Bmw x3, Need Wheel cleaning tips

Discussion in 'Pre Wash, Wash, Decon, Claying, Engine, Wheels, an' started by m3_driven, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. m3_driven

    m3_driven Virgin Detailer

    Hi, I always look at all the awesome details on this site and decided to do a little detail of my own. I recently bought a 2006 X3 and the first thing I noticed is that the wheels sure do get a lot of brake dust on them. I picked up a "Wheel and tire cleaner" from the store so I thought I'd give it a try. I took off the wheels to clean the insides since I only had a small brush.I also used the spray on the wheel wells.

    Sorry for the crappy photos I used my Ipod.

    I would like to get some recommendations on a Better wheel cleaner that can take off the dust/grime that was baked on the wheel that i couldn't get off using the armor all brand. You cant see it in the pics but on the insides there was a tar like material stuck on which i couldn't get off. What do you guys recommend for that?
    Also what can I use to seal the rims after properly cleaning them?
    Any tips and products would be helpful. Thanks.



  2. Kilo6_one

    Kilo6_one DB Forum Supporter

    Zeps Orange APC
    Zeps Purple
    Chemical guys wheel cleaner

    that is what I am using currently for really nasty wheels.

    You can use a dedicated "wheel" cleaner, but it also depends on the tools you are using as well.
  3. Mike Lambert

    Mike Lambert Birth of a Detailer

    Malco brake off, use it once you will love it! It was designed for BMW and mb.
  4. Stokdgs

    Stokdgs Detail Master

    m3driven -

    First thing - you must never lay your nice wheels down on a bed of rocks ! ok ?

    Dan F
  5. P1et

    P1et Official DB Moderator

    Please don't put your wheels face down on rocks like that! You're bound to do some damage to them.

    And purchase some Meguiar's Wheel Brightner.
  6. Legacy99

    Legacy99 Wax on..Wax off

    :giggle: Try Poorboy's Spray and Rinse Wheel Cleaner. Directions say absolutely no scrubbing..on stubborn stains it may need a little agitation.
  7. 911Fanatic

    911Fanatic DB Pro Supporter

    You will need a stronger wheel cleaner like Poorboys Spray and Rinse. Let it dwell for a few minutes before agitating the area with a brush then rinse. The Malco product would work really well but its caustic, so take the appropriate precautions. As for the tar spots, try goof off or another tar or adhesive remover typically available at a parts store. For sealing them, you can use a durable product like Colli 845 or get a wheel specific product from Wolfs, Gtechnic etc.
  8. GDAL

    GDAL Super Moderator

    Another vote for Malco's brake off, but please follow the precautions. It works great to clean years of brake dust and grime, but don't use it as a maintenance item. I strongly recommend you opti-coating the rims after cleaning them with Malco.
  9. EbbeJ

    EbbeJ Jedi Nuba

    Poorboy's Spray and Rinse is indeed very effective, if you end up buying it read and follow the instructions - in most cases it wont need more than a minute or so.
    But I would use Iron X to remove the stubborn accumulations instead of an acid wheel cleaner. Get an APC to clean the work of the grime - Meguiar's APC does a good job - then, apply Iron X and wait for five to six minutes, then agitate and rinse off. If there's tar present, deal with this before using Iron X.

    Kind regards,

  10. supercharged

    supercharged DB Forum Supporter

    Sonax full effect, Iron X, Tar X. As far as sealing goes, if you are not planning on taking them off often, then use permanent/semi-permanent coating. Opti-coat, Gtechniq, 22ple, Cquartz - there are a lot of choices.
    BTW, how do you like your X3? I'm planning on upgrading my wife's 325Ci, and seriuosly considering X3 as a primary choice.
  11. Kilo6_one

    Kilo6_one DB Forum Supporter

    I just noticed that YIKES.

    Yeah, Wheel brightener is the cats ass!!! I love that stuff
  12. Peacemaker

    Peacemaker Two Bucket System Washer

    Do any of these products also work to clean the grime off tires? My simple green mixture isn't doing a good job on the tires.

    EDIT: I use PB Bug & Tar remover on the wheels, and it doesn't do such a great job at taking everything off. Same w/ the simple green mixture. I have white wheels on my car. I would love to have a cleaner that will work on the tires as well.
  13. Holden

    Holden DB Forum Supporter

    What I use for wheels: Sonax Wheel Cleaner (a bit pricey but well worth it, especially for those bmw fronts. We all know how much brake dust they can accumulate from the stock brake pads).

    For tires: I use Adam's All Purpose Cleaner. Apply, scrub with tuf shine tire brush, rinse with pressure washer, and looks super clean again. To seal wheels I use Auto Finesse Tough Coat. Once I seal them, you rarely have to use a wheel cleaner as a pressure washer and soap of choice will usually clean them. Lasts about 3 months or so on daily drivers.

    Might also want to try wolf's de-ironizer gel for the wheels. Haven't tried it but once I run out of my sonax wheel cleaner stock, I'm going to buy it. Like others said though, try a permanent coating once you have thoroughly cleaned them. You won't be disappointed.
  14. m3_driven

    m3_driven Virgin Detailer

    I think I'll give this a try. Where can I buy this product?
  15. m3_driven

    m3_driven Virgin Detailer

    Thanks for all the great advice. I use to have a 330i, M3 and then a 350z so I wanted something with power and great handling.I really like the X3 because it delivers handling and power. It gets crappy gas mileage though but maybe that's because I have a heavy foot, lol.
  16. m3_driven

    m3_driven Virgin Detailer

    I think im gonna buy some of this brake off stuff. Can I buy it locally or only online?
  17. Mike Lambert

    Mike Lambert Birth of a Detailer

    You will need to locate a malco rep in your area I believe. I do not know if you can get it online?
  18. GDAL

    GDAL Super Moderator

    BRAKE OFF WHEEL CLEANER : : Automotive

    Please follow the instructions ... get some gloves and a respirator. I highly recommend using a pressure washer when removing it, but be careful with the water splatter. You probably won't need to do a lot of scrubbing and you will immediately see the dirt literally "floating" away with the product (it's gel like). I place the rim on top of 4 cement blocks to avoid damaging the wheel face.

    Once they are clean, I wipe the wheels with Tarminator to remove tar & wheel weight tape residue.

    Let us know how it works out for you,


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