Do Wheel Dust Shields Damage Your Car?

Written by patrick hayes
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Do Wheel Dust Shields Damage Your Car?
Brake dust can cause damage to custom rims and wheels, which brake dust shields can prevent. (sports car rim image by Lario Tus from Fotolia.com)

As drivers break-in their vehicles, material in the brake pads gradually wears off and can collect on the wheels. In hot temperatures, this material becomes dried onto the wheel surface, often causing permanent damage to custom or alloy wheels. Brake dust shields are a way to prevent dust build-up, but if not installed properly, could also result in unwanted damage to the vehicle.

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Function

Brake dust shields are thin shields installed on the inside of a wheel. They come in custom sizes designed to fit snugly and prevent dust from escaping through the cracks. Regular cleaning of the wheels is still necessary to remove any dust that escapes through the shield.

Wheel Damage

Brake dust shields that are installed improperly occasionally cause damage. If the shield is not pressed evenly and firmly against the wheel, a scraping sound could result. If the problem is not corrected, the wheels could go out of balance or loosen.

Brake Dust is the Greater Risk

Even if there are small risks related to incorrect installation of brake dust shields, the dust is the more costly and potentially damaging problem. Brake dust that dries on a wheel causes cracking and chipping. Dust that spreads onto the vehicle surface scratches paint. Dust also is a health risk to humans if it is inhaled.

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