When it comes to ceramic coatings, no one brand makes the best products for every part of your car. If you truly want to have the very best all around, you’ll be looking at different products for your wheels, paint, and glass.
Today, we’re looking at a coating made for wheels and plastics. DLUX, by CarPro, is described as a coating to “treat alloy wheels, faded plastic, and rubber trim to restore their rich, glossy finish, and give them the lasting hydrophobic nanotechnology protection these surfaces deserve. Applications like this withstand a lot of abuse so CQuartz DLUX was given a thicker film build than conventional CQuartz coatings and a 50% silica content by volume.”.
Having prior experience with this product, I decided to give it a try as the wheel coating for the wheels on my new M3. I ordered DLUX from Detailed Image, mainly due to their quick shipping and amazing customer support. When it comes to coatings, I would recommend not ordering from places like Amazon, despite how tempting that may be. In many cases, I’ve found that coating products from Amazon are either out of date version wise, or are coming to the end of their shelf life.
Before starting the application process, you’ll need to first perform a full decontamination on your wheels. While I won’t get too in depth on this, the basic procedure is as follows; Remove a wheel, rinse it, wash with just soap first, then spray it with a wheel cleaner for iron decontamination, such as IronX. Agitate the IronX to remove any leftover iron deposits and then rinse again. Next, use either a clay bar or a Nanoskin to clay the wheel and remove any leftover, stuck on contamination. At this point, you can either rinse again or polish the wheel if need be. If you choose to just rinse, then you’re done and ready to move on to coating.
To begin the application, take your clean wheel and wipe it down with an IPA/Water mix or CarPro Eraser. This will remove any surface waxes, sealants, or other contaminants that will prevent the coating from properly bonding to the wheel.
After your wheel is wiped down, flip it over so the barrel of the wheel is facing out towards you. Be sure to put something down to protect the face of the wheel if you’re doing this on a hard surface. For coating a wheel, I prefer to use a microfiber applicator rather than the included foam block with suede towel, as I find it’s easier to get into tight spaces with the applicator. Open up your DLUX bottle and load the applicator with 2 lines of product. Wipe the product thoroughly on the whole barrel of the wheel. Depending on the color of your wheel, DLUX can be hard to see, however, it immediately becomes very tacky, so you’ll easily feel where you have and haven’t coated.
Per the DLUX directions, wipe off the coating based on the following cure times; “let cure 1 minute at 90F, up to 8 minutes at 50F”. You’ll want to buff it off in circular motions using a high pile microfiber towel to help absorb all the leftover coating without streaking. I used this towel.
After you have the barrel coated and wiped down, flip the wheel back over and follow the same procedure on the face of the wheel. At this point, I was able to use an IR curing lamp to help cure the coating a bit, but this is not necessary and you don’t need to do this if you don’t have access to one.
I suggest taking the opportunity to clean your tire easily while the wheel is off the car and apply a nice layer of your favorite tire dressing. I use Lacquer Thinner to wipe down dirty tires, it leaves them clean and ready for a coat of tire dressing almost immediately. I’ve chosen Gyeon Tire, something that I’ve never used before but am looking forward to testing. Also, if you have painted calipers, take a moment to clean and coat the caliper as well, DLUX works great on calipers.
All in all, I’d say the application process is fairly easy and the coating is very forgiving and easy to use. I had no problems removing the coating based on the time scale CarPro provides (it was about 75 degrees, so I waited about 2 minutes) and there was no visible streaking once removed. At first wash, the product is incredibly impressive, waters flies around the wheel in tight beads with a very nice contact angle. In addition, it appears that brake dust build up was slightly reduced, however, the ease of cleaning was the real winner here. Less soiled parts of the wheel, like the spoke, were clean to the touch with just a hit from the pressure washer, and anything else came off easily with just some soap and water.
Here’s a quick video of the first rinse approximately 5 days after application:
I’ll be posting an update in a few months to let everyone know how the product fares over time, until then, initial impressions are great and I’d highly recommend this product!