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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Dirty, dirty wheels



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      08-14-2012, 11:46 PM   #1
iCraig
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Dirty, dirty wheels

Just picked up my first BMW.. 2008 328i. Love it already; fantastic and much better than the C230 that it replaced.

Anyway.. the car is pretty much spotless, inside and out, except for the wheels. Apparently the previous owner never washed them or did so very rarely. I used Turtle Wax Platinum and a good portion of the grime and brake dust came off, but a couple of the wheels have what appear to be some set in stains from the grime, or perhaps it's just some really tough grime/film.. in any case, Turtle Wax Platinum doesn't want to get that to come off.

I've scrubbed at it with a wheel brush and some soap and water, a sponge, etc, nothing seems to do the trick. I'm thinking perhaps I need a better wheel cleaner to get the stuff off. In my research on the forum I see Sonax/BMW cleaner is supposed to be pretty damn good, but was also reading about Iron X.

Basically I'm wondering if you guys thought either might do the trick, or you have something else for the more stubborn wheel grime issues that you'd recommend? I just want to get these things spotless, wax them up, and keep them pristine from here on out.

Thanks!

Last edited by iCraig; 08-14-2012 at 11:52 PM.
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      08-15-2012, 12:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iCraig View Post
Just picked up my first BMW.. 2008 328i. Love it already; fantastic and much better than the C230 that it replaced.

Anyway.. the car is pretty much spotless, inside and out, except for the wheels. Apparently the previous owner never washed them or did so very rarely. I used Turtle Wax Platinum and a good portion of the grime and brake dust came off, but a couple of the wheels have what appear to be some set in stains from the grime, or perhaps it's just some really tough grime/film.. in any case, Turtle Wax Platinum doesn't want to get that to come off.

I've scrubbed at it with a wheel brush and some soap and water, a sponge, etc, nothing seems to do the trick. I'm thinking perhaps I need a better wheel cleaner to get the stuff off. In my research on the forum I see Sonax/BMW cleaner is supposed to be pretty damn good, but was also reading about Iron X.

Basically I'm wondering if you guys thought either might do the trick, or you have something else for the more stubborn wheel grime issues that you'd recommend? I just want to get these things spotless, wax them up, and keep them pristine from here on out.

Thanks!

Maybe you need this

http://www.carbrite.com/products/Ext...rs/Wheel-Acid/
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      08-15-2012, 02:06 AM   #3
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Take some pictures for us, it'd help a lot!
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      08-15-2012, 08:42 AM   #4
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Sure. Was kinda late last night. Took some this morning when I got into the office. I have how grimy they look even after the work I did trying to clean them up.
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      08-15-2012, 08:42 AM   #5
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Sorry about the massive size. If they're too big, let me know, I can resize and reupload.
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      08-15-2012, 08:54 AM   #6
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Try Sonax and letting it sit, followed by iron cut or similar. I would avoid acid based cleaners. Also some of that may be etched into the clear and not removable. Refinishing is suprisingly cheap. Hit up a mobile wheel repair place.
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      08-15-2012, 10:05 AM   #7
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Sonax and p21s.
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      08-15-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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Something like Eagle One A2Z, Sonax, P21S etc.... followed by IronX, polish and wax/sealant/LSP for prevention of recurrence.
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      08-15-2012, 12:45 PM   #9
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refinish those...its going to take a lot of work, and probably something like meguiars wheel brightener to remove that buildup from the wheels.

sonax with a long dwell time (in the shade) might work

sonax, let dwell, agitate, respray sonax and let dwell again, agitate and then finally rinse off. I've let sonax sit on wheels for 10 min before on bmws to get the last 10% removed
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      08-15-2012, 01:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Envious Eric View Post
refinish those...its going to take a lot of work, and probably something like meguiars wheel brightener to remove that buildup from the wheels.


From what I've seen IronX do, it'll take care of that in miraculously short time with the addition of a soft brush. IronX does stuff that wheel cleaners cannot.

http://cquartz.com/index.php?option=...n-cut&catid=37
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      08-15-2012, 02:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Envious Eric View Post
refinish those...its going to take a lot of work, and probably something like meguiars wheel brightener to remove that buildup from the wheels.

sonax with a long dwell time (in the shade) might work

sonax, let dwell, agitate, respray sonax and let dwell again, agitate and then finally rinse off. I've let sonax sit on wheels for 10 min before on bmws to get the last 10% removed
I'd like to avoid paying to refinish, if possible. I think I'll give Iron X/Sonax a shot first. Can't really hurt to try and it's fairly inexpensive compared to having wheels refinished.

Much appreciated folks. I'm going to see if I can find a place to pick up Iron X and sonax today and give this a shot. I'll get some after shots and we'll see how it turns out.
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      08-15-2012, 02:53 PM   #12
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That is going to take a product like Megs Wheel Brightener. The ph-neutral wheel cleaners won't have enough power to get the job done.
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      08-15-2012, 03:30 PM   #13
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Sadly, I was in New Jersey for 2 months this summer and my mom drove my car a little bit, but I cant blame her for it. She didn't drive it too much but enough for dust to build up. It sat in the garage and after finally cleaning my wheels today, I have the same deal but not as bad as that. I used some mothers mag polish and that lightened it up a bit so I would assume the other products would work for me?
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      08-15-2012, 04:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otruba_843 View Post
Sadly, I was in New Jersey for 2 months this summer and my mom drove my car a little bit, but I cant blame her for it. She didn't drive it too much but enough for dust to build up. It sat in the garage and after finally cleaning my wheels today, I have the same deal but not as bad as that. I used some mothers mag polish and that lightened it up a bit so I would assume the other products would work for me?
Do you have stock wheels?
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      08-15-2012, 05:18 PM   #15
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Do you have stock wheels?
Well when i bought the car used, they were the upgrade from the little 16 inch rims. I think they are 17's
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      08-15-2012, 06:16 PM   #16
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But they are BMW wheels? Nonetheless, you should not be using Mother's Mag polish on wheels that are not bare aluminum. Are they painted/clearcoated?

My personal opinion on the botique wheel cleaners is: Don't bother, especially on oem painted and clearcoated wheels.

While they are safe, I've never found them to offer any more cleaning ability than an APC (all purpose cleaner). I personally use Duragloss APC diluted 1:10 with water and a dedicated wash mit for routine wheel cleaning.
If you need something with real cleaning power, a product like Megs Wheel Brightener diluted with water 1:3 is untouched in cleaning power by P21s, Sonnax etc. I've never had trouble with megs Brightener on any painted/clearcoated wheels, but please know it is basically acid. I would not recommend it for routine cleaning.

Just for comparison:
A 16.9 oz. bottle of Sonnax is about $15.00
1 gallon of Megs Wheel Brightener is about $15.00. Per the recommended dilution ratio, it makes 3 gallons.
1 gallon of Optimum Power Clean (APC) is about $35. By all accounts this is a very effective and safe cleaner - even on paint. Per the recommended dilution ratio, it makes 3 gallons.
1 gallon of Duragloss or Megs D103 APC is about $15.00. You can adjust dilution to your cleaning needs, but 10:1 works great for me on wheels with the Duragloss. $15.00 for 10 gallons is tough to beat.
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      08-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biz77 View Post
But they are BMW wheels? Nonetheless, you should not be using Mother's Mag polish on wheels that are not bare aluminum. Are they painted/clearcoated?

My personal opinion on the botique wheel cleaners is: Don't bother, especially on oem painted and clearcoated wheels.

While they are safe, I've never found them to offer any more cleaning ability than an APC (all purpose cleaner). I personally use Duragloss APC diluted 1:10 with water and a dedicated wash mit for routine wheel cleaning.
If you need something with real cleaning power, a product like Megs Wheel Brightener diluted with water 1:3 is untouched in cleaning power by P21s, Sonnax etc. I've never had trouble with megs Brightener on any painted/clearcoated wheels, but please know it is basically acid. I would not recommend it for routine cleaning.

Just for comparison:
A 16.9 oz. bottle of Sonnax is about $15.00
1 gallon of Megs Wheel Brightener is about $15.00. Per the recommended dilution ratio, it makes 3 gallons.
1 gallon of Optimum Power Clean (APC) is about $35. By all accounts this is a very effective and safe cleaner - even on paint. Per the recommended dilution ratio, it makes 3 gallons.
1 gallon of Duragloss or Megs D103 APC is about $15.00. You can adjust dilution to your cleaning needs, but 10:1 works great for me on wheels with the Duragloss. $15.00 for 10 gallons is tough to beat.
Alright thanks. Can i get wheel brightener at auto zone or O'Reilly or do i have to order it online?
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      08-15-2012, 06:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otruba_843 View Post
Alright thanks. Can i get wheel brightener at auto zone or O'Reilly or do i have to order it online?

Not at autoparts retailers, but many auto paint supply shops carry the Meguiars detailing line.
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      08-21-2012, 04:33 PM   #19
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Clay and elbow grease will get those clean, if you want to spend the time. SO much easier if you actually take the wheel off and do it on a raised platform, then you can get both sides easily NAD get teh wheel wax on there as well. I was ready the first time to have mine recoated, but I had some clay laying around so WTF. Now I take all four off about twice a year, then cover liberally with Poor Boys Wheel Wax.
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      08-21-2012, 05:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Clay and elbow grease will get those clean, if you want to spend the time. SO much easier if you actually take the wheel off and do it on a raised platform, then you can get both sides easily NAD get teh wheel wax on there as well. I was ready the first time to have mine recoated, but I had some clay laying around so WTF. Now I take all four off about twice a year, then cover liberally with Poor Boys Wheel Wax.
Thanks! I tried a bit of clay and it was helping with the caked on brake dust, but not the other stains. I used some EagleOne cleaner and that helped out a bunch more. I'm going to give some clay another shot. I'm trying to also decide if I should find some Wheel Brightener or try Iron X first.
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