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      02-19-2011, 03:28 PM   #1
AW128i
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WTF did my dealer do to my wheels, and how to fix?!

Took my car in about two weeks ago to have the BMW portable nav installed. As per usual, and most welcome this snow-filled time of year, my dealer washed the car before I picked it up. The car was just about spotlessly clean, as it typically is when I pick it up. So today, after about two weeks of poor weather, I decided to brave the elements (high 30s, 30 mph winds with 40 mph gusts) and clean the wheels. I know how filthy they can get and try my best to wash them at least every couple weeks when the weather is this bad. Anyway, the pic below is of one of the front wheels, AFTER I cleaned it. WTF did my dealer do to my wheels that they look like this?! They look like the clear coat is gone and the brake dust has eaten into the paint! Other than wheel refinishing, how the heck do I fix this once warmer weather returns??
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      02-19-2011, 03:32 PM   #2
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Did you try using any type of wheel cleaner? Or just soap and water?
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      02-19-2011, 03:43 PM   #3
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No, I did not try wheel cleaner. Despite having a car cleaning arsenal available, the one thing I don't have is wheel cleaner because I've literally never let the wheels on any of my cars sit for long enough to warrant it! So, this is just with soap (Griot's Garage Car Wash) and water.
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      02-20-2011, 12:03 PM   #4
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I would think that would come off relatively easy with a good wheel cleaner. Mist it on the cool wheels and agitate with a soft cloth or brush. If you need a recommendation try the SONAX Wheel Cleaner Full Effect or the Chemical Guys Diablo Gel Rim and Wheel Cleaner, both are pH neutral and highly effective. Good luck!
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      02-20-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tip about the Sonax. I ordered a bottle and will anxiously await its arrival!
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      02-20-2011, 02:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxnix View Post
Wheel cleaners should not be required if the clear coat is still intact. Mild soap and water with a soft brush or cloth should be sufficient to clean them. Your wheel finish may have been damaged.
I tend to agree with your statements. In my case, I do think the clear coat is shot. From the look and feel of the wheels, the dealer used something harsh and abrasive. You can see the scrub marks in the pic I posted.
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      02-20-2011, 02:38 PM   #7
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I'd hate to see the rest of your car dave, if the dealer washed it. I had my dealer wash my car a month after I bought it, they left swirl marks and scratches everywhere! Long story short, ended up having them pay for it to get it detailed by someone from my choice. Last time dealer touches my car for anything other than maintenance!
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      02-20-2011, 02:43 PM   #8
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You know Sam, normally I'd run far, far away from anyone but me washing my car. But, considering my car is 3 years old, it has very few swirl marks and I don't think there's any discernible difference in the paint since the dealer has washed it a few times compared to before. Heck, my car's CPO so it probably visited the car wash many times prior to me taking ownership. Also, it's white so swirl marks aren't really evident anyway when they do appear. I gave the car a nice bath, clay bar, and wax before the foul weather set in and I'll do the same once the weather finally breaks. The wheels are atrocious, however
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      02-20-2011, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AW128i View Post
You know Sam, normally I'd run far, far away from anyone but me washing my car. But, considering my car is 3 years old, it has very few swirl marks and I don't think there's any discernible difference in the paint since the dealer has washed it a few times compared to before. Heck, my car's CPO so it probably visited the car wash many times prior to me taking ownership. Also, it's white so swirl marks aren't really evident anyway when they do appear. I gave the car a nice bath, clay bar, and wax before the foul weather set in and I'll do the same once the weather finally breaks. The wheels are atrocious, however
Yeah the downfall for me is that my car is jetblack so everything shows up. But yeah that sucks about the wheels, like others have said, should come out with a good wheel cleaner.
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      02-20-2011, 03:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarracino89 View Post
Yeah the downfall for me is that my car is jetblack so everything shows up. But yeah that sucks about the wheels, like others have said, should come out with a good wheel cleaner.
One of the many reasons I will never own a dark-colored car.
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      02-20-2011, 05:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AW128i View Post
Thanks for the tip about the Sonax. I ordered a bottle and will anxiously await its arrival!
Sonax is good stuff. Actually it almost looks like they used some type of silicon on the wheel, if so it'll clean off. You're lucky, my dealer popped the paint off my wheel when they replaced a RFT with a slow leak (4300 miles) to the tune of $463. Nice, hun?

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Last edited by ennislaw; 02-28-2011 at 11:33 AM. Reason: typos
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      02-22-2011, 03:41 PM   #12
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Give it a shot with the Sonax, but from your pics it does look like the surface has been scratched. As stated above, simple soap and water should get 90% of all of the brake dust off. I've seen some pitting in the past that needed to be clayed, but never saw anything that bad before. Good luck, I hope the Sonax helps.
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      02-22-2011, 04:25 PM   #13
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The Sonax should be here by Thursday, so I'll know the results by this weekend. My fingers are crossed, if only to remove the brake dust. Any scuffs/scratches in the paint will be dealt with later. My dealer is of no use for this.
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      02-28-2011, 11:18 AM   #14
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UPDATE

Tried the Sonax this weekend and it worked wonders, so thanks for the recommendations! The surface is definitely busted and the wheels have a dull appearance to them. However, they at least look 95% clean now. I suppose this will be my impetus to upgrade the wheels and tires, but I was hoping to do so when these new tires are shot, not before...
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      03-02-2011, 11:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AW128i View Post
UPDATE

Tried the Sonax this weekend and it worked wonders, so thanks for the recommendations! The surface is definitely busted and the wheels have a dull appearance to them. However, they at least look 95% clean now. I suppose this will be my impetus to upgrade the wheels and tires, but I was hoping to do so when these new tires are shot, not before...
Post up more pics now that they're cleaned off...

Did you speak to the dealer about them yet? I'd hope that they would step up and take care of them.
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      03-02-2011, 12:42 PM   #16
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That would really make me mad. Sorry to hear about that. I had a similar incident when I took my car in for a routine oil/recall/safety maitenance and they left black marks everywhere. It was a pain to get out of the leatherette and plastic on the doors as well as leaving oil stains on the inside of my hood...

All in all I got a free (full-detail) that I have not used since I do my own detailing... but it still angers me that they just don't treat the cars well at all.
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