Larry Melvin, ASE master automotive technician and owner/instructor at C.A.R.S. Auto Maintenance School in McKinney, Texas, provides the following pro tip on to help you clean your tires.

To make the sidewalls of your tires look (almost) brand-new, walk right by those expensive tire cleaners at your local retailer and buy the cheapest container of DOT 3 brake fluid you can find.

You’ll also need a 12″ by 12″ rag (red shop rags work very well) and a sandwich bag.

  1. Fold the rag in quarters (giving it 4 layers allows it to better hold fluid and makes it a more precise applicator).
  2. Apply enough brake fluid to wet the surface of the folded rag.
  3. Polish the sidewalls of your tires until they shine.
  4. Put the rag in your baggie, and use it again next time.

If any brake fluid got on your wheels, simply wet a clean rag with water and wipe it off. Same goes for your hands: a little soap and water will do the trick.

Brake fluid shines longer and is much less expensive than typical tire products. Use this pro tip for Porsche-grade sidewalls at Pontiac prices.

And to get the most out of your tires, make sure to keep up on your tire maintenance (even if you’re a beginner). To get the most out of the rest of your car, get the low-down on important fluids, and how to maintain your car’s value for years to come.

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