Brake dust is a combination of metal, dirt, and other particles resulting from brake friction. It accumulates on the wheel rims and can cause serious damage to your wheels if not taken care of properly. Here’s how brake dust can ruin your wheels.
Corrosion is one of the most severe ways that brake dust can damage your car’s wheels. As brake dust builds up around the rim, it acts as an abrasive substance that corrodes different materials making up a wheel. Iron oxide and graphite are the primary components of brake dust, forming when iron-containing compounds within brake pads interact with oxygen at high temperatures. This reaction accumulates rust on exposed surfaces, leading to corrosion. Various metals are prone to corrosion due to brake dust, including steel, aluminum, and magnesium alloys.
Brake dust can also reduce wheel protection for your vehicle. It can damage the protective coating on most modern car wheels, making them more vulnerable to damage from dirt, salt, and other elements while driving. In addition to creating an abrasive surface that corrodes metals used in wheel construction, brake dust decreases the durability of car paint finishes. When the exterior finish and paint rust away, your vehicle and its wheels are more susceptible to wear and tear from environmental elements like wind, rain, and hail.
Brake dust also increases maintenance costs for your wheels and vehicle. Short-term maintenance costs associated with brake dust include regular cleaning of the wheels, which can be time-consuming and tedious. Long-term maintenance costs resulting from brake dust can be much more significant.
Corrosion caused by iron oxide or graphite buildup on exposed rims may extend to the wheel, leading to its permanent destruction. The severe damage caused by brake dust corrosion will result in costly repairs, so it’s important to clean and maintain your wheels regularly.
Now that you know the ways that brake dust can damage your wheels, you can take the proper steps to prevent these issues. Check out WheelerShip’s high-quality selection of replacement brake pads! And if you need a new set of wheels, including Nissan Altima wheels, we're here for you!