WD-40 safe on wheels? [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

WD-40 safe on wheels?

03-04-2005, 05:35 PM
I haven't cleaned my wheels in a few months and the brake dust is getting pretty caked on. Literally i can chip away some with my fingernails. I was wondering since WD40 is a contact solvent it might be able to dissolve the dust when i clean it later. Would this be safe?

03-04-2005, 06:37 PM
Cleaning Clear Coated Wheels:
•Ensure wheels and rotors are cool before applying cold water as this may cause them to warp. Hose off as much initial grime as you can. Rinse up into the wheel well to wash away road kill, mud and other debris.
•Use detailing clay to remove any imbedded contaminants
•Use a solvent based cleaner to remove any road tar
•Apply a solution of P21S Total Auto Wash to wheel-wells and tyres, and let soak in, agitate with a long-handled boars haired brush before rinsing
•Spray P21S Wheel Cleaner, this cleaner is 100% acid-free and will not damage any type of wheel finish. (Gel for badly soiled and regular for normal soil) onto wheel rims and lat soak in.
•Before finally removing cleaner, agitate with a soft brush and then rinse off
•Rinse wheel surface thoroughly with clean water (to avoid splashing paint surface rise by pouring a bucket of water over each wheel from the top down
•Remove any surface imperfections with a suitable clear coat polish (dependant upon extent of damage)
•Dry wheels with a towel, apply a sealant to the surface of the wheels themselves will protect the finish from brake dust and the elements and also making them easier to keep clean.
•Wax has a low melting point and will not withstand the sustained temperatures
•Clean tyres with a rubber cleaner (3M Tire & Wheel Cleaner -39036) or a citrus-based APC (P21S Total Auto Wash)
•Apply a polymer-based tyre dressing (Zaino Z-16 Perfect Tire Gloss™)
•Thoroughly hose off tyres and wheel-wells, apply a (UVR) protection to the tyres.

Acidic wheel cleaners- should be avoided as these cleaners usually contain a solution of oxalic, phosphoric and hydrochloric acids and they may permanently stain or damage wheel surfaces. The use instructions usually state to spray on and rinse off immediately.

100% acid free wheel cleaners-these usually contain a mild solution of an alkaline (Ethylene Glycol) and a surfactant, the best known is P21S Wheel Cleaner, a 100% acid free cleaner with a 7.0 pH

WD-40 (Water Displacement) but I didn't know it was a contact adhesive?

03-06-2005, 05:32 AM
it's a solvent mixed with a very lightweight oil, the solvent evaporates leaving the thin oil coating behind

never heard of anyone using it for embedded brake dust though, I doubt it would work :dunno:

it's usually 95% elbow grease that gets it off ;)

Alex Baumann
03-06-2005, 05:50 AM
It is safe, but there are other methods and products to get rid of caked brake dust effectively.