FAQ

RimPro-Tec® Wheel Bands™ are a new and exciting product. If you can't find the answer to your question below please contact us. We will respond to you promptly.

#1 Will Wheel Bands fit on my rims?

The unique formed in radius design used in manufacturing Wheel Bands means that Wheel Bands are a universal fit on wheels ranging from 13" to 22".

HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE: The high bond adhesive tape used to attach Wheel Bands to rims requires that there should be at least a 1/4" (6 mm) smooth, flat surface all the way around the wheel to mount the product properly to the wheel. Wheel Bands should not be installed If your wheel design does not have an adequate smooth, flat surface required for proper mounting.

An exception that can be made to the above requirement is if your rim design includes regularly spaced cutouts or narrow sections around the rim that are no more than 2" (50 mm) long.  In this case, there does not have to be 100% attachment of the high bond adhesive tape all the way around the wheel. These designs perform well and are covered by our warranty.  Example...

Below are examples of wheel designs that do not work with Wheel Bands...

 

#2 How much material comes in a Wheel Bands kit?

The mounting tracks and color inserts that come in a Wheel Bands kit are each on a continuos coil of plastic material that is cut to length during installation. Each coil contains enough material to outfit up to four 22"wheels, or five 19" wheels or six 16" wheels.

#3 What if I already scuffed my rims?

Wheel Bands may be used to cover up lightly scratched and scuffed rims. However, their long term performance may be reduced. The damage should not be excessive or in a area more than 3" to 5" (125 mm) in length. If there is any raised up burr of metal in the damage it must be filed or ground down to flush with the rest of the wheel surface so that Wheel Bands can be applied over it. The photo below shows the typical amount of curb rash that may be avoided by or covered up by using Wheel Bands.

#4 How well do Wheel Bands protect rims?

Wheel Bands are a defensive product intended to reduce the potential for scratches and light scuffs to your rims. They DO NOT protect wheel rims from damage in all cases. Like a 5 MPH car bumper, they are intended to absorb some of the impact with road hazards in an effort to avoid more serious damage to what is behind them. The same as for your bumper, in many cases the Wheel Bands will be damaged, but damage to the rims behind your Wheel Bands will be reduced or avoided.

Wheel Bands perform best in slow speed maneuvering conditions such as parallel parking and driving into car wash tracks. The best way to think of the value in using Wheel Bands is like this: Without Wheel Bands your bare rims are like riding a motorcycle with only a bathing suit on. With Wheel Bands your rims are dressed in the equivalent of a leather jacket and leather pants — in the colors of your choice!

Here's a typical testimonial as posted in a car forum by one of our customers.

#5 How long will Wheel Bands last?

The current RimPro-Tec® Wheel Bands™ system has been under development for over seven years. Wheel Bands installed as long as seven years ago continue to perform without problem in real-life installations. Performance testing indicates that undamaged Wheel Bands should commonly last for up to 40,000 miles. However, Wheel Bands should be considered a wear item like a wiper blade. We recommend that they be replaced whenever you replace your worn tires. The color inserts are weather and sunlight resistant but will eventually begin to fade slightly after a two years of outdoor exposure depending on how your car is stored. Color inserts can be taken out in seconds turned over and re-inserted to increase their full color life, or new color inserts may be purchased separately. It is not necessary to replace undamaged black or silver mounting tracks.

#6 Are Wheel Bands easy to install?

Wheel Bands can be installed without removing tires or wheels from the vehicle.  Most first time DIY customers are able to install a set of Wheel Bands on a vehicle in less than one hour. In general, 22" wheels will take longer than 16" wheels. Extra clean up prep time is required if the wheels are dirty or have tire shine product overspray on them that will need to be fully removed for Wheel Bands to stick properly.  

The only tool required for installation is a good set of cutters.  A sharp set of anvil type pruning shears work best to make a good clean square cut.  If these are not available, it is better to use a box cutter or score the Wheel Bands with a sharp knife and snap off.  Scissors and wire cutters will usually not give a good squared up professional looking cut.

Our installation video only takes 3 minutes to watch from start to finish...

#7 How well do I have to clean my wheels?

A regular car wash or warm water and detergent are the best start to preparing your wheels for installing Wheel Bands. DO NOT use any wax or shine products on your wheels or tires before installing Wheel Bands. Shine and polish products leave slick residues on the wheel surface which the high bond tape used in Wheel Bands will not stick to properly. Any product containing silicone oil should NOT be used prior to installation of Wheel Bands. Shine and polish products may be applied immediately AFTER installing Wheel Bands.

The alcohol preparation wipes included in your Wheel Bands Kit should be used to make a final cleaning of the wheel rim surface that the Wheel Bands will be attached to. Use the preparation wipes immediately prior to installing your Wheel Bands. It is only necessary to use the preparation wipes on the part of the wheel surface that the Wheel Band will be attached to. If the alcohol preparation wipe is misplaced or otherwise not available, common rubbing alcohol (IPA) on a clean paper towel or cloth may be used instead.

NOTE:  If you or your car detailer have recently applied a silicone containing tire shine product like Black Magic or Armor All, it is possible to still install Wheel Bands.  However, you will have to take extreme care to make sure you have used plenty of rubbing alcohol (IPA) and paper towels to fully remove all the shine product overspray on your wheels.  Do not use a cleaning cloth.  This will just smear the silicone or grease around.  It can take at least 6 to 8 paper towels per wheel to properly remove all tire shine.

Regardless of your wheel surface preparation technique.  Always cut off a small test piece of Wheel Bands track material to test on the wheel before starting your installation.  Press the test piece down firmly then try to smear it off sideways from the wheel.  You should be able to see the tape sticking to the wheel and stretching out.  If the tape slides off the wheel then the cleaning process needs to be repeated with more care.  See video...

Special note for cold weather installs:  We recommend that Wheel Bands be installed at temperatures over 50ºF (15ºC).  If a vehicle is brought inside from temperatures below 50ºF (15ºC) then time must be allowed for the vehicle to heat up.  If installation is attempted too quickly the wheels may still be sweating with moisture.  The moisture on the surface can be difficult to see.  It will prevent Wheel Bands from sticking to the rims.

#8 Where can I get a professional installation?

For professional installations we recommend service shops that offer vehicle window tinting, paint protection films or vehicle wraps. These are other stick-on products that require proper surface prep and attention to detail for best results. Tint World Styling Centers is one of the larger networks of shops installing Wheel Bands. Custom wheel and tire shops also can follow the installation instructions in the Wheel Bands Kit or our installation video.

#9 Is it difficult to remove Wheel Bands?
Wheel Bands purchased after January 1, 2015 behave like an adhesive tape version of Velcro™.  Like Velcro™ (or like trying to slide a screen protector sideways) Wheel Bands hold firm to the wheel while driving at maximum vehicle speeds but can be released from the wheel by prying straight up.  To remove, locate the joint ends of the mounting tracks.  Starting from the end joint, slowly pull the mounting track straight up off the wheel. When done with patience on all OEM clear coat and painted wheel surfaces, most of all of the adhesive tape will remain attached to the mounting track.  Any amount of adhesive tape residue remaining on the rim will be limited. It can be rubbed off gently by hand or with a clean cloth.

In the case of installations on chrome wheels there can be a large amount of residual tape left on the wheel surface.  Because chrome can't be scratched by a razor blade or cutting knife, either of these tools can be used to skim off the residual tape.

Wheel Bands purchased prior to January 1, 2015 can be removed easily but can leave a difficult to remove adhesive tape residue.  This tape residue is best removed by using a cleaning solvent like "Goof Off", mineral spirits or a brake dust remover.  Allow the solvent to soak into the tape residue for 5 to 10 minutes then use a clean cloth or paper towels to scrub rigorously.  It will take some time and elbow grease.  NOTE:  For whatever cleaning solvent is used, be careful and test in a small hidden area first. 

#10 Can Wheel Bands go through a car wash?

Yes. Wheel Bands can stand up to repeated car washing.

Rule of thumb on car washes is that if they would not scratch or damage your rims then properly attached Wheel Bands will be fine.  Conversely, If the car wash would scratch or damage the lip of your rims then this damage would show up on your Wheel Bands instead.

NOTE: Before entering a car wash it is best to double check that there has been no curb damage to the Wheel Bands.  If the color insert has been knocked loose it just needs to be pushed back in to full engagement with the mounting track.  If a mounting track has been knocked loose from the wheel and it can’t be pressed back down into place it would be best to avoid the car wash until the damaged section can be repaired by splicing in a replacement section of mounting track.  

#11 Can Wheel Bands come off while driving?

Properly installed and securely fastened, undamaged Wheel Bands do not come off under normal driving conditions. However, they are a wear item on your car. Periodically check the condition of your Wheel Bands. Loose color inserts should be fully re-inserted. Damaged Wheel Bands should be replaced in full or by spliced in the section that is damaged. It is recommended that Wheel Bands be replaced when changing tires on your vehicle, or after 3 years of service life.

#12 Will changing tires damage my Wheel Bands?

Unless care is taken and the proper equipment used, Wheel Bands can be damaged during tire changes. It is important to let your tire change technician know you have Wheel Bands installed.  Mention that if they use the same technique as when changing tires on "chrome clad" wheels the Wheels Bands should be fine.  BTW: A shop which can change a tire on a $400 alloy wheel without scratching its rims is the best place to trust your Wheel Bands to. For getting the longest life out of your Wheel Bands we recommend installing Wheel Bands on wheels with new or relatively new tires.

#13 Do Wheel Bands affect tire balancing or alignment?

No. This has been checked many times. Properly installed Wheel Bands are a precision product manufactured to tight tolerances. Their installation does not affect wheel balancing. They also do not interfere with or affect the wheel alignment process.

#14 Can I put Wheel Bands on custom painted wheels?

If the painted surface was done at a professional shop where the paint was properly applied to the wheel the adhesive in Wheel Bands will not cause damage to the painted surface when removing. If the painted surface is a DIY it depends on surface preparation before painting and quality of paint used. If the paint is on the wheel at least as strong as from can of spray on Plasti Dip applied to a properly cleaned up surface then Wheel Bands are safe to apply over the paint.

#15 What if I have clip-on wheel weights?

In many cases Wheel Bands can be installed to wheels with clip-on wheel balancing weights. The Wheel Band track design allows for cutting the track flush with either end of the wheel weight clip. The color insert can then be snapped into the track and bridged across the metal clip. See photo...

NOTE: On your next tire change ask your tire installer to use tape-on wheel balancing weights. Tape-on weights use the same adhesive technology as used in Wheel Bands.

#16 Tape doesn't stick. Is it defective?

Wheel Bands are produced with an OEM grade of exterior attachment tape same as supplied to car companies. The tape uses the same tape technology as used in tape-on wheel weights. Wheel Bands are manufactured with this tape in a Michigan manufacturing plant certified to the international automotive manufacturing standard ISO TS 16949. The highest standard in the industry. Across several years of production we have not identified any defective tape in Wheel Bands products.

While it is not impossible that Wheel Bands could be found with defective tape we consider the possibility small. The most common cause for Wheel Bands not to stick to a wheel is insufficient surface cleaning prior to installation...especially if a tire shine product has recently been used. See FAQ #6 above.

Another possibly that could cause Wheel Bands not to stick to a wheel is if the wheel has been treated with an aftermarket surface coating advertised as "high gloss", "easy cleanup" or "non-stick." Example of such coatings are Armor All, Teflon, Opti-Coat and Detailers Wheel Coating.

If a customer wishes to confirm the quality of the tape used in Wheel Bands we recommend the following test: use soap and water or rubbing alcohol to clean a small spot on a painted metal surface like a refrigerator or washing machine. Cut off a few inches of Wheel Bands mounting track that still has the protective backing liner on it. Stick the test piece to the painted metal surface. Try to smear off the piece by pushing sideways. If the test piece can be easily pushed off we would like to be contacted so we can investigate further.

#17 Can I buy a single spare Wheel Band?

Yes. Single Wheel Bands can be purchased in our online store. NOTE: Scuffed color inserts with scuffs that can't be polished out, can be snapped out, flipped over and reinserted with the undamaged side up.

#18 What's best tool to cut Wheel Bands to size?

A sharp set of anvil type or bypass type pruning shears work best to make a good clean square cut. If these are not available, it is better to use a box cutter or score the Wheel Bands with a sharp knife and snap off. Scissors and wire cutters will usually not give a good squared up professional looking cut.

The plastic coils in Wheel Bands kits have at least 6 to 8 inches of extra length even when installing on a set of four 22" wheel sizes. Before installation, we recommend making a few sample cuts to practice your cutting technique and to make sure you are starting with a clean edge of plastic and adhesive tape.

#19 Where are Wheel Bands made?

Wheel Bands are proudly made in the U.S.A. in a manufacturing facility certified to the ISO/TS 16949 Quality Management System Standard for automotive parts production...the #1 quality standard in the automotive industry.