Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel has been the “Go-To” wheel cleaner for many professional and amateur detailers for many years, and for good reason. This product has been winning awards for as long as I can remember, and even in 2019, it has claimed the top spot on the Auto Express Product awards, winning the #1 spot for wheel cleaners you can buy. You can find the article here
For those of you who may not be familiar with the brand, Bilt Hamber is an Essex, United Kingdom-based manufacturer of high-end automotive detailing products. They manufacture and sell their own products with resellers, mostly throughout Europe. Bilt Hamber has a wide variety of products including QD, clay, cleaners, wax, coatings, cleaners and accessories.
It was time for me to pick up a new wheel cleaning product, after recently finishing my bottle of Bilberry Wheel Cleaner, So I decided to go for the Bilt Hamber option as the replacement for now and put it to the test myself. Auto-wheel is a non-acid, non-alkaline ( pH balanced ) alloy wheel cleaner, and apparently, in most cases, no agitation is required. ( Acid based wheel cleaners are very effective but can attack alloy if damage to the protective lacquer occurs. Similarly alkaline or caustic wheel cleaners can cause similar damage )
Let’s take a look at how it performed!
Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel Review
It wasn’t long before the weekend came around and I was about to start my weekly wash routine when I spotted the condition of my wheels. It looked like there was a bit of buildup of dirt and grime on the surface so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to whip out the Auto Wheel and put it through its paces on the car. Below are some pictures of the wheels before I started.
Admittedly the wheels were not in the WORST condition, but I think there was enough buildup there to get a good idea of how Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel would perform, so I decided to give it a go.
Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel – How to Use
Tip: Always test on small scale before use in a discrete area (rear face of the wheel)
Spray auto-wheel liberally onto your wheels ensuring good coverage of edges etc
Avoid directly spraying the centre caps of the wheels by spraying radially outward from the centre.
Reaction time is temperature-dependent usually between 1 to 5 minutes is sufficient, the reaction process is indicted
by a change in colour from clear to deep purple
Step 3.5 (May not be necessary )
Agitate the wheels with a soft wheel brush
Wash the wheel thoroughly with a hose or jetwash.
As you can see from the picture below there is a strong chemical reaction from the wheel cleaner, which eventually turned from a clear liquid into a dark purple colour.
I chose not to do any agitation of the product on my wheels, as I wanted to see how the product would work on its own. As well as that, I don’t think my wheels were dirty enough to require that anyway.
Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel – Results
I was very pleased with the results of Auto Wheel, even with no agitation I was impressed with the level of cleaning the product achieved with very little effort. After leaving the product for about 5 minutes I used my pressure washer to clean the wheels and got some amazing results.
Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel VS Bilberry Wheel Cleaner
My initial impression is that Bilt Hamber is a superior product to the Bilberry wheel cleaner I had tried previously. Bilberry can be diluted so 1ltr will last you a good long while and is good for cleaning light brake dust. Something like BH auto wheels is far more efficient at cleaning heavily embedded wheels. I don’t believe Auto Wheel is intended to be diluted so I will continue to use it neat on the wheels.
Both are good cleaners and serve their purpose, Bilberry is better valued but Autowheel is a better product in my opinion.
Can you use Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel on Other Surfaces?
Auto-wheel is safe to use on a wide range of surfaces including paints, lacquers alloys and steel, however, a small scale trial should be carried out before use.
Due to the use of conductive films used to make chrome-look plastic surfaces or plate plastic wheels, centers and films, these may be harmed by the active material and dulled – you should not use Auto Wheel on these Surfaces.
What is the difference between Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel and Bilt Hamber Korrosol?
The variation is mostly viscosity, both will remove iron and contaminants from the wheels at the same rate. Both are safe on paint too. Auto-wheel is thickest so it will cling to contaminated surface for longer.
Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel – Worth it?
Overall I was impressed with the product – I would happily recommend it to people looking to try it out. This wheel cleaner will be my go-to cleaner for the future until I come across a better product.
Price 6/10 ( Small bit more expensive than other cleaners I have used )
Cleaning Power 9/10
Ease of Application 8/10
Overall Score 8/10
Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel – Where to buy?
If you want to try Auto Wheel please consider purchasing it through my Amazon Link HERE
This helps me keep this blog up and running.
Have you tried this product already? If so please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Until Next time,
About the Author – Darren O Hara
Darren is the founder of the DriveDetailed blog and is a keen detailing enthusiast living in the rainy south of Ireland. When he is not cleaning his car he is always researching ways he can improve his techniques and enjoys testing out new products.
Darren currently drives an Audi TTRS and is a big fan of performance cars.
You can follow Darren on Instagram @darrenoharacork