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Thread: Pitted wheels from brake dust......and a few other ?'s...

          
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    Pitted wheels from brake dust......and a few other ?'s...

    I've been trying to clean up my wheels, but it looks like the brake dust has pitted them. Is there anything special that I can use to remove or clean the small dark spots? I guess it's from neglect, but I usually try to keep the rims clean. Any ideas? My wheels are the stock alloy wheels on a 95 Maxmia SE. They look like this: http://www.wheelcollision.com/wccpix/62319.jpg , except, they're somewhat pitted around the inside corner. If I could get those trouble spots, the wheels would look excellent. I found this from another site, maybe y'all can make something out of it: Machined=glossy; Full face=painted. Machined with silver vents. I don't know if that means clear-coated or not.......hope this helps!


    Also, I recently purchased (don't laugh) some detailing microfiber towels from Costco, and want to know if I can use them without scratching the car (or creating swirl marks). It says that it won't scratch, and that they're for polishing/wax removal.....but These have a combination of 80% microfiber, to 20% polyester. They felt better than the 70/30 combo MF towel that I bought from target (that I only use for the interior). I've put-off buying real MF towels because I didn't want to wait on an internet purchase to arrive.....might as well have done it, by now.... Thanks for your help!

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    Registered Member rjstaaf's Avatar
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    What have you tried on the rims so far? I usually Meguiars APC + on mine for stubborn stains but, that might be hard to find. You could try Meguiars Hot Rims wheel cleaner, you should be able to find that at just about any auto parts store. Use it with a soft brush and you should be good to go.

    As to the microfiber try rubbing it on an old CD. Use about the same pressure you would use to remove wax from your paint. Do not rub hard as even the best microfiber will scratch paint if you rub hard enough. If it scratches the CD than you might not want to use it on your paint. Today's clearcote is actually harder to scratch than a CD but, this a good test that will leave you a bit of a safety margin.
    Bob
    2001 Laser Red Mustang GT Coupe
    Click Here for pics of my Mustang

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    Thanks for the quick reply, RJ........I've probably gone about this all wrong. I started with the bug-scrubber side of my small wash pad with my regular car wash solution. I washed them again, and then waxed them with some Mother's wheel cleaner that I had laying around. I buffed it out, and it looks great, except for the pitting in the slots of the wheel. I'll be going to pick up the Hot Wheels tonight after work. Any other ideas that anyone would suggest? The small dark spots probably go unnoticed by everyone else, but it would really help brighten the wheel to get rid of them.

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    Registered Member rjstaaf's Avatar
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    If you did wax the wheels it might take a bit to get the brake dust out of those pits since they are sealed in with wax now. You might need something a bit stronger to remove the wax so you can get to the brake dust. Hot Rims is a pretty mild cleaner.
    Bob
    2001 Laser Red Mustang GT Coupe
    Click Here for pics of my Mustang

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    Registered Member KTruck's Avatar
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    Hi:

    I've been trying to clean up my wheels, but it looks like the brake dust has pitted them. Is there anything special that I can use to remove or clean the small dark spots? I guess it's from neglect, but I usually try to keep the rims clean. Any ideas?


    The first thing you need to do is determine if they are clear coated or not. This really controls what you can use on them. If they are clear coated it is paint and you can easily dull or damage the wheel with a strong cleaner. Regardless of the product I am using on a wheel I never let it try on the wheel. Also, the wheel should be cold and out of the Sun.

    I had a similar situation on some clear coated wheels, thought they were pitted. It turned out to be a combination of baked on brake dust as well as some road tar. In my case the baked on brake dust had formed small black spots that at first look appeared to be pits.

    I had the best luck with Meguiar’s Gold Class Instant Wheel Cleaner; it was in a red bottle. It took a number of product applications and a little time but it got off all the spots.

    After a good cleaning I waxed them with NXT, hope it will make keeping them clean a lot easiler.


    Your mileage may vary.

    Good Luck.

    KTruck

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    Registered Member rjstaaf's Avatar
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    Just keep in mind that Meguiars Gold Class instant wheel cleaner is NOT recommended for uncoated aluminum rims. That is why I recommended Hot Rims, it is safe for all rims and is the milder of the two wheel cleaners.
    Bob
    2001 Laser Red Mustang GT Coupe
    Click Here for pics of my Mustang

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    Registered Member KTruck's Avatar
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    Hi again:

    Bob is 100 % correct.

    If you go with the instant cleaner read the bottle.

    I feel it is better with the brake dust but can not be used on all wheel types. Know your wheels before attempting to clean them.

    Your mileage may vary.

    KTruck

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    I believe that the wheels are clearcoated. The wheel description on a few sites that I've visited said that the face was painted, but how will that affect how I treat the wheel? Could I use the "Gold Class All Metal Restorer", or will that strip the clearcoat? I noticed that it removes oxidation & contains microabrasives..............Has anyone ever tried claying their wheels? It could possibly be tar - I really don't know. When I clayed my car, I thought it was in pretty bad condition, but after I was finished........the paint was in excellent shape. Might be the same way for the wheels? Thanks for everyone's help thus far - my car thanks you as well.

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    Registered Member rjstaaf's Avatar
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    I would follow the general rule that you want to start with the very least agressive product first and if that does not work, only then move on to something more agressive. Hot Rims is perfectly safe for your wheels. Give it a try with a soft brush. My only concern is that if you applied a wax that may need to be removed before you can get to the brake dust.
    Bob
    2001 Laser Red Mustang GT Coupe
    Click Here for pics of my Mustang

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    I know that many here don't approve the use of Dawn on paint finishes, but what about wheel application to strip the wax? Is there anything else that y'all would suggest?

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