Wheel cleaning disaster!
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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Wheel cleaning disaster!

    Hello! First, let me say that I've been a big fan of Meg's products for ages now, and thus far always loved my results. Yesterday, however, I unfortunately got a very unpleasant shock. Last year I resprayed the stock wheels on our MR2 Spyder in bronze. I did the full deal - sanded down the originals, primed, sanded, primed, painted, and clearcoated, all with dedicated wheel and hi-temp paint and clearcoat. They've held up nicely so far through 100+ degree NC summers and sun, BUT...

    Well, they were pretty dirty and looked like this:



    I'd heard so many raves about Hot Rims wheel cleaner that I was eager to try the stuff, *especially* since the bottle specifically said "Safe for Clearcoated Wheels".



    And now, one day later... This is what I've got:



    ALL that hard work of sanding and spraying is completely down the tubes. The Hot Rims stuff apparently just completely destroyed the clearcoat and paint both, and I can now scratch it off with my finger. It's flaking like that all the way around. And this was after following the instructions carefully - Spray soak with water first, then sprayed on Hot Rims, let sit for about 15-30 seconds, then fully rinsed off and dried with towels.

    That's a huge chunk of my working time just thrown away. Can anyone tell me why this happened, and how to avoid it in future?

  2. #2
    Manager - Meguiar's Solutions Hub Brian Hann's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel cleaning disaster!

    TreverT,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I just sent you a private message.
    Brian Hann
    Manager - Meguiar's Solutions Hub
    Meguiar's Inc.
    Irvine, California
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    (800) 854-8073 *3870

  3. #3
    Product & Training Specialist |MOL Admin Nick Winn's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel cleaning disaster!

    Trever T,

    First, welcome to Meguiar's Online & a sincere THANK YOU for taking the time to contact us regarding your experience with our product. We want to & are grateful for the opportunity to investigate, document, and work with you in these situations, as tough as they can be. What we do not want is for a user & fan of our products like yourself to have an issue, and then not hear about it, and not have the opportunity to help & hopefully make it right with you.

    For your situation, I would like you to please contact our Surface Care Specialists in our Solutions Hub at 800-347-5700 or customercare@meguiars.com. Certain technically issues with a product or complaints can easily be handled via a thread in our forum, but for your situation it is going to be easier to work directly with one of our Surface Care Specialists. We are open Monday - Friday 7:00AM - 4:00PM PST & Saturday 7:00AM - 3:30PM PST. E-Mails are responded to at the latest within 24 hours.

    I will also send a note directly to our Solutions Hub Manager, so he can make his team aware you will be contacting them soon.

    We again apologize for your trouble. Please contact me with any questions.

    Nick
    Nick Winn
    Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Online Forum Administrator
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  4. #4
    Manager - Meguiar's Solutions Hub Brian Hann's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel cleaning disaster!

    Trever T,

    Thank you again for bringing this to our attention. We are grateful for your patience and understanding!

    For anyone else reading this at a later date be aware that choosing the appropriate wheel cleaner is of vital importance. If you have any doubt as to what may or may not be appropriate for your wheel finish please contact our Solutions Hub or post your question here on the forum.

    In this particular situation it is important to point out that DIY repainting can create a very different result than a factory OEM clear coat finish. The materials, tools, environment, process, etc. create many variables and ultimately a different finish on your wheels. Our Hot Rims Wheel & Tire Cleaner is designed specifically for OEM factory clear coated wheels. Again, we try to educate our customers with the appropriate warnings, precautions, and directions placed on the label but ultimately, if unsure, please reach out to us directly to discuss the specifics of your wheels.
    Brian Hann
    Manager - Meguiar's Solutions Hub
    Meguiar's Inc.
    Irvine, California
    bhann@meguiars.com
    (800) 854-8073 *3870

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    Re: Wheel cleaning disaster!

    Thanks very much for your quick response and help, to Brian and the rest of the Meg crew! I do want to stress again that this wasn't meant as a "rage" post or anything, I'm aware that this was an unusual circumstance, but at the same time it was definitely a horrible surprise that I'd like to save someone else from experiencing. To that note, and just for the record, here's what I used on the wheels:



    Bronze wheel paint on the left, and hi-temp clearcoat on the right. Both were applied over hi-temp wheel primer which I *think* was also Dupli-Color but I've used all that up. I sanded thoroughly, tacked, primed, sanded, tacked, primed again, and then applied several coats of the bronze and then topped it with the clearcoat. I know this wasn't equivalent to a full-on factory finish 1000 degree bake and all, but it was a small personal project and it was a means to make the car a little more unique, and aside from this unpleasant Hot Rims surprise the wheels have held up excellently through both extreme heat and cold for the past year.

    My best guess is that the Hot Rims simply dissolved right through the clearcoat and broke the adhesion of the bronze paint. I would definitely caution anyone else who might be thinking of using Hot Rims on home-painted wheels that it was a big risk, especially if they did the paint with these products.

    In any event, lesson learned, sadly! I hope this post will spare someone else from the same fate. FWIW, here are a couple of pics of the car in question with the bronze-sprayed wheels right after I painted them:




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    Re: Wheel cleaning disaster!

    Oh, and one other thing - I've already asked Brian this but will put it to the group as well. Can anyone confirm that Hot Rims is safe for factory painted wheels, specifically the alloy & black factory-options on the new Focus ST? After this experience with our old MR2, I'm highly paranoid of using Hot Rims on the car that we're actually making payments on...

    Here are the wheels in question:


  7. #7
    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel cleaning disaster!

    Trever, I know that you've spoken with Brian about this issue and that he's taken care of things for you. I want to offer up this bit of advice for others who may come across this post: the bottle states that the product is not recommended for aftermarket wheels. That's a rather broad statement but "aftermarket" has an incredibly broad meaning so with a strong cleaner it becomes a bit tricky, darn near impossible, really, to test on every aftermarket finish available. That said, I used to have a car with aftermarket painted and clear coated wheels and used this on it all the time without issue. But not all aftermarket wheels have as robust a finish on them and both high alkaline and high acid cleaners can be overly aggressive on those materials. That you used a high heat paint, and decent quality at that, doesn't mean that it's also chemical resistant, and that's where the issue came in here. Even most aftermarket clear coats are baked on, or are a crosslinking, polymerized finish. Rattle can paints - not so much. The chemistry of the two types of paints are night and day different.

    Yes, it's painful to go through all the work you did to refinish your wheels yourself (and do an excellent job at it, it must be said!) only to have this sort of damage happen. Again, I know that Brian has taken care of you on this, and we all very much appreciate your open minded and thoughful attitude here. As for the black wheels on a Focus ST, they should be perfectly fine with this product as factory OEM wheels are really the target wheel finish for this product. If you are at all worried or leery about it though, by all means stick with our new Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner as it's totally safe on even bare, high polished aluminum. It's what I use now on the 44 year old magnesium Campagnolo wheels on my '74 Alfa Spider and it's awesome (and I promise, that's NOT just a biased opinion!!!).
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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    Re: Wheel cleaning disaster!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Stoops View Post

    Yes, it's painful to go through all the work you did to refinish your wheels yourself (and do an excellent job at it, it must be said!) only to have this sort of damage happen. Again, I know that Brian has taken care of you on this, and we all very much appreciate your open minded and thoughful attitude here. As for the black wheels on a Focus ST, they should be perfectly fine with this product as factory OEM wheels are really the target wheel finish for this product. If you are at all worried or leery about it though, by all means stick with our new Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner as it's totally safe on even bare, high polished aluminum. It's what I use now on the 44 year old magnesium Campagnolo wheels on my '74 Alfa Spider and it's awesome (and I promise, that's NOT just a biased opinion!!!).
    Do you think this stuff would be OK on the re-repainted Spyder wheels? They do tend to accumulate brake dust because it's the car my wife and I take on short, overnight mountain trips - top down, it's a delight on windy roads with great views, but that usually means coming home with very dirty wheels. That was what motivated me to go for the Hot Rims in the first place.

    Also, that Alfa sounds lovely. Pics? Our Spyder was a compromise for us because I'd love to have an old MGB GT or Alfa but I don't really have the time/budget/knowledge to properly maintain one, so we went for the easy/reliable Toyota instead.

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    Registered Member Old Bear's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel cleaning disaster!

    For all:
    Here is a link to Mike Stoops FaceBook Live presentation on Wheel and Tire Care.
    https://meguiarsonline.com/forums/sh...-December-2017

  10. #10
    Sr. Global Product & Training Spec Michael Stoops's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel cleaning disaster!

    Quote Originally Posted by TreverT View Post
    Do you think this stuff would be OK on the re-repainted Spyder wheels? They do tend to accumulate brake dust because it's the car my wife and I take on short, overnight mountain trips - top down, it's a delight on windy roads with great views, but that usually means coming home with very dirty wheels. That was what motivated me to go for the Hot Rims in the first place.
    Ultimate All Wheel Cleaner would definitely be my first, and probably only, choice for your painted wheels. It's safe to use on Plasti-Dipped wheels and it uses dramatically different chemistry than any of the Hot Rims wheel cleaners. Due to its neutral pH it's not going to clean tires like the alkaline Hot Rims Wheel & Tire Cleaner will, though, so don't be surprised by that.

    Quote Originally Posted by TreverT View Post
    Also, that Alfa sounds lovely. Pics? Our Spyder was a compromise for us because I'd love to have an old MGB GT or Alfa but I don't really have the time/budget/knowledge to properly maintain one, so we went for the easy/reliable Toyota instead.
    Funny thing is, I didn't think I'd be able to live with a classic Euro sports car either, so at first I went out and got a 1999 Miata (coincidentally, in a very similar color combo to your Toyota - Emerald Mica with tan leather from the factory and I added bronze wheels to it!!! Just a weekend toy, but I really wanted something different, and the Alfa was the perfect fit (plus I've been a huge Alfa Romeo fan my whole life). Just take your time and look for the best car you can find. Resign yourself to the fact that your first color choice may not be available - what you really want is a mechanically very sound vehicle. Live with the color. And find a really good mechanic. I deal with one of the top Alfa specialty shops who happens to be not only very close to me, but the shop owner actually used to own my car!!!

    This is my car on one of our local mountain roads last winter. The wheels fitted to it here are not the original magnesium Campagnolos as those were out getting refurbed at the time.


    This is her getting gassed up for the long drive to Monterey back in August. Our Event Marketing team asked me to have her in our booth at Concorso Italiano, and I jumped at the chance even though she's just driver quality and not a show car. I do love the gloss shown in this pic, though!! 900+ miles on that weekend and she never skipped a beat!


    OK, not a show car, but that doesn't mean we don't go to shows together. And a few months ago she got "Best in Show" at the Balboa Car Show and my buddy Mike Brewer from "Wheeler Dealers" handed the award to me. Yes, this shot might be a bit gratuitous, but we're all car guys here so what the hey, right????
    Michael Stoops
    Senior Global Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Inc.

    Remember, this hobby is supposed to be your therapy, not the reason you need therapy.

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