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The Detail Department
Detailing tips, tricks to keep your bimmer in showroom condition.

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  #1  
Old 06-19-2004, 11:54 PM
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Nick T. Nick T. is offline
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Brake dust revisited

Brake dust and its removal/prevention seems to be an ongoing problem for many detailers. Replacing your OEM brake pads with low-dust after market pads will reduce the dust problem, but so far as I know there are no pads that will eliminate brake dust. This still leaves us with the problem of dealing the dust.

There are many special wheel cleaner products on the market, each with its own hype and its loyal band of followers. I don’t endorse nor recommend any of the special wheel cleaner products because I don’t think that they are needed and I haven’t used them for a long, long time.

I use a secret wheel treatment that allows me to clean off the brake dust usually using nothing more than a cotton towel and a spritz of distilled water - - only occasionally do I need to add a little car shampoo to the water - - and heavier pressure than lightly wiping is never needed.

A year or two ago all of the wildly differing suggestions/recommendations on this and other detailing forums led me to do some comparative experimenting. I started by doing a thorough cleaning and polishing of all four wheels, then applied one recommended product to the left side wheels and another product to the right side wheels. After driving for awhile I would then compare the dust accumulation on each side and the ease (or difficulty) of removal. Another thorough cleaning, the winning product on the opposite side and a new product on the other side.

It didn’t take long to realize that all of the carnauba waxes attracted a lot of dust and were difficult to clean without using a special cleaning product and/or a lot of scrubbing. Closer examination and a little experimenting showed that with even fairly light braking the wheels heated enough to soften even the best carnauba. The heat softened wax retains a great deal more dust than an unwaxed area! Quite a bit of the retained brake dust is trapped under the surface of the wax and cannot be removed without removing the wax.

Progressing on to the synthetic protectants showed a marked improvement - - much less dust retention and much easier cleaning. The “combination” synthetics such as Blackfire and Platinum UPP did not do as well as the “pure” synthetics such as Klasse and Zaino. Zaino attracted/retained slightly less dust than Klasse, but IMO Klasse was the product of choice because of its ease of application.

Recently I decided that it was time to compare my winners to some of the new (to me) products. As expected the carnaubas were poor perfomers, and the combination synthetics such as NXT and Wolfgang did not come up to the level of the pure synthetics. Menzerna was as good or maybe slightly better that Klasse for dust retention, and was easier to clean that either Klasse or Zaino.

I think that I will continue to use Klasse on my wheels and not switch to Menzerna because if you’re not very careful when applying Menzerna it’s easy to leave too much product on the wheels - - and this can lead to pink stains that are very difficult to remove.

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  #2  
Old 06-20-2004, 12:23 PM
rruiter rruiter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick T.
Brake dust and its removal/prevention seems to be an ongoing problem for many detailers. Replacing your OEM brake pads with low-dust after market pads will reduce the dust problem, but so far as I know there are no pads that will eliminate brake dust. This still leaves us with the problem of dealing the dust.

There are many special wheel cleaner products on the market, each with its own hype and its loyal band of followers. I don?t endorse nor recommend any of the special wheel cleaner products because I don?t think that they are needed and I haven?t used them for a long, long time.

I use a secret wheel treatment that allows me to clean off the brake dust usually using nothing more than a cotton towel and a spritz of distilled water - - only occasionally do I need to add a little car shampoo to the water - - and heavier pressure than lightly wiping is never needed.

A year or two ago all of the wildly differing suggestions/recommendations on this and other detailing forums led me to do some comparative experimenting. I started by doing a thorough cleaning and polishing of all four wheels, then applied one recommended product to the left side wheels and another product to the right side wheels. After driving for awhile I would then compare the dust accumulation on each side and the ease (or difficulty) of removal. Another thorough cleaning, the winning product on the opposite side and a new product on the other side.

It didn?t take long to realize that all of the carnauba waxes attracted a lot of dust and were difficult to clean without using a special cleaning product and/or a lot of scrubbing. Closer examination and a little experimenting showed that with even fairly light braking the wheels heated enough to soften even the best carnauba. The heat softened wax retains a great deal more dust than an unwaxed area! Quite a bit of the retained brake dust is trapped under the surface of the wax and cannot be removed without removing the wax.

Progressing on to the synthetic protectants showed a marked improvement - - much less dust retention and much easier cleaning. The ?combination? synthetics such as Blackfire and Platinum UPP did not do as well as the ?pure? synthetics such as Klasse and Zaino. Zaino attracted/retained slightly less dust than Klasse, but IMO Klasse was the product of choice because of its ease of application.

Recently I decided that it was time to compare my winners to some of the new (to me) products. As expected the carnaubas were poor perfomers, and the combination synthetics such as NXT and Wolfgang did not come up to the level of the pure synthetics. Menzerna was as good or maybe slightly better that Klasse for dust retention, and was easier to clean that either Klasse or Zaino.

I think that I will continue to use Klasse on my wheels and not switch to Menzerna because if you?re not very careful when applying Menzerna it?s easy to leave too much product on the wheels - - and this can lead to pink stains that are very difficult to remove.

I doubt dust can get get UNDER the wax unless you don't wax it out.
Other than that I think it's a good compare.
I think if you clean the wheels on a regular basis, and are not sloppy with it, you won't have a problem. Wheels get ugly when you take it to a carwash and only part of the wheel get cleaned.
just keeping up with the wheels keeps them nice, and it's easy. putting some wax on extends that even more. You STILL have to clean them.
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  #3  
Old 06-20-2004, 01:21 PM
fuz fuz is offline
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The thing I like about AIO is that it has cleaners too, so it has a mild polishing action to get rid of some contaminates. With pure waxes, you need to seperately polish wheels to get the same effect. I tend not to use sealant glaze since I seem to get clouding/haze with it easily...

If the hot pink color of menzerna fmj is actually making stains, I may stay away from it until they change the color to something sensible.
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  #4  
Old 06-20-2004, 03:25 PM
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Nick T. Nick T. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuz
If the hot pink color of menzerna fmj is actually making stains, I may stay away from it until they change the color to something sensible.
On the “normal” painted surfaces on a car I don’t think that the “staining” of the FMJ is a problem. You have better access and a better view than on the wheels. I put a couple of coats of FMJ on my xB with no problems and am quite happy with it.

I no longer have my white Suburban (The Miata Masher), but it would be interesting to see if continued use of FMJ on white paint would start to give a pinkish cast to the paint.
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  #5  
Old 06-20-2004, 08:11 PM
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I have a bunch of Zaino products, what is the best one to use on my wheels to add a layer of protection? Also, what is the best way to apply the product?

Or should I just use something like Meguiar's Hot Rims?
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2004, 08:57 AM
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cantona7 cantona7 is offline
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Which Klasse product are you guys referring to? Is this the regular "All in One" or is there some specific Klasse wheel cleaning/protecting stuff?
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2004, 08:01 AM
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Nick T. Nick T. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjames
I have a bunch of Zaino products, what is the best one to use on my wheels to add a layer of protection? Also, what is the best way to apply the product?

Or should I just use something like Meguiar's Hot Rims?
Either Z-2 or Z-5 is okay. I’d recommend using three layers. If you use Z-1, then you’ll need to wait a full day between layers - but if you use ZFX you can do two layers one day and another the next day. Apply and remove just as you do on your paint.
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  #8  
Old 06-20-2004, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rruiter
I doubt dust can get get UNDER the wax unless you don't wax it out. Other than that I think it's a good compare.
rruiter - - -
Carnauba on your wheels or your paint is NOT like a protective layer of impermeable plastic. Brake dust will NOT get UNDER the wax. When the wheels get heated from the braking energy the wax softens to the point of becoming almost a liquid. Any dust that contacts the wax will be trapped and disbursed throughout the wax. Since the dust particles are generally larger in diameter than the thickness of the wax layer, a large percentage of the dust particles will be held in contact with the wheel’s surface.
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  #9  
Old 03-01-2005, 10:56 AM
wheelguy wheelguy is offline
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Something else to evaluate

Nick,
great job on the post. In 1997, I bought a 1995 840 added the M-style dual spoke wheels and ended up with a bad brake dust problem. I went to ceramic pads and lost some performance along with the dust and went back to soft pads because stopping is important sometimes. I then worked with a chemist to develop WheelWax (acutally a polymer, not a wax) and have been marketing it for 3 years now to fellow BMW drivers. I would be glad to send you a jar for your evaluation and you can find more information at www.wheelwax.com where you will also find my phone number for questions.

You are right about waxes melting and making matters worse. The polymers bond to the wheels, last longer and help protect the wheel surface. We combined three elements in our formula. A cleaner to remove old brake dust that is baked onto the wheel, amino functional silicones to seal the painted surface and an anti static element to help repel the dust. The rule of thumb these days is don't use anything to clean your wheels that you wouldn't use on your fenders. They are both covered with clear coats and can be damaged by acidic formulas. There is nothing in WheelWax that can harm paint or wheels. You can use it in the sun, leave it on for days and it comes off just as easily.

Send me an e-mail or call me and I will send you a jar for your evaluation. Hope this helps.

All the best,


Bruce

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick T.
Brake dust and its removal/prevention seems to be an ongoing problem for many detailers. Replacing your OEM brake pads with low-dust after market pads will reduce the dust problem, but so far as I know there are no pads that will eliminate brake dust. This still leaves us with the problem of dealing the dust.

There are many special wheel cleaner products on the market, each with its own hype and its loyal band of followers. I don’t endorse nor recommend any of the special wheel cleaner products because I don’t think that they are needed and I haven’t used them for a long, long time.

I use a secret wheel treatment that allows me to clean off the brake dust usually using nothing more than a cotton towel and a spritz of distilled water - - only occasionally do I need to add a little car shampoo to the water - - and heavier pressure than lightly wiping is never needed.

A year or two ago all of the wildly differing suggestions/recommendations on this and other detailing forums led me to do some comparative experimenting. I started by doing a thorough cleaning and polishing of all four wheels, then applied one recommended product to the left side wheels and another product to the right side wheels. After driving for awhile I would then compare the dust accumulation on each side and the ease (or difficulty) of removal. Another thorough cleaning, the winning product on the opposite side and a new product on the other side.

It didn’t take long to realize that all of the carnauba waxes attracted a lot of dust and were difficult to clean without using a special cleaning product and/or a lot of scrubbing. Closer examination and a little experimenting showed that with even fairly light braking the wheels heated enough to soften even the best carnauba. The heat softened wax retains a great deal more dust than an unwaxed area! Quite a bit of the retained brake dust is trapped under the surface of the wax and cannot be removed without removing the wax.

Progressing on to the synthetic protectants showed a marked improvement - - much less dust retention and much easier cleaning. The “combination” synthetics such as Blackfire and Platinum UPP did not do as well as the “pure” synthetics such as Klasse and Zaino. Zaino attracted/retained slightly less dust than Klasse, but IMO Klasse was the product of choice because of its ease of application.

Recently I decided that it was time to compare my winners to some of the new (to me) products. As expected the carnaubas were poor perfomers, and the combination synthetics such as NXT and Wolfgang did not come up to the level of the pure synthetics. Menzerna was as good or maybe slightly better that Klasse for dust retention, and was easier to clean that either Klasse or Zaino.

I think that I will continue to use Klasse on my wheels and not switch to Menzerna because if you’re not very careful when applying Menzerna it’s easy to leave too much product on the wheels - - and this can lead to pink stains that are very difficult to remove.

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  #10  
Old 03-01-2005, 11:42 AM
rruiter rruiter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelguy
Nick,
great job on the post. In 1997, I bought a 1995 840 added the M-style dual spoke wheels and ended up with a bad brake dust problem. I went to ceramic pads and lost some performance along with the dust and went back to soft pads because stopping is important sometimes. I then worked with a chemist to develop WheelWax (acutally a polymer, not a wax) and have been marketing it for 3 years now to fellow BMW drivers. I would be glad to send you a jar for your evaluation and you can find more information at www.wheelwax.com where you will also find my phone number for questions.

You are right about waxes melting and making matters worse. The polymers bond to the wheels, last longer and help protect the wheel surface. We combined three elements in our formula. A cleaner to remove old brake dust that is baked onto the wheel, amino functional silicones to seal the painted surface and an anti static element to help repel the dust. The rule of thumb these days is don't use anything to clean your wheels that you wouldn't use on your fenders. They are both covered with clear coats and can be damaged by acidic formulas. There is nothing in WheelWax that can harm paint or wheels. You can use it in the sun, leave it on for days and it comes off just as easily.

Send me an e-mail or call me and I will send you a jar for your evaluation. Hope this helps.

All the best,


Bruce
Bruce, I bought your wheelwax and it does not seem to do anything more compared to other waxes. Haveyou actually done tests on how it holds up ?

thanks
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  #11  
Old 08-10-2006, 02:49 PM
editwizard editwizard is offline
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bad BAD brake dust... help!

I just bought a 2001 330i and one of the gorgeous rims is just riddled with dark brown brake dust - I mean REALLY caked on there so thick - so bad that it will not budge with several different so-called 'no scrub' brake dust 'dissolving' sprays. I've tried full strength simple green and something from Eagle I think.

I can take my key and scrape a bit of it off but obviously this isn't going to be good for the wheel. I've tried 3 different brushes of varying strength and it just sits there, laughing, taunting me. I'm thinking about even trying a small plastic paint scraper!?

Anyone have any tips for getting this gunk off?
Help!
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2005, 11:46 AM
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Nick T. Nick T. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelguy
[snip] …. You are right about waxes melting and making matters worse. The polymers bond to the wheels, last longer and help protect the wheel surface. We combined three elements in our formula. A cleaner to remove old brake dust that is baked onto the wheel, amino functional silicones to seal the painted surface and an anti static element to help repel the dust. The rule of thumb these days is don't use anything to clean your wheels that you wouldn't use on your fenders. They are both covered with clear coats and can be damaged by acidic formulas. There is nothing in WheelWax that can harm paint or wheels. You can use it in the sun, leave it on for days and it comes off just as easily.

Send me an e-mail or call me and I will send you a jar for your evaluation. Hope this helps.

All the best,
Bruce
Wheel Wax is one of the many wheel care products that I evaluated in my comparative testing. Although it may be the product of choice for some, for me it didn’t perform nearly as well as Zaino or Klasse.

I currently use Klasse on all three of my cars; Z3 and xB with silver gray wheels and MINI with white wheels. Normally a spritzing with Sonüs Acrylic Glanz and a wipe with a terry towel is all that is needed to remove all of the brake dust. Occasionally - - like after very spirited driving in the twisties where the brakes have gotten pretty hot - - there will be a few spots of dust that do not wipe off easily. In those cases I apply a little Klasse AIO and the dust comes right off with no problem. Every 1,000 miles or so I go over the entire wheel with AIO and top with two coats of Klasse HGSG.

On wheels it can be difficult to apply an appropriately thin layer of HGSG because of the odd shapes, crevices and curves, and this can make the HGSG hard to buff out. A spritz of Sonüs and a light rub with a MF towel takes care of the problem.

I’m perfectly satisfied with my Klasse method and cannot imagine an easier method - - until somebody develops a self-cleaning wheel.
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2005, 12:27 PM
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Mark_325i Mark_325i is offline
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I tried WheelWax and did not see any benefit. Klasse seems to make the dust adhere the least, IMO.

I was promised a refund on the wheelwax from the manufacturer but it never arrived. I just chucked it in the trash. $15 lesson.
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2006, 06:52 AM
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cjwheeling cjwheeling is offline
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Mikey will try anything once.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelguy
I then worked with a chemist to develop WheelWax (acutally a polymer, not a wax) and have been marketing it for 3 years now to fellow BMW drivers. I would be glad to send you a jar for your evaluation and you can find more information at www.wheelwax.com where you will also find my phone number for questions.

You are right about waxes melting and making matters worse. The polymers bond to the wheels, last longer and help protect the wheel surface. We combined three elements in our formula. A cleaner to remove old brake dust that is baked onto the wheel, amino functional silicones to seal the painted surface and an anti static element to help repel the dust. The rule of thumb these days is don't use anything to clean your wheels that you wouldn't use on your fenders. They are both covered with clear coats and can be damaged by acidic formulas. There is nothing in WheelWax that can harm paint or wheels. You can use it in the sun, leave it on for days and it comes off just as easily.

Send me an e-mail or call me and I will send you a jar for your evaluation. Hope this helps.

All the best,


Bruce
I'd like to try the product, but I have a question about the formula. You said that it has a cleaner and protectant built in? Has anyone else tried it yet. I'll volunteer, as I have just about given up trying to keep my 330 wheels clean.

cjwheeling
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2006, 09:05 AM
rruiter rruiter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjwheeling
I'd like to try the product, but I have a question about the formula. You said that it has a cleaner and protectant built in? Has anyone else tried it yet. I'll volunteer, as I have just about given up trying to keep my 330 wheels clean.

cjwheeling
I tried this stuff. It didn't make one difference. Used it once, didn't like it and never used it again. It seems like it's regular wax to me. I emailed the seller for a refund (they have a money back gaurantee), never heard back.
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Old 07-01-2007, 10:38 AM
x3r x3r is offline
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easy way to reduce brake dust

install reduced dust brake pads and then downshift manually (even if have auto tranny w/steptronic) to slow down the vehicle instead of using the brakes - you'll be surprised and what a difference it makes!
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Old 01-19-2009, 05:16 AM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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I use Zainl Clear Seal (ZCS) on mine and it works like a charm. Most often I just spray the wheels off. sometimes I wipe them down with Z6 and microfiber cloth. Best solution I know of...so far.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseysc1 View Post
I use Zainl Clear Seal (ZCS) on mine and it works like a charm. Most often I just spray the wheels off. sometimes I wipe them down with Z6 and microfiber cloth. Best solution I know of...so far.
How often do you apply ZCS?
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Old 01-28-2009, 04:04 AM
caseysc1 caseysc1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTG0507 View Post
How often do you apply ZCS?
First time I tried it was in Nov. last year. It's still working.
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  #20  
Old 02-03-2009, 08:02 PM
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has anyone tried Zaino AIO? If so what were your results? For the folks the used/bought rejex, how much did you use for your application per rim?
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  #21  
Old 03-01-2005, 12:39 PM
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What about ceramic brakes? Can they be used on BMWs?
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  #22  
Old 09-15-2005, 07:44 AM
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Has anyone tried these?

Wheel Shields
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Old 09-15-2005, 03:42 PM
Kelso Kelso is offline
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those things are actually bad for your braking performance even though they say it doesnt. not that you wont stop as fast , but your brakes arent cooling off like they need too. those things block dust from getting out and block cool air from coming in and hitting the brakes. i would never use them. its for lazy people who dont find it necessary to wipe their wheels when they wash there car
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Old 09-25-2005, 04:13 AM
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I'm starting to get some staining on my rims (the 5 spoke ones in post # 19) and am wondering what I can do to remove/prevent this from happening before it gets out of hand. I wash my car every week so there's not a lot of buildup. I don't understand why this is happening. Please help
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  #25  
Old 09-25-2005, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zentenn
I'm starting to get some staining on my rims (the 5 spoke ones in post # 19) and am wondering what I can do to remove/prevent this from happening before it gets out of hand. I wash my car every week so there's not a lot of buildup. I don't understand why this is happening. Please help
My experience with stock BMW pads is that they dust heavily in one day. They work great on the street and are rotor-friendly, but they produce a lot of dust. On the street, I now run Axxis Deluxe Plus pads, which dust a lot less. Audi pads are the same, they dust heavily. I'm assuming it's a TUV thing with pad content.

I'm back to using Wheel Wax on my wheels, instead of RejeX. It's a time thing; it's very easy to apply, dries quickly (and changes color in the process), and is easy to buff. Easy enough to do almost every time I wash the car. It's worked well for me over the last year or so. I wind up cleaning my wheels thoroughly at each washing anyway (often involving tar remover, which removes wax), so an easy-to-apply product fits my needs.

I might be crazy, but with stock pads you have to clean your wheels almost daily to keep them free of brake dust. It was annoying me when working on the rear of the car (brake dust everywhere, even up on my trunk lid). Hence the pad change.
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