My front 2 wheel covers always get super dirty but the back never does. Some oily black stuff always covers the front 2 wheel covers a few days after washing it clean. Is there something leaking or is this normal?

Front: enter image description here

Back: enter image description here

The front looks like the back one for a few days after a wash then gets the black stuff all over it in a few days.

1 Answer 1


The problem most likely is brake dust. Organic, semi-metallic, and metallic brake pads create black dust which collects on the rim and in your case the wheel cover. To avoid brake dust you should have ceramic brake pads installed.

  • 2
    It should probably be mentioned that it's not dangerous, only cosmetic problem...
    – vidarlo
    Nov 13, 2023 at 13:15
  • 1
    To assure yourself that it is not oil, touch a piece of clean white paper to a dirty area, then brush off any dust from the paper. Now hold the paper up to the light. If the spot that touched the dirt becomes translucent and looks bright when held up to the light, it was oil. If the paper remains opaque, it is just dry brake dust.
    – MTA
    Nov 13, 2023 at 13:36
  • If you look at the road surface the car is on, it looks very dusty. The OP may be suggesting that the road dust is sticking to the greasy wheels. The dirt does look a bit excessive for a few days of brake dust.
    – HandyHowie
    Nov 14, 2023 at 9:34
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    @Gotem - There could be several reasons why the brake dust is excessive, the main one being a driving error called riding the brakes. I don't know that's "for sure" what is happening, but it will drop a lot of dust from it. Nov 14, 2023 at 14:26
  • 1
    @Gotem - I wouldn't change the way you drive. It was only a suggestion as to a cause. Riding the brakes usually means you have your foot on the pedal all the time. In doing so, you are always causing the brakes to be activated and always grinding away at the rotors. If you take your foot off of the pedal after using them and keep your foot primarily on the floor between braking, you aren't riding the brakes. Nov 14, 2023 at 19:35

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