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    Thread: Corrosion Prevention Precautions when removing and replacing Phaeton wheels

    1. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-09-2005 11:36 AM #1
      I had to remove a wheel from my Phaeton this week, and replace it with the spare wheel - there was a tiny puncture in the tire, and it was very slowly deflating.
      I reviewed the owner manual instructions for changing the wheel, and also the instructions in the Phaeton repair manual. The Phaeton repair manual contains additional information about precautions that must be taken to prevent corrosion from developing on the wheel centering seat (the bevel in the middle of the wheel that makes it easier to fit it on the hub). So, I drove up to my VW dealer and bought a can of the wax spray that is specified for use. It cost about $25.
      I have attached some photos below that explain how the spray should be used, and show pictures of a wheel that was installed 3 months ago without using this spray (I had a flat on the same position this summer, and changed it myself in a hotel parking lot).
      Michael
      Instructions from the Phaeton Repair Manual

      The wax spray
      It comes in an aerosol can.

      New wheel before the wax is applied

      New wheel after the wax is applied

      Wheel showing corrosion if wax is NOT applied
      This wheel was in service for 3 months.

      Wheel hub showing corrosion if wax is NOT applied
      Same position as wheel in photo above - 3 months service.
      Last edited by PanEuropean; 09-11-2012 at 06:59 PM.

    2. Member
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      11-20-2006 11:41 AM #2
      Holy 3-month corrosion, Batman!
      Of course I have never read that page in the manual, and of course I've been driving around for one year, and did the VW dealer who rotated the tires use this spray?
      I guess I now have one more thing to request next time I buy VW supplies... but I wonder how much rot I already have. Does this happen to all cars other than VWs, Skodas and Seats?
      Learn something new everyday, I guess
      SOLD. Our Premiere Edition Phaeton 2004 with 57,500 miles and with Extended Warranty thru year-end 2014 has been sold.
      Thank you all who were interested.

    3. Member cxg231's Avatar
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      11-20-2006 06:46 PM #3
      Quote, originally posted by Itzmann »
      I guess I now have one more thing to request next time I buy VW supplies... but I wonder how much rot I already have. Does this happen to all cars other than VWs, Skodas and Seats?

      This problem will occur with any car that has dissimilar metals in contact with each other. The hubcentric alloy rims are usually aluminum, while the hubs are usually a steel alloy. Dissimilar metals in contact with each other will promote corrosion, it's one of those laws of chemistry that you can't get around. The wax prevents the corrosion by keeping the dissimilar metals from actually contacting each other.
      When I rotate my tires, or when I switch from summer to winter tires, I usually coat the hub with a thin layer of high-temp lithium grease. I am actually pleasantly surprised that VW makes a "wax" just for this purpose. However, I wonder if the "wax" would melt if braking temperatures got high enough to affect the performance of the wax.
      Initially, I was using a regular all-purpose grease on the hubs, but after a track day, the grease had "melted" and the corrosion initiated. After switching to the high-temp lithium grease, I have not had further corrosion problems of note.
      Cheers,
      Chris

    4. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      11-20-2006 07:36 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by cxg231 »
      ...I wonder if the "wax" would melt if braking temperatures got high enough to affect the performance of the wax.

      Hi Chris:
      For sure, it does melt, and it melts real quick. I have learned to clean the inside of my rims as soon as I get home after a winter to summer (or v.v.) tire change, because there will always be melted wax present - it gets thrown out from the hub to the inside of the rim on the short trip home. That's about 8 miles, city traffic only. 3M wax and adhesive remover works just great for cleaning up the drips.
      However, this melting doesn't seem to diminish the ability of what wax that remains to do a good job of hanging in there for the next 6 months. My wheels have always separated from the car with no effort at all after I remove the bolts, and there has never been any evidence of corrosion since the first wheel change, when the staff at my VW dealer began applying the wax.
      Michael

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      11-20-2006 07:53 PM #5
      I second Chris on the lithium grease - I have been using it for well over fifteen years on all my alloy wheels, with excellent results. Also, my dealer is really reluctant to order cleaning products from VW, arguing that commonly available substitutes are just as good. So, I suspect it would not be easy to obtain the wax. It did not occur to me to ask them what they use when they rotate my wheels, though, so I will certainly ask next time. The Phaeton is the only car in our pool that I don't personally do routine maintenance on..

    6. Member cxg231's Avatar
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      11-21-2006 11:38 AM #6
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »
      I have learned to clean the inside of my rims as soon as I get home after a winter to summer (or v.v.) tire change, because there will always be melted wax present - it gets thrown out from the hub to the inside of the rim on the short trip home. That's about 8 miles, city traffic only.

      Michael: It would seem from your description that the VW techs are simply being over-zealous with their application of the wax. With the short drive home, I would think that your hubs would not get hot enough to "melt" the wax. Plus, the Phaeton is equipped with such massive rotors that I would venture a guess it would take a track session or a serious mountain road to get enough heat into the system to get the hub hot. Just a guess.
      Excess application of the wax would cause the same problem you are having. We should ask FSF if he has problems getting his wheels off after a track day.
      Chris

    7. 11-21-2006 02:22 PM #7
      I've been using a similar product made by Wurth, which is about half the price of the VW product.
      WURTH PROTECTIVE WAX SPRAY...A fast drying transparent corrosion protection in a handy spray can. Offers a high heat resistance and is great for seams in engine compartment and other tight applications. Sprays on as a liquid and dries to a long-lasting solid.
      11340 Wurth Protective Wax Aerosol, 300 ml
      http://www.viggdesigns.com/pro...&js=n

    8. 02-04-2007 02:02 PM #8
      one note on pricing:
      I went to that site and checked out the Wurth product, and it actually costs close to 2/3 the price of VW product, due to being in a smaller can.
      It would also be interesting to compare shipping costs to local sales tax, since shipping pressurized stuff can sometimes be expensive. (or is shipping free/included there? I couldn't get a shipping price without completing checkout)
      William

    9. 02-04-2007 03:03 PM #9
      I rotated the wheels few weeks ago,when I undo the last bolt the wheel dropped off from the hub by itself and that all 4 of them.Those nice people at Dresden have done a very good job when they were putting my car together.
      I also needed to replace all the tyres on the Touareg, the only way the tyre depot can get the wheels off was by using a 3" dia rubber hammer with a 2 ft handle, knocking and rotating the wheels at the same time to free the wheel from the hub.What chance do I have if I have to do it myself !! The corrosion inhibitor wax sounds like a good investment.
      Rgds Jon

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      06-08-2007 11:08 AM #10
      I was at the dealership recently and complained about the corrosion in this post. All 4 of my wheels have it. This corrosion was not covered under the warranty so they did not fix it. It is unsightly - what is the best way to get rid of it? I'm a little confused - does the D322 000 A2 actually take away the rust?

    11. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      06-08-2007 01:15 PM #11
      No, the wax chemical shown above does not take away rust, it prevents corrosion from forming at the mating surface between the wheel and the wheel hub. This corrosion would not be visible.
      Visible corrosion can form in one of two places: Around the exterior of the center of the brake disc, and on one little cover that is in the middle of the brake caliper. If you see very light corrosion - almost what you would call discolouration - forming around the center part of the brake disc, that is pretty normal after about two years or so. You can get rid of it by taking the wheel off and scrubbing the center of the brake disc with a stiff brush and some industrial detergent.
      If you see corrosion on a rectangular cover plate that is about in the middle of the brake caliper assembly, that is a result of using too harsh a chemical on the wheels in an attempt to remove brake dust. Some car washes and detail shops use pretty aggressive chemicals to get dust off the wheels. One consequence of this is that the chemical also removes paint from the center of the brake disc and the rectangular plate on the brake caliper, and once the paint is gone, you get corrosion.
      The fix for this is to clean the affected surfaces with a wire brush, repaint them, then not use such a harsh chemical on the wheels. I'm not suggesting that YOU are using it - there was one famous case in Toronto where the owner kept calling Phaeton Customer Care to complain about rusting wheels, and it was eventually discovered that the detail kid at the local VW dealership (Villa) was using truck acid to clean the wheels. The wheels looked great, of course... but the acid took all the paint protection off the brake discs and caliper cover plates, and they promptly rusted.
      Michael

    12. 06-08-2007 02:05 PM #12
      I've read a lot about similar cases where Alloy Wheel cleaner eats away the protection. I have found that disposable dashboard wipes (!?) do a very good job of cleaning wheels! I hope they are easy going - they are afterall made to be used on all sorts of cheap plastics. Anyone have any evidence that these may cause surface damage?

    13. 06-25-2007 02:59 PM #13
      O.K - I'm ordering the wax to put on my new Helios wheels. My question is how to apply the wax? The instructions that Michael included say to use a brush to apply the wax. Do you spray wax on a brush and then run it around that beveled edge? What kind of brush do you use?
      Thanks.
      Robert

    14. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      06-25-2007 05:03 PM #14
      I have to admit to laziness - I just spritz it on the beveled edge of the wheel, straight out of the can, and spritz it on the center hub of the wheel bearing, straight out of the can, then I wipe the overspray off with a paper towel and then install the wheel.
      Don't allow too much overspray to get on the wheel hub, otherwise, it melts and gets flung off once the wheels heat up when you start driving. It is then a PITA to clean the excess off the aluminum alloy wheel.
      Michael

    15. 07-03-2007 03:18 PM #15
      Michael-
      What did you use to remove the rust on the wheel & hub?
      I was thinking about purchasing a wire brush. Would that be o.k.?
      Thanks.
      Robert

    16. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      07-03-2007 04:42 PM #16
      Hi Robert:
      I used a 3M abrasive pad, the same kind of pad that is used to clean pots and pans in the kitchen. It is made of plastic. I'm not sure a wire brush would be appropriate for the alloy wheels.
      Michael

    17. 07-03-2007 04:50 PM #17
      Michael-
      Great idea! I would think that the pad would be about as gentle as you could use and still be effective.
      Thanks for the quick response.
      Robert

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      07-08-2007 01:58 AM #18
      FWIW a *thin* film of anti-seize compound, like Permatex brand anti-seize compound which can handle up to 1600ºF, can be applied to the wheel hub mating surface to prevent steel or aluminum corrosion. Alternately, anti-seize compound can be applied directly to the hub surface of the rotor--but obviously not on any brake friction surfaces though.

    19. Member W126C's Avatar
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      07-08-2007 01:03 PM #19
      Quote, originally posted by Dextrobrick »
      a *thin* film of anti-seize compound, like Permatex brand anti-seize compound which can handle up to 1600ºF

      That's what I've used for years now. I even put some on the lug bolts threads. They haven't backed out on me yet.
      Regards,
      Brent

    20. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      08-05-2007 08:47 PM #20
      Archival Note: Related post - Corrosion on Wheel and Brake Components

    21. Member brosen's Avatar
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      08-01-2009 01:51 PM #21
      Today I went to remove a wheel to check the level of rust in the wheel itself (issue addressed in another thread), the bolts were stuck, not even 150 psi impact gun would open them, then I had to get a huge wrench and at that point was able to open them, to find out the are FULLY RUSTED, I do not know why, I am going to try to remove the rust but there is plenty inside the Hub, what I should do ?, is there any treatment for them to avoid this from happening, clearly the reason they were stuck is the rust, I am going to order new ones but the same problem for sure will happen again, any suggestion ?, this is the first time I see such a HUGE LEVEL OF RUST in a wheel bolt, thanks


      Modified by brosen at 12:53 PM 8-1-2009

    22. Member Burnitwithfire's Avatar
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      08-01-2009 07:51 PM #22
      Remove all the rust dust with a plastic brush then use copper antiseize on the wheel bolts. You can also use it where the wheel contacts the wheel hub to prevent it from sticking to the hub.
      You shouldn't have any problem after that.
      Quote Originally Posted by SAV912 View Post
      Going to church is bland. Eating vanilla ice cream is bland. Dating somebody from your local Ayn Rand book club is bland. This car makes all of those things seem as exciting as doing 12 lines of cocaine. With Katie Perry. While she's on fire...in Times Square. And you're naked.

    23. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      08-01-2009 08:18 PM #23
      Quote, originally posted by brosen »
      ...(issue addressed in another thread)...

      I have appended your post to the 'another thread' that you refer to. We try to keep all the information on any given topic in one place whenever possible.
      Quote, originally posted by brosen »
      ...is there any treatment for them to avoid this from happening, clearly the reason they were stuck is the rust, I am going to order new ones but the same problem for sure will happen again, any suggestion?

      Yes, read the 'another thread' above, this explains how to use wax spray (in accordance with the maintenance manual directions) to prevent this problem from happening. Sebas's suggestion to use copper antiseize compound is also an excellent suggestion, it falls under the category of 'best industry practice'. Personally, I just spritz a very tiny amount of the wax spray onto the threads of the bolts before I re-install the bolts (spring and fall) when I change from summer to winter tires.
      If you elect to use the wax spray, don't put excessive amounts on either the wheel hub face or the bolts. If you put too much wax spray onto the parts, the wax melts when the brake disc heats up, then it kind of splatters out onto the wheel. This creates a mess that is a nuisance to clean up.
      Michael

    24. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      08-01-2009 08:24 PM #24
      Just a post-script here - when you are putting the wheels back on the car, don't forget that the torque value for the bolts is 120 N·m. It is entirely possible that the last person who installed those bolts used an impact wrench (rather than a torque wrench) to tighten the bolts, and the reason you had so much trouble removing them was due to the bolts being overtorqued.
      There is a post that explains wheel removal and replacement in great detail here: How to change a flat tire on a Phaeton.
      Michael

    25. Member Burnitwithfire's Avatar
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      08-01-2009 10:29 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »
      Just a post-script here - when you are putting the wheels back on the car, don't forget that the torque value for the bolts is 120 N·m. It is entirely possible that the last person who installed those bolts used an impact wrench (rather than a torque wrench) to tighten the bolts, and the reason you had so much trouble removing them was due to the bolts being overtorqued.
      There is a post that explains wheel removal and replacement in great detail here: How to change a flat tire on a Phaeton.
      Michael

      Yes torquing wheels with an impact wrench is a VERY bad thing to do. It should only be used to remove bolts. With the impact wrench the lug bolts are either over-torqued or not enough. I remember the only time I used one to tighten lug bolts. A week later I had to remove the same wheel by hand and found out the lugs were barely torqued...
      Quote Originally Posted by SAV912 View Post
      Going to church is bland. Eating vanilla ice cream is bland. Dating somebody from your local Ayn Rand book club is bland. This car makes all of those things seem as exciting as doing 12 lines of cocaine. With Katie Perry. While she's on fire...in Times Square. And you're naked.

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