It has happened to me many times before and I’m sure a lot of you have had the same experience. Brake dust, in its varying abrasive forms, is one of the worst contaminants for your wheel’s finish. It eats up at the surface – be it paint, chrome, polished or anodized surface – and before you know it your shiny new rims aren’t that shiny any more. Anything from slight pits to more severe penetration of the finish can occur and this is just not something I want to see happen to the red TE37RTs I have just fitted to Project GT-R.
So prior to having the tires fitted to the rims last month I wanted give the Kleers Aero Performer a try; a coating designed for use on race cars to help keep foreign debris from sticking to the body. I figured if it’s designed to create a sleek protective coat on a car’s body it would work just as well on wheels, making the removal of brake dust and other grime that gets caked on less of a pain.
So I got to work. With the rims being brand new I was starting off with the best possible finish for such a treatment but still, even if sporting fresh paint, there was still a tangible oily film over the surface. For anyone that has dabbled in DIY detailing you will know that dishwashing soap’s ability to attack oil makes it a great product to get rid of any impurities or to strip old layers of wax. So armed with this…
… as well as a few handy microfiber towels…
… I got to work on the wheels one by one.
First step is to get the surface nice and wet, and you can already see here how the water was beading due to the aforementioned oily film.
Not wanting to risk putting fine scratches or swirl marks onto the new and still probably soft paint, I went ahead and soaped up the TEs by hand…
…. gently rubbing every bit of the surface: front, back, the sides of the spokes as well as every nook and cranny of the hub.
A quick thorough rinse…
… to get rid of all those suds, and I was left with a perfectly smooth and oil/grease free surface.
The Aero Performer package comes a bottle of Kleers Paint Cleaner, a good product I’ve used before to clean my car’s exterior, but one that I would not use in this particular occasion due to the wheels being in new and perfect condition. The pink microfiber towels included in the box are there to apply and wipe the surface before you get to the important process of layering on the Aero Performance coating.
The bottle may look small but you need so little to achieve the effect. Again two more microfiber towels are included, the yellow for the application and the green for wiping off and buffing.
I attempted to figure out what was in it by looking at the back of the label, but it’s all too complicated. Numerous teams in F1 and FIA GT have began using this product as it helps keep their car’s surface clean and sleek throughout a race by repelling rubber marbles and it’s been windtunnel proven to reduce surface drag by 1.4%. Might not sound like much, but in racing every little bit counts.
After having washed the wheels I set two of them upright and got busy.
I gave a nice shake to the Aero Performer bottle…
… and poured a little bit onto the yellow towel.
As per the instructions I gently applied a fine layer, making sure to coat and work the product over every bit of the surface.
As these are my track wheels I took special care to coat the backs/insides too. This is so when I swap rims I can easily remove the caked-on mess of brake dust, rubber and oils that usually accumulates on the insides.
Once finished I let the rims sit for about half an hour…
… so that the chemicals had their time to do their work and dry up nicely.
With it being 38 degrees C in the shade, things dried up instantly but I waited nonetheless; a great time to grab a drink and cool off a little.
When I returned a fine haze had formed over the surface, easily removed with the green towel and with almost no pressure. I’ve used coatings in the past on body panels and some have been very hard to not only apply smoothly but especially remove, often getting caked on and requiring lots of buffing, but the Aero Performer glided on and off without a problem leaving a high gloss finish which was silky smooth to the touch. Seeing as I had so much left in the bottle, I decided to apply another layer and it ended up going on and coming off just as easily as the first.
So there you go, extra shine and protection. However it wouldn’t be until after my Izu drive…
… that I would really tell if the coating worked and how well. This is the state of the rims that I awoke to in the morning after the mountain excursion.
I would usually blast them with water first but I wanted to see how much dust there was and how easily I could remove with a microfiber towel.
There was no resistance and it all came off very easily, but not wanting to scratch the finish I proceeded with water.
I tried another wheel and just with the hose about 90% seemed to just flow off.
My wheels are back to their shiny selves once again and that includes the insides!
Dino Dalle Carbonare
@ILoveDrifting19 Thank you sir :)
for some reason none of the big detailingsites in europe does not stock this, so i think i´ll just continue with Swissvax Autobahn and Collinite 845
@JoneKlemoOverland Hi, Aero Performer is from our motorsport range which is generally sold only to race teams directly by us from UK with the exception of the USA and Japan who hold stock of this specialist product. Easiest thing to do is contact us by phone or email and we will be pleased to either find you a local supplier or supply you directly should there not be one close by. Contact details are on our websites. Thanks!
Dino, it looks like you've been hanging out with that other guy with the silver r33 too much and become a bit 'detail' excessive lol. What brand of brake pads are you using btw???
@d_rav Yeah tell me about it, he's contagious lol. Project µ
I tried reading the Kleers website, but didn't get my main question answered: If I apply Aero Performer to my front bumper, fenders, & hood would I apply it before waxing? And then wax over it? They claim that is "bonds to the surface" so would wax negate it? Or is this really designed just for motorsports where wax isn't as important? I only want it for bugs. Griot's wax works fine on my wheels w/ the pads I run & @ $110 a shot (lol) I'd want use A.P. where it would help the most (and well, where it is designed to work). Dino, since you probably got your 50ml bottle for free, do you mind trying it out on the R34s front fascia & posting a review? Regardless, thanks for all the amazing posts out of Japan!
@ScottLang You can add wax on top of it to boost shine as you would to other sealants/coatings like say Zaino Z-CS. Next time I detail the car I intend to seal the whole front end with it, the whole car if I have enough of it. Once it gets a bit cooler I should do a detailing of Project GT-R post but I fear nobody will read it lol
@ScottLang Hi Scott. Thanks for taking time to look into our products, sorry you could not find the answer you wanted immediately but I can answer you directly. Aero Performer [AP] is a treatment for your paint, we have both the Aero Performer refill [ just a 50ml bottle ] or the Surface Preparation Kit which comes in a little box with our paint cleaner and necessary cloths to prepare the surface adequately before applying AP. The Paint Cleaner will clean and polish the surface in readiness for AP to be applied which means that you polish out any imperfections and clean the surface so that AP bonds correctly over fully prepared paint. If you carry out the preparation with the Paint Cleaner correctly this will bring the best out of your paint before AP is applied. AP will seal that finish without the need for re-waxing. Of course in a race environment where AP is used waxing over the surface is not carried out as its not required to have the full performance of the product however if you wanted to wax over the top, you could and it would not remove AP. Any wax would lay on top but it could compromise AP's performance as you are altering the invisible artificial surface AP created. AP's purpose is not to create a super-shiny surface, its purpose is to create an ultra smooth one. Therefore if your paint is good and well prepared, applying AP would negate the use of a wax for protection unless you were looking to keep applying a wax to give a further depth of gloss beyond that of AP - recalling its main purpose - to reduce drag and reduce rubber marbles on aero-sensitive racing cars - not to bring incredibly high levels of gloss [ although it does gloss of course ]. If you wanted it for bugs, it would greatly reduce them for sure as is seen on the racing cars that use AP. I hope this information answers you fully, if you need to know anything else, please contact us. Thanks!
75 pounds for a wheel sealant? reduces drag by 1.4%? what is going on?
when you run out, try some finishkare 1000p hi-temp sealant, its cheap and you get a big can that will last you for the longest time! been using it for years now and would not want to use anything else. application is super easy as well.
be sure to use a ph neutral shampoo to keep it on the wheel longer.
@RachelChow Check the Kleers website for a list of their distributers
That's something I'll have to find out. Spray on type Crystal coatings that are offered by detailers in Japan often last up to 5-years so curious to see how the Aero Performer - which in comparison is a very easy and cheap alternative - does.
Cleaning dirty wheels with your hands seem kinda odd, haven't heard about it before. If the wheels are dirty, wouldn't using your bare hands cause scratches?
This is how I'd do it:
1.) Spray the wheels with APC
3.) Use brush with APC
4.) Dry with a microfiber cloth
5.) Remove grease/fingerprints with Isopropyl alcohol (20-50% mix)
6.) Apply wax/sealant
@Ewottaja I didn't clean my dirty wheels with my hands. At the time the wheels were brand new. A lot of pro detailers use their hands to apply waxes and so on
@speedhunters_dino OK, sounds good then. ;)
@AjiLopez Well, take some time to protect them before you fit them and it will make things easier in the long run. Prevention is the smart way ;)
@speedhunters_dino I'm sure they're fine. I was joking that since your driving them so hard you are going to need new pads soon.
@Wildcardfox Pads are fine
@sorrynotsorry Um douche, it's no secret that Speedhunters has picked up a few corporate partners. They're listed as "Official Suppliers" on the right of the page. It's kinda how the industry works. The formula goes; companies pay them to use and advertise their products, which in turn allows them the budgets to do shit like fly a bunch of photogs to Sweden or Norway or wherever the hell Gatebil is. What other site is doing what they're doing better?
Its a free effing site, and if they gotta slang a little car wax, some springs and a few harnesses to be able to continue being so, don't be that guy that wants to complain about it. It makes you look like a dickhead.
@Simply P Couldn't agree more, and it's not like they're shilling some replica knockoff products. I mean com'on, who DOESN'T use RAYS wheels?!
@koko san No those are supposed to absorb moisture lol
Kinda OC eh... But very cool nonetheless. I wish we had that from where I am. It'd be cool to put that on my bike.
@meal stub OCD all the way :)
@meal stub Hi, We ship worldwide from the UK if there is no Kleers distributor where you live, just contact us and we will help you immediately either directly or via one our distributors - either way we can supply you - no problem. Thank you!
So the coating you are using is different than the one recommended for wheels by Kleers? have you used "the-alloy-wheel-protector" and you find "the-aero-performer" better for wheels?
@j0kk3rr Yes I use that on my BMW's wheels. Wanted to try a different approach with the GT-R. So far impressed with this coating
Looks like nice product with great packaging, but my recommendation for this kind of thing is plain old SC Johnson Paste Wax. As mentioned in the article, the SC Johnson wax is one of the products that can be hard to buff off, but that just means you have to be careful not to apply a thick layer. I can verify that it protects mirror-polished aluminum with no maintenance for many months at a time.
Clearly, Aero Performer is a different product (and does a lot more than just protecting wheels), but for $120/kit versus $7/large tin of wax, I think the choice is obvious. At least for me.
@Hombre3000 Yeah I'd rather use this and forget about it than having to reapply wax often. That was the point here, do a bit of work before hand and then forget about it :)
@speedhunters_dino Curious to hear how long this treatment lasts, then we can do a real cost comparison. I know it says one-time application. We'll see!
@Hombre3000 Yep, I hoping I don't have to reapply it for a very long time...it's also because I want to apply and seal the whole body
@Hombre3000 Hi, I am pleased you recognise that it is not just for wheels and I fully appreciate and respect what you may already use. As always with car care you use what you feel works best and if you are happy with the results, then that's all you can ask. Dino's use of Aero Performer is not ' usual ' for us as we developed it for racing car panels, dive planes, wings, diffusers and flat floors etc but every week it finds itself venturing more and more into road cars, especially high speed exotics for sure. The more Aero Performer becomes 'public' the more uses pop-up and its fascinating to see it being used in varying conditions as Dino has here. Thanks for taking time to look at the article and to reply - we appreciate it.