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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Audi A4 2.0 TFSI brake dust - Does Armor All Wheel Cleaner work?

When I looked back at the performance of my 2006 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI a couple of weeks ago, I only reported a couple of issues with the car. The biggest one in my opinion, is how quickly the wheels collect excessive amounts of brake dust. Being furter exaggerated by the number of spokes on wheels, it can take a good 5-10 minutes to just wash these rims on my Audi A4. In my quest to make the job easier, I decided to try out Armor All's Wheel Cleaner to see if it could make the job easier.

To start out, my wheels were excessively dirty with brake dust, in fact almost as dark as the tires in terms of color. So following the description and directions on the bottle:

Armor All® Wheel Cleaner Keeps wheels looking like new Spray on, hose off Removes brake dust.


  • Saturate cool wheel with cleaner.
  • Allow to soak for 60 seconds.
  • Rinse wheel thoroughly with a strong water spray.
  • Dry with a soft, clean towel to prevent water spots.
  • Repeat if necessary.

NOTE: Prior to use on motorcycles or uncoated polished aluminum, check with manufacturer. Before use, test on an inconspicuous area. If hazing or spots appear, discontinue use. Do not apply to brake parts or other zinc and cadmium-plated surfaces. Do not use on wheels with damaged clear coats.

I soaked the wheels using the foam setting on the spray as you can see to the right here. As you can see, the wheel is extermely dirty and soaked with the Armor All Wheel Cleaner.

Now, the picture to the right shows the the improvement on the wheel after the first washing. While the initial picture is greatly improved, when zooming in closer on the wheel (by clicking the picture) you can see that there is still a large amount of brake dust left on the wheel. So, based on the directions -- I decide that I should repeat the process again to try and remove the rest of the brake dust residue from the rim.

After the second application of the Armor All Wheel Cleaner, the wheel shows little additional improvement but is not clean. It is greatly improved from the original condition of the wheel, however there is still a lot of work to be done. Given that the second application did not make much of a different in removing the brake dust, I decide that additional applications will not help.

In order to complete the cleaning of the wheel, I did need to spend some time washing and cleaning it. More than I would have expected.

My overall evaluation of the Armor All Wheel Cleaner is that I initially rate it a 6.0 on a scale of 10. It does a decent job of grime removal, but does not deliver on the promise of the product. I will try it again in another week or two, and hopefully it will work better on wheels that are less dirty. However, if there is not a significant improvement in performance -- I will try another product shortly.


Anonymous said...

I found this note while Googling "brake dust 2007 Audi A4." Funny how we can always find someone else annoyed by the same problem! So any luck with using that product again, or any other product? I have 2007 A4. I always keep my cars clean, but I'm afraid the brake dust on the wheels is going to test my overall love of the car...