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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody, I am new to this forum. I have a mercury silver ISF.
Some months ago I started noticing pitting on my wheels. I complained one time and the dealer service rep took pictures and sent them to the Factory rep. Iwas told yesterday to bring the car in and leave it because the factory rep would be today...
Well to my suprise he agreed to replace all 4 wheels as a GOOD WILL gesture.
Of course I was pleased but also disappointed.
My comments went as follows..
I bought a 60K car where brake dust causes wheel pitting.
I think Lexus engineering needs to evaluate and perform RCA(Root Cause Analysis) and determine exact cause.
He then informed me that he contacted the entire East coast Factory reps and found no similar occurance.
I drive 100 miles to and
from work every day and I now Have 16K miles since March, this may be why nobody else has observed this problem.

I was also told that I was not cleaning the wheels often enough and that replacing the wheels was a one time offer....

Thse wheel as you all know are very expensive and I suggest all forum ISF owners watch and complain at the fist sign of pitting/rust

Hope this is informative...

By the way thanks to this forum and reading the posts got me looking closely at my $2500/a piece wheels
Thanks
 

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Welcome to the site!

That is very interesting! Do you have any pics of the pitting? Lexus had always had great customer service :cool:
 

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I have rim pitting as well!

I have the same issue as the original poster. I have a black ISF that I purchased earlier this year. I have less than 7,500 miles on the car and all four rims show signs of pitting. I found out when I accidentally curbed the right front rim at an ATM drive thru and went to my local dealership to have the rim looked at.

The local Lexus dealership inspected my rim so that it could be fixed and that is when the pitting was discovered.

The dealer and their reps were very helpful and they were planning on replacing my four pitted rims but Lexus customer services apparently blamed the pitting on my failure to wash the rims every few days! This is unacceptable in a $60k plus car from a company that prides itself on customer service and quality.

According the my dealer, this is the first time that they have heard of ISF rim pitting and they also indicated that the high performance break pads are resulting in rust particles being thrown on the rims. Their recommendation was to wash the rims every 2-3 days to make sure that the rim's do not pit. Apparently this is "normal" for these types of high performance vehicles.

I've owned other sports cars (BMW, Mercedes, Porsche) and I've never had this issue with any other manufacturer. I wash my car as needed and keep it clean but I agree with the original poster above. If my dealer and the original poster's dealer both stated that the "brake dust causes pitting" then we have a problem with the design or type of brake or brake pad that Lexus must correct.

In my case, the dealer was able to have Lexus agree to repaint (not replace) my four rims. I'm scheduled to have my rims sandblasted to get rid of the pitting and then repainted but I'm not too thrilled with the prospect. Especially if the original poster above is having his four rims replaced with original factory rims.

All forum posters should check their rims and if they see signs of pitting (the rim will show pin prick size spots around it or you'll feel small bumpy indentations) I recommend that you reply to this post and also contact Lexus customer service and your local dealer.

The ISF is an amazing vehicle but the thought of having to clean the rims and obsess about possible future pitting is unacceptable in a vehicle of this type.

This is a great forum and I wanted to support the original poster and to warn everyone else reading the forum to be aware of this issue with our wonderful cars.
 

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My thoughts on brake dust vs. pitting after spending 21 years in the automotive road wheel industry. Brake dust is a nasty and it always has been. Most brake pads have metallic bits in them that will heat up and embed themselves into whatever is closest to them, usually your wheels. That's when the pits begin to appear. Brake dust doesn't care if your car was $60k or $1k or if your wheels are 20 bucks each or $2500 each it will pit them either way without proper cleaning/care and maintenance. This isn't a new problem that has suddenly surfaced, it's been going on for years. In my experience two big German manufacturers had some of the worst brake dust issues and pitting to follow I have ever seen. Lexus has also had it's fair share of cars running around with darker wheels on the front than the rear because of heavy dusting. I have said it before, there is always a trade off. You get excellent braking and performance from the IS-F brakes and the trade off is more brake dust than you are probably use to. You can not neglect the finish on your wheels, no matter what kind of wheel you have, with the added performance/brake dust that the F provides. If you are driving more miles a day than average than expect accelerated wear and use. Be proactive and take steps necessary to protect parts of your $60k car. Clean the wheels more often, treat them with paint protectant or some sort of finish protect that allows the brake dust to come off easier, even wax them at the very least, maybe twice a year. We are all car people here, it's no secret that preventative maintenance is a key factor in long lasting good looks. I might be the exception but I have a set of forged 3 pc wheels that I have run for 3 years now and they look almost as good as the day they were bought due to routine cleaning. I would say every 3 days may be excessive to clean the IS-F wheels (unless you are driving 100 miles a day!), but at least consider once a week taking a look at them and washing if needed. I don't know of any wheel manufactures that replace wheels under warranty due to pitting, whether it be from brake dust or road salt in the snowy areas. It is considered normal wear and tear. Would you ask to have your hood replaced or repainted because of pitting or rock chips? I just wanted to share my experiences from the wheel world with everyone, and provide some food for thought.
 

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I have to agree with FCHAMP, this is one of the tradeoffs of the brake compound used in the Brembo setup. When you get particles flying off at 1400 degrees there is not much in the way of a coating that will not get pitted. However it can be mitigated by closely monitoring the situation. There are other pad compounds out there that may help, but if it is a big concern then you will have to get the corrosive dust off once it hits the surface. I think going after Lexus in this case is somewhat shamefull and in effect is the type of behavior that raises the price for everyone else...or worse it tells lexus NA that its consumers are not interested in a performance car. I agree the wheels are ridiculously expensive but as much as I like being taken care of by the dealership for the money I paid, I also prefer to take responsibility for the total care of my vehicle.

I would also say that as a general rule, wheels can be refinished for (at most) $500. That is bead blasting, and two coats of powdercoating. If you must put the ball in their court I would at least settle for a refinish job and not make them spring for an entire set of new wheels. Just my thoughts as a business owner, ISF owner and general proponent of reasonable thinking.

Fig
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I disagree with Fig and FchampOH for a few simple reasons. I also own Z06 that I track and drive the car more aggressively than the lex. I have about the same miles on both. It is apparent to me that Chevrolet made a decision to
design a wheel that is not affected by brake dust no matter how aggressive one drives the car. I have also been to corvette drivers school where the cars are driven harder than I possible could and no pitting/rust on these wheels.
This is a design problem and all ISF owners need to be aware of this issue.
I respect the opinion of a person that has 21 years experience in the wheel business, but it is incumbant on the manufacture to understand the variables involved with high performance brakes and the relationship with the wheels.
thanks
 

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Rnpjstewart, I appreciate where you are coming from on all aspects. I too have been on several road race courses around the country and have seen massive amounts of brake dust and heat generated by the brakes. As far as driving on the street though, factors like driving through rain with brake dust on the wheels and then driving more on sunny days with the same brake dust and adding new brake dust then driving again in rain and so on then letting them sit for intervals in between is a very caustic mixture. If left to sit it will begin to eat through any finish. IMO the design of the wheel has nothing to do with the problem you are experiencing. These are forged wheels that were designed in conjunction with BBS, one of the worlds leaders in road wheel technology. They were designed and tested on several race tracks around the world for no less than 4 years. I'm guessing if there was a design flaw or a brake dust/pitting issue it would have shown itself to them.
Perhaps you are cleaning the corvette wheels after each event? Maybe your brake pad compound isn't as aggressive as what is on the Lexus? If you feel that you are providing proper care to the IS-F wheels finish based on the amount of driving you are doing and the conditions you drive in and the aggressive compound of these pads then accept my apologies. Crying foul on the part of Lexus and their design philosophies without mentioning all possible variables for this kind of problem seems a little bit aggressive. The "F" is a factory built race car and has brake pads that go along with it.
 

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I have one question does anyone feel that Lexus overprice the cost per rim? It's $2500.00 per rim, but not too sure about that price. Another is that why Lexus design the vehicle where it was difficult to get the proper size tires on it? Could it be that Lexus is offering exclusive business to certain tire companies? Sorry for posting this comment not relating to the topic.
 

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I think the wheels are outrageous...however I also think they are consistent somewhat with a limited run custom forged aluminum BBS wheel. I think most BBS wheels are outrageous and that is why I prefer OZ as a replacement and in general. We have all seen the production numbers and there just are not enough ISF's on teh road to make up the difference in tooling costs and short run production parts. This is one reason why I think the ISF is a flat bargain when compared to a 350 similarly equipped. The sum of the parts is cheaper than the parts themselves. I say enjoy it while it lasts and keep your car clean if you don't want things to eat away at the finish. I guess I am just not one to blame everything on someone else and I take responsibility for my own actions. I have never seen an aluminum wheel that will not get pitted after some period or another due to dust or any other element on the road. It sucks, but I thought that is why we grew up and made good money so we could enjoy these things. The world is FULL of imperfection and I just do not want to encourage everyone to have Lexus replace their wheels is all. I do not work for Lexus, I just work for a living.


I know that BBS is not going to change their finish, the wheels have already been made. So basically if you get another set of wheels, you better take care of them. I look at this a this in the same vein and Mcdonalds hot coffee...sorry I am just not feeling the need for an uprising.
:(
Fig
 

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I agree with Rnpjstwart. I've driven my Porsche (traded in for the ISF) very hard and never had the brake dust issue. I also agree with the other posters that "we" the owners are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of our auto, tires, and rims. But...

I still don't agree that this is acceptable, especially when I do make sure to get my car washed once per week (hand washed). I've been going to the same hand car wash place with my last three cars so I know that the cleaners that they use are not causing a chemical reaction with the rims.

Perhaps there are differences in production tolerances and "we" both got "Monday" production rims while some of the posters have been lucky and not experienced the pitting. This isn't a complaint as much as an FYI for other ISF owners to make sure that what happened to at least two of us will be avoided (if possible). At least the original poster's dealer is replacing his rims where as I will have them repainted (not my first choice).

One of the posters mentioned that bringing issues like this to the attention of Lexus could cost others by raising the price and is "shameful." What is shameful is blaming the owner for raising the issue and not being open to a discussion about an issue that can possibly affect that poster as well.

We are not going after the auto manufacturer. We are raising awareness about a possible problem that the brake pads or a component of the rims. And at $2,200 per rim I'd say that this could be an expensive issue that you'd want to know about right? Some of us worked very hard to afford this car while others can easily switch cars at this price level at a whim. But an issue with $8,800 worth of OEM components should be of some interest. Money is money after all.

So, once my rims are re-painted and the original poster's rims are replaced, what products (brand names please) would you recommend to prevent this from happening in the future (if this is possible) and how often do you clean your rims to keep them from pitting?

What is your rim cleaning technique, frequency, and product of choice?

That's why this forum exists. To share information and to learn about how best to enjoy our vehicles. A little bit of constructive dialogue is also part of this as well as we can hopefully agree to disagree. After all, we are all proud ISF owners right?
 

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I have a 2002 Z06 which has grey painted rims. The OEM pads were severly "dusting" the rims daily because of the high performance pads supplied. I did a bit of research and found some GM ceramic replacement pads which I had installed. Problem solved! Now I have to run my finger on the rim to check for dust. I have had the car almost seven (7) years and no pitting. I further admit that I don't wash it as much as I used to, but because of the lack of dust don't have to.

I admit that the braking performance suffered marginally but does not matter for street use. I'm sure my 60-0 braking distance increased by a couple of feet! The difference in pedal effort was barely noticable and soon forgotten.

I'm sure Bembco has some other pads compatabile with ISF calipers.

Curtis
 

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For what it's worth (ultra big business protectionist comments aside), I strongly feel that with a thorough, weekly cleaning (car wash, self wash, mobile detailer), this issue really will not become an issue. My black/black IS F is washed by a mobile detailer once a week and I drive the car pretty hard and brake hard with a lot of fairly hard stops. I have not seen any evidence of pitting whatsoever on my wheels, and I've owned the car since 2/18/08.

I'm not expert on wheel care, but I can tell you that my strong suspicion is that simply washing the wheels thoroughly every week will definitely prevent any pitting problem from arising.

Like others have mentioned, this is a high performance race car and it has high performance maintenance needs. If you're expecting a trouble free ES350 here that you just drive and forget about, it's the wrong car. I call these types of issues with the IS F its "personality." All exotics and high performance rides have one.

I'm just curious about how often the original poster was cleaning his wheels (apologies if this has already been asked & answered).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just to be clear, I clean the car and the wheels at least once per week, sometimes twice per week. am very picky and can't and imperfections...
That answered and studying the owners manual I can not find any reference to having(because of the high perfomance wheels and brakes ) to clean more often.
I love the dialog and thats what makes America Great..I diagree with the folks that think cleaning more often is the fix.
I still believe that Lexus ISF owners should look at the wheels and evaluate the pitting/rust and determine the course of action that they will take.
I only bring this to the attenion of all ISF owners.

I have been told and i cannot verify the Subaru high perfomance auto had this problem early and fixed the problem..
Like I said in previos post I drive the Z06 in all weather and under similar circumstances with the same cleaning regiment and have almost the same type of wheels( and even track it occasionally) with no pitting or rust....

Thanks all for the discussion...
 

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I agree with Rnpjstwart. I've driven my Porsche (traded in for the ISF) very hard and never had the brake dust issue. I also agree with the other posters that "we" the owners are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of our auto, tires, and rims. But...

I still don't agree that this is acceptable, especially when I do make sure to get my car washed once per week (hand washed). I've been going to the same hand car wash place with my last three cars so I know that the cleaners that they use are not causing a chemical reaction with the rims.

Perhaps there are differences in production tolerances and "we" both got "Monday" production rims while some of the posters have been lucky and not experienced the pitting. This isn't a complaint as much as an FYI for other ISF owners to make sure that what happened to at least two of us will be avoided (if possible). At least the original poster's dealer is replacing his rims where as I will have them repainted (not my first choice).

One of the posters mentioned that bringing issues like this to the attention of Lexus could cost others by raising the price and is "shameful." What is shameful is blaming the owner for raising the issue and not being open to a discussion about an issue that can possibly affect that poster as well.

We are not going after the auto manufacturer. We are raising awareness about a possible problem that the brake pads or a component of the rims. And at $2,200 per rim I'd say that this could be an expensive issue that you'd want to know about right? Some of us worked very hard to afford this car while others can easily switch cars at this price level at a whim. But an issue with $8,800 worth of OEM components should be of some interest. Money is money after all.

So, once my rims are re-painted and the original poster's rims are replaced, what products (brand names please) would you recommend to prevent this from happening in the future (if this is possible) and how often do you clean your rims to keep them from pitting?

What is your rim cleaning technique, frequency, and product of choice?

That's why this forum exists. To share information and to learn about how best to enjoy our vehicles. A little bit of constructive dialogue is also part of this as well as we can hopefully agree to disagree. After all, we are all proud ISF owners right?

I think this is an appropriate reaction and certainly reasonable. My interest is in keeping a good light on this from Lexus' point of view. I think we were all informed a while ago that this was a problem and thus I take extra care to make sure it does not happen to mine. I am just trying to discourage everyone from hitting their Lexus Dealer and requesting new rims, that does not seems reasonable to me. I only say this because I have had horrible experiences with "finishes" and wasted a year of my life fighting with a paint job, mostly because I had the same view. It was the persuit of perfection LOL.

Yes bring it to the Dealer's attention and possibly Lexus will offer a pad TSB to give people who generally do not care about the perfromance hit. I had planned on replacing these pads anyway simply due to the above average outgassing them seem to do anyway.

In regards to tolerances, since its an assembly line process and the finishing is typically robotic unter a controlled environment I do not there there is much deviation. Powdercoating finishes are fairly consistent and since its not a structural issue the only remedy would be to changes pads or change the finish. There may be different formulas of powdercoating (higher temp) that will survive better, but the easiest fix is to change the pads.

I am sorry if I do not sound sympathetic, please do not interpret my tone that way. I pulled my wheels off for winter because I did not want to risk the 9K experiment of curbing all 4 somehow.

I think awareness is fine and I think that message has been delivered, I just disagree mainly with the call to go to the dealer and have them buy you a new set of wheels.....which will not fix the problem....because they are the same wheels :rolleyes:.

sorry to get on a soapbox, part of me just likes a good point-counterpoint once in a while :D.

Fig
 
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