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Walden 03-29-1999 05:35 AM


anyway to stop the brake dust in MBs? as you all know, the front rims get very dirty very fast. its just so excessive. why doesnt this happen on other cars? for a new flawless car, this problem gets a bit annoying..


Bill Wood 03-29-1999 02:36 PM

You have a few options:
1) Replace your brake pads with non-Mercedes pads. There are several on the market that advertise reduced brake dust. The downside is that you could have considerably LESS stopping power. It's an option but, not one I would recommend.
2) Install Kleen Wheels. They are
black plastic brake dust shields that mount behind your wheels. They cost
around $30 or so a pair. On the plus side they will do a great job keeping your wheels clean. On the minus side they may reduce the cooling for your brakes. If you drive your car hard or live in the mountains I
would avoid them. You could begin to experience brake fade.
3)Wash your wheels weekly. For my money it's better to wash your wheels every week and get the outstanding MB brakes you paid for. Follow Lee's suggestions in the Detailing Forum regarding proper wheel care. I keep a good coat of wax on my seems to keep the brake dust from sticking quite so easily. Some of the guys over on the Porsche newsgroup swear by a thin coat of Vaseline on their Boxster wheels as a brake dust solution....I have not tried that one.

Lee Scheeler 03-29-1999 05:14 PM

Hey Walden,
As Bill said you can do the non-MB brake pads, the dust shields, or just wash your wheels. I would strongly recommend you stay away from the dust shields. In addition to impairing cooling they can even contribute to brake component damage if you drive hard. As for the non MB pads...again I'd recommend you stay clear. I've heard of some of the aftermarket pads chewing rotors up and although they last longer you sometimes end up changing calipers along with the pads when you do change them. Not to name any names but let's just say that metal transfers alot of abuse to the caliper. Part of the MB engineering is everything working in very close harmony. Change one thing and many others can be affected. The stock wheels are very easy to clean. Some aftermarket wheels are a bit more time consuming but that is the price for good looks and world class braking. How many people who run OEM brakes complain about bad braking performance? You will see people who run dust shields or aftermarket pads coming back with complaints or questions regarding their brakes. Draw your own conclusions....Lee

ytown 04-01-1999 11:04 AM

although my car is a "garage queen", after I take her out for a drive...I always use a soft paper towel or rag and wipe off the brake dust from the front wheels.

I guess if she was a daily driver I would just try to wash her as much as possible. Just watch what you use on the wheels...something safe like Simple Green is probably best.


1986 300E 138k
Board Member
Western Reserve MBCA

Lee Scheeler 04-01-1999 02:58 PM

Garage queen or trailer queen, using Simple Green or any other ultra-harsh cleaner on your clearcoated wheels will make the car look like trailer TRASH in very short order. I cant even remember how many sets of MB OEM wheels I've seen that have had the finish raped by 409 or Simple Green. Meguirs wheel cleaner or especially P21S are what I would recommend. Please remember that the wheels are clearcoated and painted just like the hood of your car. Please please please don't use anything on the wheels you wouldn't use on the hood of your car on a consistent basis. Also, anything you "wipe" over the finish when the brake dust is embedded on the obviously waxless paint of your wheel will grind that grit right into the paint. Brake pad material will eat down a metal rotor over time, what do you think it will do to the tender paint on the wheels of your car? Washing with something safe(P21S or Meguirs wheel cleaner) is so easy that I can't think why anyone would want to short-cut themselves into a ruined finish on their wheels. One last thing....when your washing your wheels: don't spray the scalding hot brake rotor/caliper with cold water. Doing so can very easily destroy one or both components. The rule of thumb I use is if you can hold your finger on the rotor and caliper, it is cool enough to wash. Doing it right isn't any harder than doing it poorly. Hopefully this will save your car any future abuse....Lee

ytown 04-01-1999 03:12 PM


I agree with everything you said....The first time I really cleaned the wheels with Simple Green...that was when I got the car last June.

Then I put Boyd's Wheel wax on the wheels and I lightly wipe the brake dust off with a fresh Kimberly Clarke Wypall (like a fancy paper towel) or a fresh cotton wipes off real easy because of the wheel wax on there.

My car is a 1986 with 138k miles and my wheels look almost like new.

I agree with you...I do not use anything harsher than Meguires Gold Class shampoo for cleaning the wheels.

That is why I mentioned my car being a garage queen because I do take care of it and it gets driven much differently than if I used it for a daily driver.

Just my .02 cents....Sorry if I gave the wrong impression.


1986 300E 138k
Board Member
Western Reserve MBCA

Chris Ecklund 04-07-1999 01:21 AM

what about a spray of silicone?
or wd40?

Lee Scheeler 04-07-1999 01:41 AM

When you mention silicone or WD40 I assume it is in reference to the "coat of Vaseline" from Bill Wood's post. From my experience WD40 will act more as a harsh cleaner and a lubricant so it probably isn't a good idea. Personally I have never tried the Vaseline trick so I can't say how it works. I know from experience that petroleum based wheel dressings (okay petroleum distilates) act as a magnet for brake dust. The first time after you wash the wheel/tire that has been dressed with Son-of-a-Gun or something similar the rag turns into a ball of gummy brake dust and road gunk. However I know for a fact that a light coat of Meguiars wax(or any other high quality wax) goes on an 8-hole wheel in seconds and is removed just as easily. Since most wheel cleaners strip the wax it works out fine re-waxing on a regular basis. Some aftermarket wheels are a real pain in the ass to cleanup and wax so I could understand someone wanting to shortcut there, but the stock wheels are so easy why mess with simple success. Just my opinion...Lee

Lee Scheeler 01-26-2000 07:10 PM

Skip the Windex on a daily/frequent basis if possible. It is a fairly harsh solvent. You would have better luck cleaning them well (with car-wash, wheel cleaner, and water), then putting a coat of wax, then using #34 aka Quick Detailer with a cloth/rag for touchups.

Hope this helps...Lee

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