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Car Care & Detailing
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
scrace
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How to remove white spots on M3 steering wheel?

I have some random white spots on my steering wheel and they are very small like a grain of sand.

Any advice on how to tackle the issue, there are 2-3 spots total on the wheel.
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:52 AM   #2
TOGWT
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Some basic information is required prior to providing a solution

There are some very knowledgeable and experienced detailer's both professional and enthusiast who are more than willing to help with detailing problems and share their knowledge and experience.

However, some posts that are seeking information or a solution to a specific problem omit some very important basic information that is required to provide the correct solution -

1. What is the material (Paint, Rubber, Metal and etc)
2. How old is the vehicle?
3. The colour and type of finish (leather, fabric, single stage or clear coat, and etc) if applicable
4. What is its condition (Excellent- Moderate - Poor)
5. What have you tried (if anything) thus far
6. What are your detailing goals for the vehicle (daily driver, show car, Concours entrant)

Describing a problem in words can sometimes be difficult and / or inconcise; often it will help diagnose a problem much easier if you provide a photograph

For a professional offering an opinion there is the always the potential of becoming the subject of a lawsuit if a suggestion causes damage to a vehicle; so getting as much information as possible ahead of time will mitigate risk exposure considerably.

Be cognizant that any material presented is usually an interpretation of personal experience, objective research and information gathered; so any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. I would strongly suggest that you verify any information that anyone shares with you.



Based on an Autopia.org post by Ron Ketcham

Last edited by TOGWT; 07-19-2012 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:31 AM   #3
SamDoe1
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Pics?

Impossible to give advice, other than replace steering wheel, with the info you have provided.

What material is the white spot you speak of?
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:19 PM   #4
scrace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOGWT View Post
There are some very knowledgeable and experienced detailer's both professional and enthusiast who are more than willing to help with detailing problems and share their knowledge and experience.

However, some posts that are seeking information or a solution to a specific problem omit some very important basic information that is required to provide the correct solution -

1. What is the material (Paint, Rubber, Metal and etc)
2. How old is the vehicle?
3. The colour and type of finish (leather, fabric, single stage or clear coat, and etc) if applicable
4. What is its condition (Excellent- Moderate - Poor)
5. What have you tried (if anything) thus far
6. What are your detailing goals for the vehicle (daily driver, show car, Concours entrant)

Describing a problem in words can sometimes be difficult and / or inconcise; often it will help diagnose a problem much easier if you provide a photograph

For a professional offering an opinion there is the always the potential of becoming the subject of a lawsuit if a suggestion causes damage to a vehicle; so getting as much information as possible ahead of time will mitigate risk exposure considerably.

Be cognizant that any material presented is usually an interpretation of personal experience, objective research and information gathered; so any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. I would strongly suggest that you verify any information that anyone shares with you.



Based on an Autopia.org post by Ron Ketcham
Steering wheel from a 2003.5 M3, 71k miles on the car, I've had it for a month, I've cleaned it with water and then used chemical guys leather conditioner on it, didn't seem to do much and did not remove the white spots, but I also did not rub hard.


spot on the left.










Best I could do with the lighting tonight.

I ordered gliptone leather cleaner and conditioner for my seats so I may try that on this, but maybe I'm just too scared to push.

Also, how do you remove scratches? Such as the one pictured under the white spot on the left side of the wheel.
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:16 AM   #5
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Leather covered steering wheel:

Steering wheels have an extra coating of protective finish on the already finished or coated leather. Perspiration and dirt are absorbed readily into the dry leather, and combined with the ultra violet (UV-B) radiation of the sun a chemical reaction occurs that degrades the finished leather. All of us have seen this wear on steering wheels

A finished leather steering wheel is protected with a urethane clear top coat. UV heat will allow any dirt / grease to become imbedded and the surface becomes more soiled the abrasive dirt / grit produces a shine.

Using leather oil-based conditioners on finished leather may cause delamination from the leather substrate. As the oils will permeate the leather via the stitching or any micro-cracks in the surface, once oil gets between the urethane and the substrate it causes loss of adhesion (See also Oil and Oil based Products)

Most manufacturer's advice against using oil-based conditioners on steering wheels as it makes the surface slippery and could be dangerous if you lose control of the vehicles steering


I think the 'white spots' are oils tha have not permeated the finish and have dried up.

To remove the fine scratches use a 3M delicate duty scuff pad (White)using light medium pressure



1. Clean the wheel's leather surface with a leather cleaner (Leather Masters***8482; Strong Effect Cleaner ) or a Limonen (citrus) based de-greaser (P21S Total Auto Wash) diluted 5:1 with warm distilled water in a spray bottle; dependant upon type and extent of soil or stain

2. For oil or grease stains use Leather Masters***8482; Leather Degreaser (check for colour fastness) this aerosol product is ideal for cleaning this type of stain as it dissolves the oils and transforms them into a powder that is more absorbent than the leather.

This powder is what is wiped off, cleaning and degreasing the leather. Allow the white powder to dry fully. If the powder is drying to a yellow colour, it means that there are still a lot of oils in the leather.

Using a Medium / hard horse hair brush, or a soft sponge, spray and work the cleaner into a foam, lightly scrub surface and immediately wipe with a terry towel to remove excess moisture, especially around stitching (you may need to repeat this process).

3. Once wheel is thoroughly dry apply Leather Masters***8482; Leather Protection





I hope the information is of some help to you. If you have any further questions please let me know

Last edited by TOGWT; 07-20-2012 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:40 AM   #6
daveabides
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White spots on steering wheel

I too have the white spot problem. I have an X3 with heated steering wheel. I just had it in for service which included replacing plastic trim between steering wheel and airbag. When I picked the car up from BMW is when I noticed the spots. There are a lot of them and the dealer told me it is normal wear and tear and not covered under warranty. I laughed at him, reminded him that the car only has 30,000 miles and challenged him to find the same results on any car in his lot. He couldn't. I have been driving cars for 40 years now and have never seen this. He also told me that after a time the color coating on leather will wear away. Once again, I laughed, but more of a I'm going to hurt youy laugh and told him of my 14 year old honda with leather interior that is perfect. The honda has almost 200,000 miles.
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOGWT View Post
To remove the fine scratches use a 3M delicate duty scuff pad (White)using light medium pressure
I would agree with this. Looks to me like crud left on surface, maybe dried up paint even. Use a scrub pad to LIGHTLY scrub off the spots, don't apply the scrub pad to areas that don't have spots though.

When you are done, ensure that you use a good leather cleaner to protect the parts you've just cleaned otherwise you'll be back to square one quickly.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:31 AM   #8
scrace
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Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
I would agree with this. Looks to me like crud left on surface, maybe dried up paint even. Use a scrub pad to LIGHTLY scrub off the spots, don't apply the scrub pad to areas that don't have spots though.

When you are done, ensure that you use a good leather cleaner to protect the parts you've just cleaned otherwise you'll be back to square one quickly.
I have gliptone and used it on my seats last night with great results.

I just tried a little gliptone cleaner with a soft toothbrush, I was lightly rubbing it, and when I whipped the cleaner away a decent amount of black was left on the cloth I used to lightly whip the surface.

Am I not pressing hard enough? I'm scared to really scrub or anything because I don't want to damage the leather. The white spots did not come off in the area I tried the cleaner and condition in, but the wheel did become much softer and no more oil.

I'm also worried that the black might not be dirty and is the leather where I've scrubbed or rubbed too hard and removed the protectant.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:43 AM   #9
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Can you pick off or feel the white spots with your finger nail?
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:10 PM   #10
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It looks like paint. Plastic razor blade or your finger nail. Also that CG Leather conditioner isn't going to last worth a damn on your steering wheel.

Clean with leather masters soft cleaner and protect with Ultima Interior Guard Plus or Leather Masters/LeatherWorldTech Protection cream.
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:10 PM   #11
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I had the same problem, at first I thought it was my wedding ring scuffing the leather and considered divorce- just kidding. I decided I'd go nuts over it- finally sat in the car with every product in my house with the resolve of getting a new steering wheel if I failed. Total , 100% success with my daughters lemon nail polish remover- Though I suspect any acetone would work. Totally cleaned the specs off leaving no residue and my car smells of lemons.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:02 AM   #12
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I have the same white spot problem, but haven't addressed the issue yet. I do have a quick question about the Gliptone product you used on your seats. Is it the spray bottle type or the squeeze bottle type as seen in the link below? Would someone recommend one over the other (spray type or squeeze type)?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GLIPTONE-LIQ...item3cbce83656_nr_
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:09 AM   #13
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:03 AM   #14
scrace
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Originally Posted by 206m3 View Post
I have the same white spot problem, but haven't addressed the issue yet. I do have a quick question about the Gliptone product you used on your seats. Is it the spray bottle type or the squeeze bottle type as seen in the link below? Would someone recommend one over the other (spray type or squeeze type)?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GLIPTONE-LIQ...item3cbce83656_nr_
I used the liquid, non-spray. Just like this:



I used a tooth brush and they came off with ease, it was just dirt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hitmanre View Post
Sharpie
How about no....
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:59 PM   #15
206m3
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Did Gliptone changed their labels? Why does the eBay ones have different labels on their bottles?
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