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      06-05-2012, 07:41 AM   #1
raven333
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Salt corrosion

Hello, trying to get some feedback? I believe my Z4 has been driven along a beach and in salt water. It was never cleaned properly so there is lots of corrosion. Given that it was previously owned by BMW and I have had all of the brake callipers replaced it still has lots of corrosion. I took all of the wheels off and the hubs were badly corroded as are the discs. The lower swing arm has all of the protective paint peeling off, the hub areas on the wheels are all corroded (where the wheel attaches to the hub) etc etc this is to give you an idea of the extent!
I only bought the car in April 2012 with 5.5K on the clock and am in the process of understanding what I can do?
So does anyone have any experience of this type of corrosion and what can I expect??? Any assistance will be appreciated.....
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      06-05-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
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What do you by "previously owned by BMW"? In any case, I would believe that this should be covered under warranty. did you show it to your dealership? why don't you see what they say about it?
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      06-05-2012, 02:33 PM   #3
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What I mean by being owned by BMW is just that, it was not sold new as BMW had owned it as one of their own cars for 18months, not even as we say in the UK pre registered. I noticed the rust on the callipers and with a degree of push from my own dealer, (not the one I purchased it from) and they agreed to change not as a warranty but as a gesture of goodwill, so I paid for part of the labour. I have argued that the discs where badly pitted but they would not do anything about it. When I decided to clean the discs I took off each wheel in turn and found the rust on the rest of the hubs and wheels. When I say rust it was some 2-3 mm deep and crusted, and when I started to clean it I noticed the sand/salt within it. Cannot believe my own dealer never said anything when they did the callipers, they even put grease on top, it is not surface rust!!! when I looked into the wheel arches, around the shock absorber mounts, they are orange in shade from the rust across all the unpainted areas.
Stupidly I used a dremel to clean up as much as possible, because I could not with all good intent leave it..... Now I wonder what other damage has been done eg will the hubs/wheel bearings fail earlier, as it could have been ingressed into the bearing, these are some of my questions??????
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      06-05-2012, 04:32 PM   #4
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I would stop cleaning off the rust and get a lawyer. They sold you a damaged car without disclosing the defects. Take pictures.
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      06-05-2012, 04:49 PM   #5
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Re:

Any pics?
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      06-06-2012, 06:46 AM   #6
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Hi! here are some pics of the callipers before the change of them
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      06-15-2012, 06:12 AM   #7
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Well here is an update for those who maybe interested??
Took my car to the selling dealer, they put my car on the ramps and removed all of the wheels.
They said that compared to other cars which they had on ramps, mine was in very good condition compared to other models either younger in age or relative mileage. So I went into the maintenance area and looked at a range of cars including a 6 series on a 2011 plate. The level of surface corrosion was appalling !!
What a mess each of the callipers where on the other cars, in fact I could not believe it unless I saw it with my own eyes!
They were implicit that the major cause of all the corrosion was the chemicals people use to clean their alloys which causes rust everywhere else, but they class it as surface rust!!!!
They showed me all of BMW bulletins on the issue.....
My comment was that my car was owned by BMW not someone else as a company car!!!!
So in highlighting all of this I have to admit something here !!!!! When I stripped all my wheels off I cleaned much of the encrusted rust of with a dremel in doing so I sprayed the bare metals with a special spray ACF50, WOW what a difference this has made, everything was covered in bright orange rust before I used this spray and when I got to the dealers I thought the car would clearly look the same..... how wrong I was!!! clearly you still had the result of corrosion ie damaged surfaces BUT there was no rust, no colouration etc.. completely sealed. So the head mechanic was looking at me like I was some form of nutter!!! In fact he knew I had used something....and commented.
Anyway it is not over yet as there is still corrosion on the inner wheel hubs and wheels but the rust is no longer active,,,

Finally what it did tell me is that the BMW callipers are very very prone to rusting and becoming unsightly, secondly no way in a million years will I use any other than BMW wheel cleaners....

Last edited by raven333; 06-15-2012 at 06:24 AM.
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      06-15-2012, 07:16 AM   #8
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At nearly 3 years old my car never looked like that, where are you based, near the coast?
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      06-15-2012, 09:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManiacGT View Post
At nearly 3 years old my car never looked like that, where are you based, near the coast?
Hi ! no I am 70 miles from the coast, it was where ever BMW stored the car before I bought it!!! No idea where!!! I have only had the car 2 months......
I was arguing that my car had been on a beach and never cleaned of sea salt due to the colouration of the salt corrosion, sea corrosion is a different colour!!!
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      06-26-2012, 04:10 AM   #10
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final update on the subject!!!

Yesterday I had my car inspected by a BMW Technical Manager. The corrosion to the wheels is inside the hub and cannot be see....no action! (Even though it is recognised that it will move forward and backward over time)
The corrosion on the various parts of the hubs, suspension and drive components... all within acceptable limits with no damage to structural integrity or drive capability.....no action.
Lesson learned by me >>>>Never Ever BUY a car with the expectation with what you see will be corrected by the dealer/manufacturer AFTER you have purchased the car.......

Whilst I am still very happy with my Z4 purchase I am definitely unhappy with the car I purchased.........it has left a very sour taste that only time will tell if my predictions come true without looking for self fulfilling prophesies !!!!
Oh ! I have since sprayed the car with a special agent for combating corrosion.....

In the mean time it is down with the roof and off into the sunshine!!!!!!!!

The Dealer I purchased it from to be fair have taken the matter seriously and conducted themselves equitably and would use again!!!!!

Last edited by raven333; 06-26-2012 at 04:13 AM. Reason: forgot to mention
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      06-26-2012, 08:06 AM   #11
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i painted the calipers to deal with the rusty look, but in the long run it won't help
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      06-26-2012, 04:32 PM   #12
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complete speculation on my part, but perhaps it was used on the beach for photo shoots (since it was a manufacturer owned car and you noticed sand).

I can certainly understand how you feel and now that everything has been documented I hope you can spend more time enjoying the car!

For what it is worth, I wipe the wheels on my car with a soft terry cloth every few days to keep brake dust to a mininum and when I wash the wheels I use the same soap that I would use on the paint.
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      06-26-2012, 08:44 PM   #13
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Look, don't flame me for asking what may be a stupid question...

Don't you guys salt your roads in winter?

A Z4 is not going to be good for anything but a very short run on hard packed sand.
A short session on the sand is not going to get you to have crusted salt and a big corrosion problem.

I would be more worried about the continuous impact of salted road slush on my car than trying to pick on the chance it was ever taken to a beach for a photo.

The salted road slush may be why all the cars they showed you were so bad.

We dont get this here at all, of course, as we dont get any snow and ice.

Plenty of Aussie guys use a wheel cleaner, and I have seen no one with rust like that on a car that isnt 15+ years old.
I have been using one on my Z4 witht he same 326M wheels and all I ever get is a small amount of rusted brake dust and a gold tint on my brake disc.
I used on on the entire bike (BMW K1200RS) for 2 years every weekend and never saw any rust that wasn't just the brake dust oxidising.

(Ask anyone with an old 6 series or an e30 3 series will and they will tell you they knew how to make them rust back then)

See attached photo. 2 year old regularly cleaned with wheel cleaner. 326M wheel.
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      06-27-2012, 05:54 AM   #14
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My car had been left standing for a long time which also contributed to the problem, it definitely was not road salt or grit as I have lived in the Northern parts of the UK through some wicked winters, and travelled some 56k miles a year for a number of years and never ever had the same issue I found on this car, which is why I am so adamant as to the cause!!
Anyway little I can do now,(other than the preventative action already taken) but I will only use BMW wheel cleaner from here on and I also know who manufactures it on their behalf and can buy it under the original brand which is about 3 cheaper than that sold by BMW. It is manufactured and sold as Sonus........They also use their products as endorsed by McLaren Racing cars and Ferrari.....
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      06-27-2012, 08:21 AM   #15
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Re:

I was going to say it looks like some really harsh acid wheel cleaner has been used there. Car dealers tend to just blast it on full strenght and then just powerhose it off.

I have seen this before. You just have to look at the wheel nuts and the hubs where the spoke of the wheel has sheltered the hub to a degree.

I avoid using wheel cleaner. I find the car shampoo foamed with a snow foam lance usually enough. My hubs and brakes look fairly new after 2 years and the car isn't driven in the winter. I also blow them dry with a leaf blower after a wash as this stops the immediate surface rust on the rotors.

You can seal the wheels with rim wax or if you have the spare cash Gtechniq.

If you do need to use wheel cleaner use a non acid type and water it down, scrub and get it off pronto. Cartec stuff is good at 1:3.
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      06-27-2012, 09:41 AM   #16
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I agree with the previous post. I have never found wheel cleaner to be necessary if you wax your wheels and clean them regularly. The dirt is so easily removed if you wax, there's no point to using anything but soap and water.
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      06-27-2012, 10:24 AM   #17
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Hi I agree with the cleaning process, I wipe mine down with a cloth regularly and use a Wheel wax (brand) every 3-4 weeks and use this BMW cleaner perhaps once a qtr, As it gets into all areas and is not acidic, I always use high pressure hose to clean immediately (when there is not a drought order on!)....... Good clean wheels make all the difference to a cars look.......
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