Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted? {PICS}

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lukeallison
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Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted? {PICS}

Post by lukeallison » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:47 am

Hi,
I've read a lot of posts here regarding cleaning products for cleaning alloy wheels but still a bit confused. The discussion largely seems to be about products that won't react to the alloy or other metals surrounding the wheel while still removing the build up of brake dust (which is metal) and grease from the rim.

I'm yet to buy any products and start cleaning the rims as I'm not sure what surface I'm actually cleaning. Aren't these rims painted and then sealed with a clear coat? Therefore, shouldn't I be looking for a product that has favourable properties for the clear coat, rather than focusing on the aluminium sealed beneath it?

I'm a little lost and worried I'll damage something before I start cleaning. I'd really appreciate any guidance as to what the surface of these rims are and the safest cleaner to use.

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Last edited by lukeallison on Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by Nottsknots » Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:18 am

Yes those are painted, but its all to easy to develop small cracks and pores that allow any chemicals to get throughh to the alloy. Do not use acid based cleaners: I did on my 5er and slowly ruined the rather nice alloys on that.

The “grease” on there looks like brake fluid to me. Get all the hoses and connections checked as well.

Most of the grime should wash off with standard car washing products. To get at the iron fallout (worn off the brake discs as they get hot and scraped with the pads) use a fallout remover like IronX - there are quite a few out there, that basically convert the iron particles into a water soluble compound that tends to be bright pink. Looks very impressive and really cleans wheels like washing alone just cant.

One of the key steps I have found is after iron removal and washing, is to reseal the paint. Plenty of products recommended by others; I think I’ve got a pot of Poorboys wheel sealant in the garage (for when my car isnt actually hauling along some motorway, and I eventually get around to cleaning it - which isnt very often at the moment). Makes it so much easier to rinse them in between deep cleans.
E87 118d, stock, plus PDC control unit drain, Parrot, debadged, Mothercare baby shades (but no babies), and occassionally a good layer of wax. Instantly forgettable, and thats the way I like it.

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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by marco_polo » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:47 am

Bilt Hamber Korrosol or Bilt Hamber Auto Wheel should have those looking good in no time.

As Nottsknots says, avoid the acid based rubbish.
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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by lukeallison » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:05 am

Wow. I just wrote a long reply, hit send and then I was told to log in again and my message was gone.

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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by lukeallison » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:14 am

I'll give a brief version of what my lost message said...

Thanks for the replies. I got impatient and used a "wet ones" body wipe on a section of one of the worst rims and the result was brilliant, however once I realised the degreasing power was becoming stronger the more I used it, I got cold feet and stopped using it. These wipes contain citric acid so I suspect I was creating aluminium oxide. I gave the rim a good rinse off with soapy water and will stick to your suggested product instead.

Thanks for the heads up about a possible brake fluid leak. This would suck as I purchased the car a week ago after it went in for an inspection/ service. On that note, I have noticed a circular patch on the garage floor where the dirt/ grease on the floor has separated. At a guess I'd say it's directly below the rear centre of the engine bay.

Please be condensation from the aircon and not something sinister like a power steering leak!

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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by lukeallison » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:19 am

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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by robsaboy » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:34 am

BH Auto Wheel and a clay bar for the stubborn bits :)
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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by Nottsknots » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:41 am

Brakes may be fine. The crud on the wheels may be old, so any leak may have already been fixed, but without the right cleaning, its a bu&&er to get off.

The patch on the floor is probably in the right location for aircon condensate. Check it out, but dont worry until you know theres a problem :)

If you get the login in again thing, just login, then back button a few times to get back to where you were typing and your text should still be there. Gets everyone at some point, that little “feature” of the site. Used to drive me mad til I found the back button trick.
E87 118d, stock, plus PDC control unit drain, Parrot, debadged, Mothercare baby shades (but no babies), and occassionally a good layer of wax. Instantly forgettable, and thats the way I like it.

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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by lukeallison » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:52 am

Ok so to clean off grease/ accumulated brake dust/ scunge I should use Bilt Hamber Korrosol/ Auto Wheel/ IronX and a clay bar. Then a wax/ sealant will help protect the accumulation and stains from occurring again. Yeah?

The rims look a little dull, so is there a polish I can use to get some depth and sheen or should the products above do the job? :?:
Last edited by lukeallison on Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by robsaboy » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:05 am

Auto Wheel is iron remover / wheel cleaner in one. It's their Korrosol with degreasers and clings a bit better - don't use on paintwork. Korrosol can be used all over the car. https://www.bilthamber.com/auto-wheel
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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by marco_polo » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:21 am

The Bilt Hamber products are like a good version of IronX.

I used to use IronX, but it smells worse and isn't as good value.
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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by nivens » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:42 am

I bought a set in pretty much the same condition as winters a few years ago, in the end it took a combination of auto wheel, tardis and a bit of acidic wheel cleaner to get them clean but the clearcoat was ruined underneath the baked on gunk. Since they were winters I just stuck a coat of sealant on them to make cleaning easier in future and used them but they really needed a refurb to look good.
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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by lukeallison » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:32 pm

nivens wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:42 am
I bought a set in pretty much the same condition as winters a few years ago, in the end it took a combination of auto wheel, tardis and a bit of acidic wheel cleaner to get them clean but the clearcoat was ruined underneath the baked on gunk. Since they were winters I just stuck a coat of sealant on them to make cleaning easier in future and used them but they really needed a refurb to look good.
I fear I'm destined for this scenario. The previous driver seems to have parked by feel so each rim has at least one scratch that goes through the clear. I guess I'll remove all the gunk and see what I'm dealing with before deciding on the next step. Perhaps getting them resurfaced will be worth it then I can repair the damage while I'm at it.

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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted?

Post by lukeallison » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:13 am

Update: I planned on buying a range of Bilt Hamber products to do a full detail on the wheels but Bilt Hamber products do not exist in Australia at the moment. I have some on back order for December. I figured I better clean off any contaminants that are eating into my clear coat so I bought some Maguires Ultimate Wheel Cleaner. Same active ingredient as other fallout removers, non-acidic. It did a brilliant job to the point where I'm questioning my Bilt Hamber Autowheel purchase.

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It removed 3/4 of what I hoped it would. 1. Grease, 2. Stuck-on brake dust, 3. Embedded brake dust stains. Unfortunately it didn't remove any of the black pitting in the wheels, which is the main thing I wanted to remove.
Image

What do you guys think this pitting consists of? Is it tar?

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Re: Cleaning advice for heavily neglected rims - are these painted? {PICS}

Post by marco_polo » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:43 am

Looks ferrous to me, I'd hit them again with your Meg's purple bleeding product, agitating with a toothbrush (or similar plastic brush).
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