Austin Verts Chrome Care Tips For Longer Life.

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Austin Vert

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1973 Mustang Convertible
Hi to all,

Just wanted to pass on some good useful info on caring for your chrome, and thus, extending the life of the finish.

As some of the Forum members might know, i have spent the last 43 years as a pro Auto Spray Painter, and over that time have run into a lot of products and methods for helping to protect any chrome finish, and help extend the life of the finish before it starts to break down and fail.

I will say from the start, that i have never been in the chroming business, and therefore, don't have the advanced technical knowledge of all the ins and outs of chroming.

I will say however, that i am aware, that over the last few decades, the quality of chroming finishes has fallen off badly compared to the quality of say chrome finishes back in the Fifties decade for example. Fifties chrome would just keep on going and going if looked after properly. The better the quality of the chrome finish, the longer life you will get out of the product. Good quality chrome finishes can still be found today, but are harder to come across, and will cost a lot more as well.

Given that is the situation today, you can still try and get good quality chrome, and then make sure you look after it to prolong its life. Like any paint finish, the bad enemies that attack and break down the chrome are mainly pollutants, and ultra violet radiation from the sun. Pollutants can be atmospheric types such as jet plane fallout, car exhaust fallout, etc. Road grime is full of chemicals, oils etc that can attack and break down the finish fast. A bad pollutant is also brake pad dust from disc and drum brakes. Washing your car on a regular basis, and using a cheap phosphate type detergent can over time help to break down the chrome finish as well. Dust and dirt can scratch and ruin a chrome finish too, and lead to a faster breakdown. Most town water supplies have harsh chemicals in them as well, and will attack chrome finishes too. So all of the above pollutants, end up shortening the life of any a chrome finish.

What i have learnt over the years, that works for me, is a simple process of looking after chrome, and i have proven that this will extend the life of the finish. It will work for you as well. The more you baby your car,and maintain it the better it will look and last. We all know that. So with maintaining chrome, the Golden rule to remember, is that chrome LOVES CARNAUBA WAX. Chrome can never get enough Carnauba wax. The more you keep the wax up to it, the longer the finish will last. The wax coating is  setting up an isolating  barrier from pollutants, dirt, water and oxygen from attacking the finish. It's as simple as that.

It goes without saying that if you end up with a coating of road dirt, dust , or grime, after a drive, then a quick water wash off before waxing is the thing to do, so as not to end up scratching the chrome finish. Product wise, you can use a good quality Carnauba paste or cream, but i love to use  products like spray Carnauba wax detailers from squirt bottles, as you can easily spray the wheels all over with the product, and then microfiber the chrome off and not get any white residual powder in any cracks or crevices. Avoid using newer non Carnauba synthetic wax products as i feel they don't offer the same protection as what Carnauba wax does.

Finally, go and buy a decent barrel type house duster, and have it at the ready in your garage. The secret is to go to the trouble of quickly dusting off your chrome wheels EVERY TIME YOU COME BACK AFTER A DRIVE. This helps to remove the brake pad dust  from the surface, and reduce the risk of brake dust eating into the chrome finish. Dusting off wheels after every drive, and keeping up a generous wax coating on the chrome will ensure you will get an extended life out of your chrome.

Many thanks,

Greg. :)



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Thanks for sharing your knowledge. I have never used anything but Carnauba wax since a kid. Is that spelled right, lol. 

I did work for a hardware company and we had two automated plating lines. The amount of chrome on the parts is measured in millionths of an inch. It is just a flash.

 
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