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Rotor Rust and Cleaning Between Washes


ouhockeyplayer
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Hello.  The Brembo brakes on my WRX STI love to make a rusty/dusty mess all over my wheels upon driving the car after a wash.  It really deters from the rest of my shinny car because the wheels instantly look like a mess.  Since the car is not my daily, what does everyone recommend for cleaning off the rust dust and brake dust from the wheels in between washes?  Rinseless wash or spray down with waterless wash and wipe down?  Obviously whichever process I use the microfiber towels would then become dedicated wheel towels after.  

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Rinseless and Waterless both work OK, as does a bucket wash with Car Shampoo. (I like the bucket wash...the water hose does a good job of flushing away contaminants.) 

 

For the first wash, clean really well...maybe with Wheel Cleaner. Then seal the wheels with perhaps PS...or ideally Wheel Ceramic Coating. This will make subsequent maintenance cleaning much easier. 

 

For subsequent washes, Rinseless, Waterless or bucket wash with Shampoo. You may want to try a bucket wash with Wash and Wax or drying the wheels with Guard and Gloss periodically.

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Hello.  The Brembo brakes on my WRX STI love to make a rusty/dusty mess all over my wheels upon driving the car after a wash.  It really deters from the rest of my shinny car because the wheels instantly look like a mess.  Since the car is not my daily, what does everyone recommend for cleaning off the rust dust and brake dust from the wheels in between washes?  Rinseless wash or spray down with waterless wash and wipe down?  Obviously whichever process I use the microfiber towels would then become dedicated wheel towels after.  

 

Well theres your problem^ =p

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I just did the wheel coating on mine.  You're gonna get brake/road dust no matter what.  And if you have an eye for detailing, certainly and obviously you see it more than anyone else.  But I can attest to Joel's comment that the ceramic wheel coating makes wiping that stuff off a breeze.  I have matte anthracite wheels and they don't show blemishes or swirls AT ALL, so for inbetween touchup jobs of no more than a day or so, I can go waterless or detail spray on a soft mf rag and just wipe it off.  Any longer than that and I'll do a full spray down with Waterless or wait until bucket wash time.  

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I use H2O G&G on my wheels, and it makes it simple to remove the brake dust and grime with some waterless wash or just a stream from a hose between washes. I reapply it every 3 weeks - it makes cleaning them so much easier if you don't want to go down the coating route just yet. 

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Ever consider ceramic rotors?

I went overboard and purchased my 2015 Corvette with carbon ceramic brakes. They are crazy expensive, but no dust and are fantastic brakes for street use. 

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I think they are a little cost prohibitive and I'm not sure anyone is manufacturing them for the STI.  My wife would be very angry if I spent thousands on rotors because I wanted to keep my wheels cleaner.  She already thinks I'm nuts on how I care for my car that would be the final straw.  Brembo makes zinc plated rotors to reduce corrosion but I wonder how long the coating would hold up before they rust like every other rotor.

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I think they are a little cost prohibitive and I'm not sure anyone is manufacturing them for the STI.  My wife would be very angry if I spent thousands on rotors because I wanted to keep my wheels cleaner.  She already thinks I'm nuts on how I care for my car that would be the final straw.  Brembo makes zinc plated rotors to reduce corrosion but I wonder how long the coating would hold up before they rust like every other rotor.

 

Yeah, adding those aftermarket can cost a ludicrous amount of money. Chevy started offering 8k rebates on Corvettes equipped with the brakes because the option added 8k to the price and folks skipped the car.  Replacing them on the vette is about 15k.  

 

http://www.thedrive.com/news/8995/gm-knocking-8000-off-some-new-chevy-corvettes

 

But as you found there are other options, just make sure the brakes work well cold.  That's another problem with Carbon-ceramic, because they are made for high-temperature racing performance they can feel soft, or squishy, at normal driving temps.  But if you race on them for any duration those carbon-ceramics are amazing.

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Brian...I am familiar with those wheels/finish. Wheels are durable. That is safe for Waterless, Plus if you went ceramic costing, that amount would wipe right off completely effortlessly.

Edited by galaxy
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The OEM brake pads that Audi provides put out crazy dust. I couldn't drive 2 days before they started looking like crap.

So for the last few Audis (I've had a lot over the last 23 years), I've been using Akebono pads. Basically zero dust, and I cannot perceive any performance difference, albeit I don't track my cars. If you are tracking your car, then you probably have dedicated track pads anyway where dust is not a concern.

 

Akebono is not the only low/zero-dust pad, so search around the STi forums.

The pads are reasonably priced too, especially compared to ceramic rotors. I just got a set for my allroad, front and rear shipped from Amazon for $114.74 total.

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I have the same issue with my SRT Grand Cherokee - which is the same one on the cover of the website right now that Adam is washing. Brembo brakes, satin black wheels. Here's what I have done:

 

1) Ceramic Coat the wheels. The ceramic coating is super helpful. Maybe not 100% what I thought it would be in terms of repelling brake dust, but MUCH better than no coating at all. They're Brembo brakes and they're going to shed some dust - it means they're working!

 

2) I wash weekly with just car shampoo on the brakes, generally speaking. I typically do two washes and I use a bunch of brushes to get in where I need to. I spend more time on my four wheels than any other part of my car. 

 

3) After washing the car down, I spray on the new matte detail spray while I dry the rest of the car.

 

4) I wipe down my wheels with cheap microfiber towels from Amazon. 

 

5) I use the Sidekick to blow out the rest of the water and I get he water off the tires, as well. I typically wipe down with a rag one more time as I'm drying them off with the Sidekick.

 

Every few weeks, when I haven't been able to get a good wash in, I use the wheel cleaner. I follow that up with wash shampoo. You can also apply Ceramic Boost when dry.

 

Every couple days, I use Waterless or Rinseless to wipe down the wheels, as well - just so the brake dust doesn't settle.

 

It's a lot - I get it. Nice wheels and brakes are things I will absolutely spend money on for my car. There's a lot of extras you can buy and apply to the rest of the car, but if you keep it waxed and washed frequently, the body of the car always looks good. I spend the time and money on my wheels. 

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Btw, I would also add that people are going to suggest Paint Sealant and H20 Guard and Gloss. I use both products on my paint, and I've used both products on my wheels. Those unfamiliar with performance brakes always suggest those two products first. If you're going to spend the time coating your wheels, you might as well get the level of a real wheel coating. The Paint Sealant and G&G just won't stand up long enough to the Brembo brakes. 

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On the corvette forum a lot of people without the ceramic brake pkg talk about replacing the OEM brake pads Powerstop ceramic pads and say they work as well as the OEMs. They work with the iron rotors and are $65 on Amazon. I'm not sure if they make them for Subarus? After only 2 months of ownership and 1000 miles I am getting tired of the brake dust and considering changing the pads.

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I do agree the ThermoQuiets are amazing in the low dust department and they are a great bang for the buck for the cost, but there is much much better pads to be had that offer similar dust performance. And on a spirited car like that WRX, I'd argue you'll know the differences. Was happy with ThermoQuiets on my truck, down right did not like them on my little Lexus IS. EBC has great options. Yes, much more expensive, but a much better pad. When I get my Wilwood big brake kit on the ST soon, I'm going EBC Reds; supposed to be great pad and super low dust.

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Project MU and Endless both do great pads with low dust options for the WRX. I have a set of Project MU in my car at the moment, and the brake dust has virtually stopped, I've gone from cleaning my wheels twice a week to only needing to hit them with the hose once when I'm washing, and the stopping power has increased as well! 

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On the advice of my MINI performance guy, I replaced the OEM pads with Hawk HPS front and rear. Excellent braking on the street and the track and not much more expensive than the OEMs. I also put slotted rotors on the front brakes (still have stock calipers) and that combination cut down on dust substantially. Don't know if Hawk works for your STI but if they do, it's one to consider. 

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On 6/3/2017 at 6:33 AM, AudiOx said:

The OEM brake pads that Audi provides put out crazy dust. I couldn't drive 2 days before they started looking like crap.

So for the last few Audis (I've had a lot over the last 23 years), I've been using Akebono pads. Basically zero dust, and I cannot perceive any performance difference, albeit I don't track my cars. If you are tracking your car, then you probably have dedicated track pads anyway where dust is not a concern.

 

Akebono is not the only low/zero-dust pad, so search around the STi forums.

The pads are reasonably priced too, especially compared to ceramic rotors. I just got a set for my allroad, front and rear shipped from Amazon for $114.74 total.

I read this post a while back and thought it was something I needed to try out as I couldn't stand the crazy dust and the constant cleaning of wheels!

Well I took the plunge and had Akebono's put on my A5 and also on my wife's Q5 (although I went EBC's on the front as Akebono doesn't make fronts for the Q5).

I used to do RW on my wheels at least twice a week on each car which worked well but was really time consuming, now the dust has been reduced to virtually zero.  Basically the cars get dirty before the wheels do.

Thanks @AudiOx for the recommendation.  The only thing I regret is not doing this earlier.

Edited by avimore
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