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Rusting Wheelhubs on New Model A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI SE

Discussion in 'New A3/S3 (8V Chassis)' started by sirkitbraker, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. sirkitbraker
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    sirkitbraker New Member

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    [Feb 3, 2014]
    I have a new model A3 Sportback 2.0 TDI SE first registered end March 2013. Very soon after I bought the car the wheel hubs started to rust. My dealer accepted that this was a problem but said that Audi would not replace the hubs under the warranty. I contacted Audi Customer service regarding the problem. After a lot of communications with them they finally said they considered the problem was only cosmetic and without accepting any liability they would provide hubs free of charge if I would cover the cost of the installation. Finally my dealer, because they said I was good customer, said they would cover the cost of replacing the hubs.
    The new hubs have been fitted for about 6 weeks and one is already starting to rust. This seems to be a generic problem and the coating applied to these hubs is not up to the job.
    #1
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  3. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 3, 2014]
    Are they actually coated? If they are made using cast iron then rusting will be a natural reaction..
    #2
  4. veeeight
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    veeeight Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 3, 2014]
    It won't make you feel any better, but....

    Long story, involving the removal of asbestos from brake pads, but the long and short of it is that all modern brake discs surface will rust.

    The Dacromet coating applied is not meant for rust protection whilst in service, only during supply and production. As been said earlier, the rust is only cosmetic and does not affect the performance of the brake disc itself (like the rust on the edge of the disc).

    One way to avoid this unsightliness is to paint the hubs with heat resistant, zinc rich paint.
    #3
  5. squiretolley
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    squiretolley Active Member

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    [Feb 3, 2014]
    I have the same problem with mine and it seems to be very common. I'm planning on painting them with Hammerite in the Spring.
    #4
  6. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 3, 2014]
    My 2007 S3 had this issue so when I bought my 2011 plate the first week I got it I painted the hub with silver Hammerite smooth paint (pre-clean with isopropyl alcohol wipes and give a quick wire brushing / sand if required).

    Two & a half years later they look perfect and don't sully the view behind my alloys. I'll try and dig out a picture later.
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  7. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 3, 2014]
    image.jpg

    Painted hub in Hammerite silver (smooth)
    #6
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  8. madrussa
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    madrussa Member

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    [Feb 3, 2014]
    It's exaggerated when you use strong alloy cleaner as well. I noticed it was a lot worse on my A1 after I'd cleaned the car.
    #7
  9. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    Whereabouts in the country are you located as well.
    #8
  10. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    I think in the RS3 section someone was recommending POR15 to seal the hubs and stop them corroding. They got good results.
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  11. Snake Pliskin
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    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    This is something Audi should have sorted years ago but it is still happening ..... across the range of cars !

    My 2008 TT suffered from it.

    So did my 2011 TTS.

    and I can see it forming on my new S5.

    Come on Audi this is shocking quality control on something easily sorted.
    #10
  12. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    I don't have any major rust or corrosion on mine (1 year ~ 10k miles) but I tend to just use water on the wheels, with the occasional use of Billberry Wheel Cleaner if brake dust is particularly bad. A good wheel sealant means you spend less time using harsh chemicals to clean the wheels - although I think it's important in winter to wash off any road salt as this is bound to speed up corrosion.
    #11
  13. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    Rubbish, it happens to ALL manufacturers cars and I've owned a few. Has nothing to with quality control its just aesthetics...
    #12
  14. PembsA3
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    PembsA3 Active Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    The 'hub' referred to here is part of the brake disc and therefore a service replacement part that in normal service doesn't have a very long life expectancy. Why would any manufacturer spend money painting such a part that will be replaced relatively regularly, and likely with a non 'OE' part? Agreed, corrosion shouldn't be appearing when the car is new; (I had all the hubs and disc shields on my MX5 repainted under warranty because it was delivered with these parts rusty...), but once the car is a few months/several thousand miles old, some corrosion is to be expected IMO.
    #13
  15. Rexus
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    Rexus Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    It's true that it happens with most cars, but as warren_s3 has shown, it is easily prevented, so why don't Audi, a premium brand, treat the hubs in a similar way and stop a cosmetic but annoying effect.
    (You should see the rusty state of my wife's mini clubman's wheel bolts, appalling!!!)
    #14
  16. Snake Pliskin
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    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]

    You obviously don't appreciate this is a common complaint with Audi cars and has been for years !
    This topic of conversation often comes up, across many Audi forums in particular.
    The fact that it is 'easily' remedied is poor when you are buying a premium brand with Audi.
    You may be happy to see rusty wheel hubs through your alloys, but the majority of us are not.
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  17. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    Why should Audi do something that other manufacturers don't do? Some, it seems, think money buys perfection. Unfortunately you've just purchased a mass produced car. If you don't like it then paint them yourself...
    #16
  18. Veneeringman
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    Veneeringman Bazinga VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    Yes we use POR-15 from a company called FROST, This is thanks to user 45bvtc, Hammerite doesn't last long enough in my experience.

    Image.jpg IMG_2641.jpg
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  19. Rexus
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    Rexus Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    Well if Audi's cars are built to the same standard as Kia, Dacia or Ford, they shouldn't charge premium brand prices.
    #18
  20. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    I agree with that completely, however I think you'll find you are buying into a brand...
    #19
  21. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    Hence why half the sh1t under our bonnets has a SEAT / Skoda / VW logo on it! It's the same cake just with fancier icing and hundreds and thousands sprinkled on top!!
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  22. c_w
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    c_w Active Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    More or less all iron brake discs out of the swept area rust. The factory production paint doesn't always last as it's thin and undergoes a lot of heat and is exposed to elements. It is not feasible to paint them with something like hammerite from the factory as the brake surface would be affected (obviously as a DIY it can be done at home just painting the centre part).

    The photo above os an S3(?) disc is a two piece disc with an alloy centre bell, this won't rust as such but might get discoloured/tarnished. It's a different problem to the cheap iron discs on all the other models.

    Occasionally I will spray mine with silver high temp paint, it lasts fairly well (it's very similar to the factory silver paint you get on a new brake disc).

    They're not called hubs. :p
    #21
  23. h5djr
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    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    Audi are the same as all other manufacturers. They charge what they can get away with. If you think an Audi it too expensive you can get much of the same in a VW, Skoda or a Seat. Most of the Golf VII is the same as an A3 and you get more as standard and much of it is made in the same factory. Most of the engines used by all VAG models are made in an Audi plant in Gyor in Hungary for use in all VAG models. All the s-tronic gearboxes used by Audi are made in a VW plant. The quality of the interior will not be as good but all the engines, gearboxes, running gear, electronics etc are common to all VAG models. With Audi you pay for the interior, the name and 'kudos' of owning an Audi.
    #22
  24. sirkitbraker
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    sirkitbraker New Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    It may happen with all manufacturers but it is not always apparent. When Audi sell vehicles where there is a wide area of the brake disc hub between the rear side of the wheel and the actual brake disc, which is immediately apparent through wheels with wide spokes they should protect the area from rusting. It may be cosmetic and has no effect on the brake performance but when you pay £20,000 plus for a new vehicle you do not expect that within weeks you have rusty parts staring you in the face. I am pleased to note that it is possible to do a successful DIY paint job on the area and I will think about doing this when the weather improves. I still believe, however, it is ridiculous that you have to resort to this on a virtually new car which is still under warranty to protect its appearance.
    #23
  25. TFSI
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    TFSI Born to Fish

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    Took me a couple of hours to paint the hubs and calipers all round and also apply and laquer S line decals
    2 hours, £15 decals and Hammerite smooth black.
    Did this when the car was a week old and spotless.
    #24
  26. Rexus
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    Rexus Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    Yes, I'm afraid you're quite right.
    #25
  27. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 4, 2014]
    If you think a warranty covers this, and your previous posts about the brake calipers then you are obviously under a misunderstanding. Whilst some might have had protection added later as a concessionary offer Audi are under no legal requirement under the warranty to do this. As for them staring you in the face, funny I thought the brakes parts are fitted behind the wheels not on the bonnet/ windscreen...
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
    #26
  28. Andy1608
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    Andy1608 Active Member

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    [Feb 23, 2014]
    Just go and look in any audi car park and on the sales pitch, they all suffer the same rust. Not good to look at. I wouldn't mind sorting mine out.
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  29. jimladallen
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    jimladallen Member

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    [Mar 5, 2014]
    Just been into dealers who told me its what the people at the car wash use !!!!!!!""""""" that makes them tarnish.
    #28
  30. mjcourtney
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    mjcourtney Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 5, 2014]
    To a certain extent, yes. Most hand car washers use very acidic wheel cleaner as it's fast acting. Although it's only in contact with the wheels for a minute or so over time the acid speeds up the corosion of the hub and tarnishes the sealant on the rim paint. Much better to use non-acidic wheel cleaner.
    #29
  31. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 5, 2014]
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  32. desertstorm
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    desertstorm Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 5, 2014]
    This problem is only made worse by the fitting of large wheels and low profile tyres. People spend a lot of money on these and when you look at the car your eyes are drawn to the wheels.
    And right in the middle of this very open area is a rusty lump.
    This is not just an Audi thing most manufacturers are the same. As said earlier the discs are service parts so typically will only be on the car 3-4 years. The calipers will be there the life of the car and TBH they are the thing that really needs sorting as the actual hubs don't show up as much.
    I changed out the standard brakes on my car for some S5 items and the calipers are identical except for the fact they are painted a nice black color from the factory, It's just the carriers that allow you to get bigger brakes.
    Looking on ETKA the price of the calipers is identical so I suspect it costs Audi very little to fit painted calipers from new. I put new discs on the front and reused the original rears but painted the hubs with smooth hammerite and they are doing really well.

    Before
    [​IMG]

    After

    [​IMG]

    Karl.
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  33. squiretolley
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    squiretolley Active Member

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    [Mar 5, 2014]
    +1 for Bilberry wheel cleaner.

    I'm planning to paint my rusty hubs with hammerite at the weekend.
    #32
  34. AllanG
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    AllanG Stronic

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    [Mar 5, 2014]
    As Bilberry wheel cleaner appears to be a favourite, can anyone confirm that it doesn't contain any acidic products, which most other wheel cleaners I have tried seem to have?

    Also, any recommendations for wheel cleaning brushes......I've heard the EZ wheel brush mentioned on another forum.....
    #33
  35. squiretolley
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    squiretolley Active Member

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    [Mar 5, 2014]
    I couldn't tell you the exact ingredients, but I did a lot of research about it and it appears to be one of the more gentle cleaners on the market.

    I have the EZ brush and it's fantastic, well worth the money.
    #34
  36. cuke2u
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    cuke2u Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 5, 2014]
    If you read the links you would have seen that the bilberry product is alkaline based...
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  37. AllanG
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    AllanG Stronic

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    [Mar 5, 2014]
    Thanks, Cuke2u.....better put my specs on next time!!
    #36
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  38. steeve
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    steeve Active Member

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    [Mar 6, 2014]
    I painted the hubs on mine within a day of picking it up. From my experience all manufacturers I've come across use similar coatings. I used Hammerite smoothtite and have found that works perfectly well. Lasted fine on my wife's Mini even four years later.

    The original coating is an excellent primer so don't wait for it to go rusty before you do anything.
    #37
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  39. jimladallen
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    jimladallen Member

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    [Apr 8, 2014]
    just emailed LISTERS OF COVENTRY and they have invited me to go and have my hubs repainted,,
    #38
  40. M_D_O_London
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    M_D_O_London Member

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    [Apr 8, 2014]
    I had slightly rusting wheel hubs on my Mk6 Golf and I wouldn't be surprised if the ones on my 8V A3 Sportback start to rust at some point.

    It does seem to be more of a problem with VAG vehicles, however. We have a 2009 Mercedes-Benz C-Class in the family and not a single spec of rust is present.
    #39
  41. squiretolley
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    squiretolley Active Member

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    [Apr 8, 2014]
    Mine are terrible. I've got it booked in at Derby Audi to investigate a slight problem with the engine and I've asked them to have a look at the hubs. Think I'll take a print out of the posts where other dealers have repainted them, hopefully that will sway their decision.
    #40

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