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Old 08-01-2009, 06:17 PM   #1
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White rust on wheels

Can anyone tell me how to remove white rust build up around the lug caps of my aluminum wheels? It is pretty severe. I tryed Aluminum Jelly without any success.
Thank you
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:21 PM   #2
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What you are seeing is "galvanic corrosion" very common when two dissimilar metals are mated -- in this case steel lugs and your aluminum wheels (pull the plastic lug caps and see how bad it is under the caps where the steel and aluminum actually meet). In very extreme cases, it could "stick" you outer aluminum wheel to the inner steel wheel (they really should put two aluminum wheels on rather than just the outer one, but $$$), making it very difficult to change a tire!! Do a google search for galvanic corrosion and you can learn a variety of things that accelerate it (humidity, salt water, etc). I don't know that you can totally stop it, but you may also find some things to do to slow it down.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:33 AM   #3
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I can't believe that Winnebago would accept this type of problem from Freightliner. Has anyone else had this problem?
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:55 AM   #4
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I believe if you call Winnebago Customer Service you will receive the info you need. My experiences with them have ALL been positive.
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:07 PM   #5
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The problem of galvanic corrosion is not at all unique to Freightliner. I have a Spartan chassis, and am vulnerable just as you are, as are ALL vehicles (RVs, trucks, cars, etc) that have aluminum wheels! It also is the reason that Suburban water heaters requier an anode rod. It is a very common problem in all kinds of settings. Winnebago might have some suggestions to help you control it, or perhaps someone else can provide some ideas...
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Old 08-02-2009, 06:28 PM   #6
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It also present on Ford and GM wheels. I cannot speak for other car mfgs. Its the nature of the beast it seems.
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:13 PM   #7
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Can it be removed? Can the wheels be polished to remove it?
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:23 PM   #8
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Wikipedia has a good write up with possible actions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanic_corrosion
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottma View Post
Can anyone tell me how to remove white rust build up around the lug caps of my aluminum wheels? It is pretty severe. I tryed Aluminum Jelly without any success.
Thank you
That corrosion is Al2O3 or alum. oxide. It is a very hard mineral and is the same material as rubies, sapphires, etc. Of course, sapphires and rubies are prettier but the same stuff none the less.

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Old 08-08-2009, 07:32 AM   #10
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Does anyone know how to remove this? Are their companies that will remove the clear coat and refurbich the wheels?
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Old 08-08-2009, 12:33 PM   #11
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The corosion eats into the aluminum. The white crust can be removed but you'll still have pits and scars that need to be removed by polishing. It's an annual or semi-annual job and it's not a Freightliner or Winnebago issue - it's a steel versus aluminum issue. I've posted some info on my polishing results at http://www.rvcruzer.com/alumrims.htm if you want to see what works for me.
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:18 AM   #12
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Nice write up !
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:36 PM   #13
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The same problem causes those Lovely Wheels to Leak Air! The Valve Stems basically Rot the Rim !
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