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E89 Z4 (2009 - current)

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  #1  
Old 06-05-2012, 05:09 AM
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Michael
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Salt corrosion

Hello, trying to get some feedback? I believe my Z4 has been driven along a beach and in salt water. It was never cleaned properly so there is lots of corrosion. Given that it was previously owned by BMW and I have had all of the brake callipers replaced it still has lots of corrosion. I took all of the wheels off and the hubs were badly corroded as are the discs. The lower swing arm has all of the protective paint peeling off, the hub areas on the wheels are all corroded (where the wheel attaches to the hub) etc etc this is to give you an idea of the extent!
I only bought the car in April 2012 with 5.5K on the clock and am in the process of understanding what I can do?
So does anyone have any experience of this type of corrosion and what can I expect??? Any assistance will be appreciated.....
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2012, 12:37 PM
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Michael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 645/333 View Post
Hello, trying to get some feedback? I believe my Z4 has been driven along a beach and in salt water. It was never cleaned properly so there is lots of corrosion. Given that it was previously owned by BMW and I have had all of the brake callipers replaced it still has lots of corrosion. I took all of the wheels off and the hubs were badly corroded as are the discs. The lower swing arm has all of the protective paint peeling off, the hub areas on the wheels are all corroded (where the wheel attaches to the hub) etc etc this is to give you an idea of the extent!
I only bought the car in April 2012 with 5.5K on the clock and am in the process of understanding what I can do?
So does anyone have any experience of this type of corrosion and what can I expect??? Any assistance will be appreciated.....

What I mean by being owned by BMW is just that, it was not sold new as BMW had owned it as one of their own cars for 18months, not even as we say in the UK pre registered. I noticed the rust on the callipers and with a degree of push from my own dealer, (not the one I purchased it from) and they agreed to change not as a warranty but as a gesture of goodwill, so I paid for part of the labour. I have argued that the discs where badly pitted but they would not do anything about it. When I decided to clean the discs I took off each wheel in turn and found the rust on the rest of the hubs and wheels. When I say rust it was some 2-3 mm deep and crusted, and when I started to clean it I noticed the sand/salt within it. Cannot believe my own dealer never said anything when they did the callipers, they even put grease on top, it is not surface rust!!! when I looked into the wheel arches, around the shock absorber mounts, they are orange in shade from the rust across all the unpainted areas.
Stupidly I used a dremel to clean up as much as possible, because I could not with all good intent leave it..... Now I wonder what other damage has been done eg will the hubs/wheel bearings fail earlier, as it could have been ingressed into the bearing, these are some of my questions??????
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2012, 02:06 PM
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Some amount of corrosion is normal on brake disks. 3mm deep on new car is a bit excessive.

Unprotected steel will rust. We only drive our van at the weekends and it sits outside. We live about 100m from the sea. Within a week the brakes are rusty. I have to leave the parking brake off or it will stick.

The grease helps keep the hubs from rusting. I wouldn't worry too much about rust on the discs. They are thick enough at the hubs to not rust though before you have to replace them.

The grit they put on the roads here is hard on cars. I've seen a lot of rust on the hubs and track rods on our UK cars. Nothing bad enough to cause a failure, but certainly enough to keep watch. Fortunately those are parts they look at during an MOT.

On a new car, rust 3mm deep on the hubs might be an issue. You probably shouldn't have taken a dremel to the hubs. BMW warranty isn't going to cover that. At this point there really isn't much you can do but wait and see if it is a problem.

The rest of the car should have corrosion protection. There isn't that much steel anyway. The suspension is aluminum. The front wheel arches are plastic composite.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 06-05-2012 at 02:10 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-06-2012, 03:47 AM
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Hi! Thanks for the reply, I appreciate surface rust and would expect it , here are some pics before the callipers were replaced.......the wheels are bubbly rusted where they touch the hub and a lovely orange and brown colour, as we know once corroded alloy wheels can only be cured by a refurb to bare metal.......
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:40 AM
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Yikes! That is a lot of rust.

I don't see anything dangerous but it is unsightly. Might be worth replacing the wheels bolts. Again just appearance but new ones would look better.

Most cars around here look like that after a winter of driving on gritted roads. At least they do if you don't wash the salt off. Our 2005 van looks much worse, but you can't see the brakes without taking the wheels off.

I've been cleaning the callipers on our Z every weekend. Dunno if I'm going to be able to keep that up during the winter.


At some point I may have to take the mounts off the hubs and have them powder coated.
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Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 06-06-2012 at 06:43 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-06-2012, 09:58 AM
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Hi, yes they look bad but you should have seen the hubs, really encrusted and the same on the hub section of the alloy wheels, plus all the protective paint is peeling off the lower swing arm !!! What concerns me is the penetration of the bearings, the impact on the shocks and rubber bushes which are actually filled with hydraulic oil........
I have complained in writing to BMW but you know what it is like once they have sold the car in the UK your stuffed without going to court, so if they replace things what should be looked at???
We don't have a lemon law !!!!!!!
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:40 PM
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It has been my experience that the oil filled bushings don't last very long. If you keep the car, you will probably want to replace the bushings and the suspension arms in a few years.

Even on our 43,000 mile 05 plate van, it was worth replacing the track rod ends.

I do hope nothing nasty has gotten into the wheel bearings. Only time will tell. If the bearings fail, you should be able to get them replaced under warranty.
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  #8  
Old 06-09-2012, 10:48 AM
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appreciate the comment, but as you know things Never fail during warranty, they always fail after when it is ones own pocket that gets hit .......my concern is accelerated problems due to the issues found.....
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 645/333 View Post
appreciate the comment, but as you know things Never fail during warranty, they always fail after when it is ones own pocket that gets hit .......my concern is accelerated problems due to the issues found.....
Bushings aren't really affected by salt...they're also a wear item that you'll be (should be) replacing anyways. Grease is normal, it actually protects against rust. Just wondering, if this concerns you so much, why did you purchase the car? Surely you could see the rusty calipers through the wheels
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:01 AM
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Michael
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You make an excellent comment !! Why? did I buy a car with rusty callipers.......I went against my own perceptions because given that I had bought the car from BMW main dealer and that the car had been owned and used by BMW themselves that any problems would be rectified without any issues...... secondly I had no idea as to the extent of the corrosion .... How many times have you taken the wheels off to check???? answers its own question really.
I am waiting for a response from the Dealer principle and will see what approach they intend to take...
The bottom line is I would never ever buy a car that had been through salt water etc etc....
What its harder was my 6 Series I traded in was a brilliant car and immaculate with 80k on the clock............................now I have a potential dog!!!! an attractive dog but a dog no less!!!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:06 AM
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Well here is an update for those who maybe interested??
Took my car to the selling dealer, they put my car on the ramps and removed all of the wheels.
They said that compared to other cars which they had on ramps, mine was in very good condition compared to other models either younger in age or relative mileage. So I went into the maintenance area and looked at a range of cars including a 6 series on a 2011 plate. The level of surface corrosion was appalling !!
What a mess each of the callipers were on the other cars, in fact I could not believe it unless I saw it with my own eyes!
They were implicit that the major cause of all the corrosion was the chemicals people use to clean their alloys which causes rust everywhere else, but they class it as surface rust!!!!
They showed me all of BMW bulletins on the issue.....
My comment was that my car was owned by BMW not someone else as a company car!!!!
So in highlighting all of this I have to admit something here !!!!! When I stripped all my wheels off I cleaned much of the encrusted rust of with a dremel in doing so I sprayed the bare metals with a special spray ACF50, WOW what a difference this has made, everything was covered in bright orange rust before I used this spray and when I got to the dealers I thought the car would clearly look the same..... how wrong I was!!! clearly you still had the result of corrosion ie damaged surfaces BUT there was no rust, no colouration etc.. completely sealed. So the head mechanic was looking at me like I was some form of nutter!!! In fact he knew I had used something....and commented.
Anyway it is not over yet as there is still corrosion on the inner wheel hubs and wheels but the rust is no longer active,,,

Finally what it did tell me is that the BMW callipers are very very prone to rusting and becoming unsightly and secondly no way in a million years will I use any other than BMW wheel cleaners....
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Last edited by 645/333; 06-15-2012 at 07:38 AM.
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