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Discussion Starter #1
cleaning those beautiful gold wheels sure takes a while, given they each have 10 fluted spokes, etc. i'd bought some eagle one tire and wheel cleaner-- the one in the orange spray bottle--and used it for the first time last wednesday. i spend the day at the track on friday. the wheels were filthy ugly with brake dust. when i gave her a washing on sunday, i first hosed off the wheels as usual and was astonished when 90% of the brake dust just washed off. i'd previously been using castrol's wheel cleaner and the brake dust never just washed off like it does with the eagle one product. so far, so good. this saves me several minutes per wheel.
 

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Yep, the stuff works well. This is the second car I've used it on. Not bad for a non-premium (Zaino, Zymol etc.) car care product.
 

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Bad idea in the long term:

http://www.autopia-carcare.com/tiwhcl.html
Acid-based Cleaners -- These are widely used by detailers, car dealers and car washes who need to clean wheels in the shortest possible time or with the least amount of effort. Acid-based cleaners are typically 2% solutions of oxalic, phosphoric, and hydrochloric acid. Eagle One All Finish Wheel Cleaner is an example of an acid-based cleaner. While acid-based cleaners pack the greatest cleaning punch, they can easily etch the surface of your wheel if allowed to dry. Care must be taken not to use acid-based cleaners on wheels with pitted or chipped surfaces. The acid will migrate into any fissures and accentuate flaking and peeling of surface coatings
 

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I was thinking of this same thing when I started to read this thread. I just bought a P21S wheel kit from www.properautocare.com They mention the same thing about acid based cleaners. The hose off type all contain acid that is not good for wheels.
 

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Wouldn't you be ok if you rinsed the wheels off with water after you were done with the cleaner? That should rinse most of the acid away and dilute the rest. Temporary exposure shouldn't be any worse than scrubbing with a brush.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
{hmm. i thought i posted this last night, but i don't see it, so i'll send it again}

rdiamond, thanks for the heads up. again, i was saying that 90% of the brake dust--i measured it :)-- came off when rinsing with *only* water. it's as though it left a sheen or something on the wheel to prevent the brake dust from bonding with the wheel surface; this is what i found kind of amazing. i'll continue to use it cuz of the good results. however, i'll use sensible precautions: wash when cool; using sparingly; rinse thoroughly; dry off the wheel.
 

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The other major problem with using an acid-based cleaner beyond possible damage to the wheels is the damage it will do, over time, to the rotors. I imagine it's not going to help the calipers much, either.

The hose-off cleaners are really nice, but you will eventually pay the price.

The alternative is waxing the wheels occasionally and just cleaning them more often so they don't have a chance to build up too much dirt.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the rotors?? aren't they resurfaced everytime you hit the brake. seems that taking the car for a quick spin after washing is all you need to reduce the chances of rotor damage to near zero. now if you tell me they'll eat a hole in the tire, then i'll stop using it.

as it is, i'm i've been averaging a little more than one washing per week. my wife's car is getting jealous; it has had one washing in the 44 days since i got the STi.

anyway, i've been warned. 20minutes saved washing wheels is 20minutes in the pool with the kids.
 
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I used to wash my bike wheels with such stuff (forget which brand) and it worked great. HOWEVER, it made my tires crack. Now I don't know those products you guys are talking about personally but beware for damage to tires. Rubber and acid don't mix very well.
 

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Personally I'm wary about this acid stuff. Instead of just using water, you could use soapy water since that'll neutralize the acid.
 

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I'd like to try waxing my wheels. What does everyone recomend? I use Zaino on the car but will this work for the wheels too?
 

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Yes it will work. I use Zaino on my Supra and put it on the wheels also. So far on my STi I used Klasse and put it on the wheels too.
 
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The tires were about 2 years old, give or take a few months, maybe close to 3 years old at most. I didn't use the product very long actually, at most 3-4 times before I noticed the cracks. Now, who know maybe it wasn't the cleaner that did it, I have no evidence of this. But I don't see what else could have cracked the tires. I bought the cleaner at Canadian Tire.
 

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For the rotors, I'm not thinking so much of the surface as how the acid will seep into the cracks and microfractures that develop as the thing gets old... maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like a bad idea.

I can say with certainty, though, that acid based cleaners at the car wash (Andy's in Old Town, FMLA1FN) bleached the calipers on my MY98 STi brakes. Went from a nice black to an ugly grey color. Ever since I noticed, I told them not to use the stuff on my car. My STi is hand wash only.

Here's the funny part -- I checked and Eagle One actually does make an acid free cleaner. You should check the bottle. :) Although acid is what makes cleaning real easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
RDiamond said:
...I checked and Eagle One actually does make an acid free cleaner. You should check the bottle. :) Although acid is what makes cleaning real easy.
funny! i *am* using the acid-free version. very cool for me. i should have checked all this once the "acid" talk came up. i just didn't recall the bottle saying anything about "acid-free" or "acid-full", so i played the lemming... :oops:

so back to my original post: i recommend the stuff and it's acid-free. :D
 

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A strong acid or a strong base are good cleaners. Oven cleaner is a very strong base. Of course I don't think anyone will want to try that on their wheels though :-?
 
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