Brake Dust

Brake Dust

I've had my 85D for 3 weeks and get a lot of brake dust buildup. Is anyone else noticing it too? With regen I thought I wouldn't see so much.

logicalthinker | March 21, 2015

Do you have regen on standard?

I'm just thrilled you spelled brake correctly... It's often spelled break around these parts of the woods...

There is a bit of a learning curve to controlling the deceleration of your car primarily with the accelerator pedal. You have to "feather off" the accelerator according to how much you want to slow down with regen.

If you go full speed, then snap your foot off the accelerator onto the physical brake pedal, you are not taking advantage of the regen braking. Try to let your car slow itself down.

Teslaguy | March 21, 2015

Armorall makes a product that you spray on the wheels after a wash. Works very well eliminating brake dust.

mrspaghetti | March 21, 2015

@logicalthinker +1

I anticipate my stops much earlier with my Model S than I used to, so that I rarely have to step on the brake going faster than 5 mph. But either way, you'll still get some brake dust.

eye.surgeon | March 22, 2015

This car has the least brake dust of any I've owned in recent memory. BMWs are the worst for this.

carlk | March 22, 2015

Yes it's much better than my Porsche where the rims could never be kept clean without washing them every week. I finally gave up trying.

Surf | March 22, 2015

Had mine coated with CQuartz and it makes cleaning them incredibly easy.

dkenta | March 22, 2015

Great feedback!

LeonardV | March 22, 2015

I also am irritated my brake dust, so much so I changed out my pads to a lower-dusting compound. I imagine this could cause warranty issues so I am not necesarily recommending it, but it did solve my dust problem. I changed them myself to Carbotech 1521 pads.

Something else you might investigate is whether your new pads were ever 'bedded' properly. As I understand, most brake pads can benefit from some bedding in when they are new and I have no idea if Tesla takes care of this or not. I don't think there would be any harm in doing it again anyway.

It involves going somewhere where you can aggresively apply your brakes a few times in a row to warm them up so that the pads mate properly with the rotors. When I did my new Carbotech pads, I went to quiet rural road and set regen to low. I then took the car up to about 70 mph and applied the brakes pretty aggressively down to about 15 mph and then back up to 70 again repeating this 4 or 5 times. I then drove the car normally for a while to let the system cool naturally.

I never tried bedding in my original pads, so I always wondered if that would have not solved some of the dusting problem. I learned about the procedure after replacing my pads.

There are more details about bedding pads on various websites, one being Carbotech's site.

2050project | March 22, 2015

Caliper Covers is a product that helps keep brake dust behind the wheel:

Roamer@AZ USA | March 22, 2015

One thing I always tell people is that with a Tesla you virtually never get brake dust. My BMW's manufactured brake dust just sitting in the garage. With a Tesla if you have brake dust you have not figured out one pedal driving. With a little practice you should almost never need to touch the brake pedal above 5 miles an hour.

If you ICE drive you will get brake dust just like an ICE. Don't use the brakes and you won't get dust, not to mention the improvement in range.

sonofomar | March 22, 2015

Wow, I'm surprised to hear anyone comment on brake dust with the Model S. My previous car, an Audi S4, had so much brake dust I couldn't believe it. I clean the wheels of our Tesla and have to look hard for any dirt at all. My wife and I are very fond of one pedal driving, so maybe we've minimized the brake dust, but the difference is so striking that I was thinking that Tesla must be using different pads.

verbraken | March 23, 2015

Yes, I've noticed this too, but I'm attributing it to letting my husband drive it, as I've mastered one-foot driving. As a punishment I asked him to be in charge of keeping the wheels clean :)

Brian H | March 23, 2015


dglauz | March 23, 2015

My prior car was a prius. I extensively used regenerative braking from the start. I was also amazed at the copious amount of brake dust generated for seldom using the brakes on my Tesla. My prius never got dusty wheels. Maybe the aerodynamics of the spokes is the secret. Now, by comparison, my spouse's mini always had black wheels due to dust.

I suspect that there is some other source of fine black particles that accumulate on the Tesla wheels besides brake dust, I could be wrong though.

Fezzik | March 23, 2015

I haven't had much brake dust. And I do hard stops. I did opti coat my wheels. You can put polish on them as well. On my g37 i zainoed the wheels and left a coat on there. Dust comes right off

LeonardV | March 23, 2015

With my original pads, I seemed to have dust even with one-pedal driving. I did road trips from NorCal to SoCal and back. Wheels would get all dusty just driving down the freeway using no brakes at all. Might have been the batch of pads they were installing when mine was built...September 2013. After I replaced the pads, no more dust.

Solarwind | March 23, 2015

I have never seen any brake dust in our 3 month 5000 mile S. However dirt road dust is a big problem in wheels and sticking to the paint.

teve | March 24, 2015

I also had a hybrid before the Tesla and was amazed that I never got any brake dust on the hybrid. But on the Tesla the wheels get much dirtier much quicker. I use the brakes so seldom, so I also wonder if the the dust comes from something else besides the brakes...

johncrab | March 24, 2015

Gotta say, I'm not seeing this. After a 900 mile road trip and 4 days of city driving in the middle of it, what I had was mostly road dirt. High performance brakes do produce more dust than ordinary brakes but having dealt with Mercedes graphite linings which foul wheels, air, paint and have to be replaced at each oil change, my Model S brakes are a real pleasure.

One thing I can suggest is really clean your wheels so crud won't stick as easily. Use a good wheel cleaner and a wheel brush, then go over the outer part of the wheel with detailing spray once dry. This really helps minimize what sticks.

Mike83 | March 24, 2015

None. Don't use the brakes much.

Red Sage ca us | March 24, 2015

Hmmm... Stop following Porsche and BMW cars so closely while carving up canyon roads? It's probably their brake dust accumulating on your wheels...

pnajar | March 24, 2015

BMWs were notorious for brake dust. The last BMW, of four, a 2012 650ix has no issue with brake dust with both winter and summer wheels. BMW has clearly changed the composition of their brake pads without any detrimental effects. The brakes on my 2012 are superior to my 2010. I'm anxious to see the the difference with my soon to be delivered Tesla.

proven | May 6, 2015

Our June 2014 11k miles P85 gets a lot of brake dust on only the front right wheel. Our detailer asked us about it because it was so much. The strange thing is that both my wife and I hardly use the brakes. We're going to take it in for the annual service soon enough and I'll ask service about it then.

iamvu | May 23, 2019

Not sure why, i also have extreme excessive brake dust on 2013 Model S85 with regen on standard, and barely use brakes... bad batch of pads?