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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:15 AM
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clspruiell clspruiell is offline
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Excessive Brake Dust 335i

I washed my car yesterday and already there is VERY NOTICABLE brake dust on the wheels. This is alot more than any other care ive had. Driving conditions are similar.

Is this normal? I really dont want to wipe them down every night. I cant figure out how to keep these thigns clean.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:17 AM
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Welcome to the BMW brakes. Superior braking power. Superior dust.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:18 AM
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clspruiell clspruiell is offline
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Ok so this is normal and just a headache? If so thats fine. Are there any tricks?? I wish there was a wheel cleaning robot to roam around my garage at night. If I had kids i would include this on their list of chores
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:20 AM
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hpowders hpowders is offline
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It's normal AND a headache. Same deal with the 328i.
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The E90 sedan is the last in the line of great 4 door 3 Series BMW's. Too bad.

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  #5  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:20 AM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Yesterday, I went by the BMW dealer and he tried to overcharge me for service. Is that a normal part of BMW ownership?

(P.S. Many posters here have had good luck with Armor All wheel sealant, available at any auto parts store. It is not a cure but two coats will greatly reduce dust build up. Others seal their wheels with some kind of polymer sealant - like Klasse or Rejex. I do not recommend "wheel wax" though, which is expensive and not particularly effective)
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  #6  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:22 AM
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clspruiell clspruiell is offline
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Ok i think i will try the armor all. of course im not grandma driver either. but wow its alot worse than other cars ive had. I wonder if the dealership sells anything. I was thinking about using the BMW interior wipes. I think they have BMW ones.

Any suggestions for dash wipes/interior wipes? i want clean, not greasy
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:23 AM
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As KT said you can get some stuff to put on your rims but that only delays the inevitable by a few days. You will either have to settle for brake dust cured rims or clean a lot. I typically clean them when I was the car (you don't want the dust to bake into the rims). Hopefully yours are easy to clean (mine are a pain).
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  #8  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:23 AM
energetik9 energetik9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clspruiell View Post
I washed my car yesterday and already there is VERY NOTICABLE brake dust on the wheels. This is alot more than any other care ive had. Driving conditions are similar.

Is this normal? I really dont want to wipe them down every night. I cant figure out how to keep these thigns clean.
Normal for BMW's. You can try wheelwax as an option. Makes cleaning easier.
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:27 AM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Wheelwax is just a re badged polymer sealant and not a particularly good one at that. I've actually found the Armour All product to work a lot better. I realize Armour All is a garden variety product that you can get at Target or Wal-Mart but it actually does a better job than the more expensive boutique products.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:30 AM
slybmw80 slybmw80 is offline
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I live the wheel wax products but unfortunately it mainly works on chrome so I started using it on my motorcycle instead....easiest way to get rid of brake dust is to have your pads changed out to a performance pad where, don't quote me on this but its either a more metallic pad or ceramic pad......pretty sure its the metallic one...but I can't remember of the top of my head...then brake dust virtually disappears.

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  #11  
Old 01-05-2011, 09:58 AM
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I waxed my wheels with plain old Turtle Wax liquid which was a pain in the ass, but future clean-ups are much easier.
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2011, 10:00 AM
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Those treatments just postpone the inevitable-but that in itself is well worth it.
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The E90 sedan is the last in the line of great 4 door 3 Series BMW's. Too bad.

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  #13  
Old 01-05-2011, 10:43 AM
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Having owned 3 BMW's (and a M-B before that), I've found that normal weekly washing of the wheels along with the rest of the car avoids most dust buildup. I've rarely needed to do a heavy duty wheel cleaning. Now, I'm somewhat of a clean freak, but I'm not talking about cleaning the inner surfaces of the wheels, around the inner rim, but the normal parts that people generally see.
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  #14  
Old 01-05-2011, 12:02 PM
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There is a lengthy thread somewhere on this forum that discusses this topic at length and discusses at length the products to use to minimize the dust. Do a search. If you're lucky, Nordic Kat will chime in on this. She's the queen of detailing.
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Last edited by LarkHouston; 01-05-2011 at 04:26 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-05-2011, 12:11 PM
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It is not just BMW's - VW/Audi has the same soft pads. So bad on my '99 Passat I changed the pads to Mintex Redbox at 4,000 miles! In that case I felt the performance was as good, though I'm sure there is some good reason why the OEM pads are so dusty.

I read recently that the new (2011) cars have way less dust. I can't say for sure since the wheels are different, but it does seem as though my '11 335d wheels get less dirty than my '06 330i did. Then again I did apply wheel wax.
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  #16  
Old 01-05-2011, 02:08 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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My friend's Q7, from a distance, has wheels that look like they were painted black. They weren't, they just get completely covered in dust, and quickly.

I recommend three things for cleaning wheels:

Sonax ($$ but half price in bulk)
good wheel brush (inexpensive)
Armor All Wheel Protectant (inexpensive)

I used soap/water at first for a while (so gross), then tried Rejex as a protectant (much more work to apply than AA and it doesn't work as well either it appears to me).

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 01-05-2011 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:17 PM
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My 2011 335is does not have the same brake dust problems as you describe, while our '08 535xi does. My '09 ZO6 and the 2011 S4 also have the heavy brake dust issues.

I may be wrong, but I think BMW has changed the brake pad composition for the 2011's, fortunately. I hope they start offering refits with the new pads for our 535xi, but the parts department I checked with does not have any knowledge of any changes?
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clspruiell View Post
Ok i think i will try the armor all. of course im not grandma driver either. but wow its alot worse than other cars ive had...
I take it as this is your first European car? All European car makers use graphite-based pads, hence dirty wheels. Japanese cars' wheels look cleaner because their pads are different (does not mean they do not shed brake dust - it just is lighter). But who would you rather trust as far as braking is concerned?
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:34 PM
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clspruiell clspruiell is offline
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Originally Posted by vadim View Post
I take it as this is your first European car? All European car makers use graphite-based pads, hence dirty wheels. Japanese cars' wheels look cleaner because their pads are different (does not mean they do not shed brake dust - it just is lighter). But who would you rather trust as far as braking is concerned?
My last car was a Saab 9-3. The brake dust was not substantial until after a couple of weeks. And ive never heard a complaint about japanese breaking haha.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:35 PM
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I use Klasse. Cleaning and waxing wheels takes forever.

You could also try using engine braking for the bulk of your stopping. That helps a lot, saves brake wear and tear (my computer says my front pads will go 90k city miles), and saves gas (fuel is shut off under engine braking). If you do it with aggressive downshifts rather than just coasting though, make sure you touch your brake a little to turn the brake lights on.

I normally just coast up to red lights, and often don't have to use the brakes until I'm going 15-20 mph.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:37 PM
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clspruiell clspruiell is offline
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I guess i could try engine braking (esp since i have an MT). but not with passengers. i HATE when people do that. i also heard that the reverse pressure on the engine is bad for it.

is downshifting really recommended?
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarkHouston View Post
There is a lengthy thread somewhere on this forum that discusses this topic at length and discusses at length the products to use to minimize the dust. Do a search. If your lucky, Nordic Kat will chime in on this. She's the queen of detailing.
If you insist.....

My regimen is 1) start with clean wheels, 2) go to the time and effort to apply Rejex 3) apply two coats of Armor All Wheel Protectant everytime car is washed.

This is after a two weeks of driving in rain and all sorts of junk:




This is fresh after washing the car - and no, I don't have to scrub - I just use a small sponge and a daytona wheel brush with soapy water to wash my wheels.




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Old 01-05-2011, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clspruiell View Post
My last car was a Saab 9-3. The brake dust was not substantial until after a couple of weeks. And ive never heard a complaint about japanese breaking haha.
Sorry, I left the Saab out. I had a Volvo S70 - its brakes were just as dusty as my BMW's.

Japanese cars' breaking - I admit they are more reliable than European cars.

As for braking - German cars are built for autobahns, Japanese are not. Graphite is being used there for a reason. It sure affects the aesthetics, but they have not found a better alternative, or they would have been using it by now.
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Last edited by vadim; 01-05-2011 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:43 PM
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clspruiell clspruiell is offline
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that looks great Nordic! so you clean the wheels and let them dry.. apply Rejex (whatever that is sorry im new), then apply AA to the wheel?
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:45 PM
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Eights-n-Aces Eights-n-Aces is offline
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Some feel they've had success with the Armor All spray. I'm not sure how they gauge clean. My own experience was the Armor All was a waste of money. But, all in all it was an easy spray-on application and a low cost. I would be more upset if I spent a lot of effort in application and then got poor results. Give it a try, and run it for a week. Spray it off with water and see if it works. But, my guess is, if you run your finger across the wheel after you rinse off the brake dust, you'll see a noticeable streak.
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