Detailing

CarPro Reload Spray for Wheels

The quick and easy way to DIY ceramic coat your wheels & car

I’ve used CarPro’s CQuartz finest ceramic coatings on my exterior, interior, and wheels now…and needless to say, I’m a true believer in the product. I still need to do write-ups on the interior/leather coating, as well as their wheels & trim specific coating…but before I went head-over-heels with the true ceramic coating experience, I started out by dipping my toes in the water with the CarPro Reload spray. Reload is meant to help extend the life of your CQuartz application, but after speaking with several detailers it can also be used without the coating applied as a thinner, less permanent layer of protection – almost like CQuartz Lite. The Reload spray is intended to last 6 months and help maintain your CQuartz application, but it can be used standalone and achieve some pretty impressive results. I gave the Reload spray a shot on my car a few months before I did the full-blown CQuartz application and was very impressed, and in this post I’ll give you some installation pointers as well as a video on how easy the wheels were to clean afterwards, even with tons of brake dust built up.

Installation Instructions

I had my factory Rotor wheels off the car anyway while I was doing a photoshoot of the tire stickers on my track wheels, so this was the perfect opportunity. I got the wheels super clean using Sonax and a pressure washer, including the barrels themselves. You could definitely apply the coating while the wheels are still on the car, but the nice part about having them off is that you can get the inside of the barrels too, which will help keep that area cleaner between washes since it is so hard to reach. 

I then used a wheel polish I had lying around to get the machined part of the faces looking good. As you can see above, they had some discoloration from brake dust that regular cleaning wasn’t really able to get to. It’s important to get the faces as clean as possible, both so the product will bond to the surface better, and also because the product produces a thin layer on top of the wheels, so any dirt/defects you miss will be stuck underneath the product.

Once the wheels are cleaned to your liking, use CarPro Eraser (or similar product) to remove any leftover wax/polish/cleaner so that the wheels are able to accept the coating. Spray the product liberally into your CLEAN microfiber (or directly on wheels themselves), and massage into the surface in a circular motion. The product will flash/get hazy, but keep massaging in until you it’s nearly gone…then hit with a second (clean) microfiber to remove any residue after it has sat for a few minutes.

Do the same process for all four wheels, including the inner barrels, then try to avoid driving for a little while for the product to fully cure. The product should add some extra shine to the wheels, so it is more than just a layer of protection but also a layer of gloss, too. I know my factory wheels have never looked so good!

The Results

I filmed a quick video to show you how well the product works. The OEM brake pads on the TTRS are among the  worst I’ve ever experienced in terms of producing brake dust, but the Reload does great against it. Normally the brake dust is caked on pretty badly and requires use of heavy chemicals, a pressure washer, or both to remove…but with Reload, you can just spray and wipe without putting any pressure at all on them whatsoever. What’s impressive is that before I even started to wipe down the wheels with a spray detailer, they were already cleaner than they’d normally be after so much driving – not only does the Reload spray make it easier to wash, but less dust & debris is able to cling on to the wheel in the first place. In other words, the spray helps repel some (but certainly not all) grime in itself, and the remaining grime that does stick to the wheel comes off a lot easier. After repeated washes and use, the product continued to outperform my expectations.

The TL;DR is that if you want to try a ceramic coating, CarPro Reload achieves 80% of the results of CQuartz with only 20% of the effort. Many users may find the spray by itself is all they need, but if you get hooked on the powers of ceramic coatings then you can graduate up to CQuartz down the road…

Eventually I did end up doing a full coating of the wheels using CQuartz to the wheels when I did the rest of my car, but honestly the Reload spray works nearly as well and is much easier to apply. If you skip the full ceramic coating and just do the Reload spray, then I’d suggest reapplying more often just to keep a good base down; CQuartz says the product lasts about 6 months, but I’d aim for reapplying every 4 months to be on the safe side…but given how much time you save during washes, spraying this on once every four months is well worth it.

Nick Roshon

Nick has been an Audi owner and fanatic for the last 10 years, and started Nick's Car Blog in 2009 to share DIYs and pictures of his A4. Currently he drives a 2012 Audi TT-RS, and has previously owned a B7 S4, B7 A4, and an 82 Audi Coupe (GT) LeMons race car. In his day job, Nick is a digital marketer and lives in San Diego, CA, USA.

5 Comments

  1. In the past, I’ve just replaced the buttons themselves by looking for used parts or going through a dealership. You can check out some places to buy these parts here: http://nickscarblog.com/cars/audi-part-dismantlers-cheap-audi-parts

    If the damage is too widespread, there are some companies out there that make a product to help, usually a combination of paint/dye and then a sticker to retain the button lettering. I’ve never used them personally, but my friend has and overall it seems to work pretty well. Check out this video for an idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ef4gbuvAkzg

  2. awesome thanks Nick! yeah I went the replacing parts method problem is I keep most of my audis so after a few years they get ruined again. awesome site been following you for awhile. ever think of getting a youtube channel? peace homie!

  3. Yeah – the soft touch plastic has a tendency to do that. Be careful what you clean your interior with, and consider just using a damp towel instead of chemicals/cleaners to see if that helps…although I think most of the damage is from the oils on your hands that occur naturally. I technically do have a YouTube channel, but don’t really find the time to make videos and am not really good at video editing – blogging seems to be more of my medium 🙂 Thanks for the kind words!

  4. Damn soft touch plastic. From my experience, that was only an issue with the B6 era cars. My B5s and B8 never had that issue, but my B6 sure did. I made Audi replace my climate control head unit 3 times under warranty for peeling. That had to cost them.

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