2015 BMW M235i: The Satisfaction of Cleaning Up Brake Dust
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on January 12, 2016
Brake dust, that grey soot-like stuff that accumulates on your wheels, is the bane of any car enthusiast who likes things looking nice. Unfortunately, our 2015 BMW M235i makes a fair amount of the stuff.
Before we go further, I must stress that I don't consider this a problem or a defect, but the mere byproduct of brakes working. I know of others who feel otherwise, and strongly so. Yet the dust seems more prevalent on the BMWs I've tested. Perhaps it's true what an engineer at a major automaker once told me: Europeans tend to be more accepting of brake dust than U.S. consumers.
In any event, I don't mind cleaning the dust. In fact, I like seeing the fruits of my labor, which brings us to the above image of the driver-side wheel.
The left side has a few weeks of buildup, while the right was taken immediately after a wash. Also, I hope you pay good attention to this image because I spent way too much time making it in Photoshop this morning.
Brake dust makes a huge difference in the overall visual "feel" of the car; cars with dirty wheels look unsightly and unkempt. Fortunately cleaning the dust off is easy enough and oddly therapeutic. Less therapeutic but even easier? Paying somebody to wash it for you.
However you do it, the experience gives that odd satisfaction that's similar to hitting a dirty wall with a powerwasher.
Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor