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Old 07-08-2007, 09:34 AM
rwfisher rwfisher is offline
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Location: MD
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: 2005 M3Cic
...probably brake pad residue.

I'd like to suggest that it's brake pad residue, not road tar. Road tar usually comes off without too much trouble. The brake pad residue is a different story.

I tried the new BMW wheel cleaner, and it does a pretty good job....better than P21, but you still have to do some scrubbing. I've managed to put a dent in the accumulated gunk, but haven't gotten it all off yet.

A fingernail works well, but you can imagine how that feels after a few minutes....I'm thinking a piece of plastic (like a pizza stone scraper) might work. Don't use the nylon scouring pads...they WILL scratch the rim. Trust me.

I got some useful info from the person doing the washing at a BMW dealership. They use an acid-based wheel cleaner....I know, not the best thing for your wheels, but if the alternative is to have them caked with crud might be worth considering. I know that when I bought my X3, the wheels were clean but it only took a week or so for the brake residue chunks to start showing up. So there is a way to get that stuff off (and I doubt the dealer spent hours cleaning the wheels).

Originally Posted by dwm View Post
Probably road tar. 3M Adhesive Cleaner (08984) will dissolve it. I use cotton balls to apply it. Be careful about rubbing, or you'll scratch the clearcoat with the grit in the road tar. Let the adhesive cleaner do the work.
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