims

After the rims have dried thoroughly and are fully clean, you can begin polishing them. Open up your rim polishing kit and examine the different types of polish that you have. It’s best to begin with the darkest polish and work your way down to the lighter ones. It should also match as closely as possible the color the rim or the surrounding portion of the wheel.

Begin by attaching the brush that you’d like to use to your drill, then use it to buff the darkest portions of the rim and the surrounding tire. When you’re satisfied, remove the brush and thoroughly clean it before continuing with a lighter color of polish. For more intricate work and details, you can use the separate brushes that come with the kit to polish by hand, although it will be harder to get the sheen that you’ll achieve with the drill in this fashion.

All of the various supplies and materials that are necessary for this project can be obtained either at a car body repair and customs shop or at a hardware store. If you have any questions about how to polish your rims, ask a Corvette specialist or a mechanic.