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      12-18-2012, 07:57 PM   #1
Anfield
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135i paint micro scratches

Hello all,

I just purchased a 2009 135i convertible. It was low miles and a solid price and seemed really well taken care of. The car looked great in the pictures and even better in person.

But when I got the car home, I noticed almost immediately that there are really small, circular scratches almost everywhere on the car. The kind that look like a rough towel or brush would create. It's really noticeable but only in direct yellow light rather than sunlight.

My questions are, is this possibly covered under warranty? Is it somehow able to be fixed? And has anyone else had a similar situation?

I really appreciate any advice or info.

Thanks.
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      12-18-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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Not covered under warranty most likely. A lot of cars have "spiderwebbing" it is a common issue.

Yeah. Take it to a reputable detailer in your area.
autopia.org has a "find a detailer" section.

It will most likely need:
APC wash
clay
compound (probably not, but who knows until claying is performed)
polish
wax
sealant (for added oomph)

PM me if you would like more info on this.
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      12-18-2012, 08:21 PM   #3
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Panther, huge thanks. I'll check out that site and get back to you as the situation changes.
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      12-18-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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NP!
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      12-18-2012, 09:51 PM   #5
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My car has the spiderwebbing scratches really bad as well. This car seems to have it worse than any other car I've owned. Not sure if it's the cheap paint BMW uses or some of the care the car received outside of my hands. As stated above, a clay bar and a polish/sealant/protectant should alleviate the scratches. I plan to do this after the Winter months.
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      12-18-2012, 10:38 PM   #6
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I agree with Panther. Plus, Autopia has a wealth of great detailing info. There's no better way to make it look great, and keep it that way, than to do it yourself.

The condition of the paint when you picked up the car is not unusual. Depending on the dealer, new cars are sometimes delivered that way.
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      12-19-2012, 02:32 AM   #7
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It sounds like swirl makes from poor washing techniques.

Swirl marks won't be fixed by washing or claying. In fact claying can be a cause of swirl marks or scratches if not done correctly.

Polishing, waxing and sealants can possibly provide some very minor correct or filling in of the swirl marks but aren't a permanent fix and it's unlikely it will even fix it up satisfactorily.

In order to permanently remove swirl marks a cutting compound of some kind must be used. Whether a heavy, medium or light cut or a combination of them are required comes down to the severity of the swirls.

Check out the detailing section of this forum. There are some good threads in there especially by Detailer's Domain which have before/after pictures and include the methods and products used to remove anything from light to heavy swirls.

Good luck!
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      12-19-2012, 08:03 AM   #8
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Thanks all. Some great info here. Froop- appreciate the alternate advice. Will definitely look into that.
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      12-19-2012, 11:26 AM   #9
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Perfect time of the year to get a polisher (like a Porter Cable) and some polish/sealant. Lots of good sales coming up on boxing day. I recommend emailing detailed image or detailers domain (lots of their info in the detailing section) for recommendations. You will be suprised at the price to get a good starter set up is not too expensive. Will last a long time and the results will really impress you. Send them an email with your car colour and see what they recommend. Some BMW paints are harder and some (like jet black) are softer. In my case, they had worked on a BMW with my paint and had a recommendation for polishing pads and polishing compounds. Both detailed image and detailers domain had excellent recommendations for me.
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      12-19-2012, 05:02 PM   #10
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Van, funny you should mention that Jet Black is a "soft" paint. I noticed that fact within a couple washes of my car. This is my 3rd black car and have some pretty solid washing and maintenance practices (much of it picked up from reading the detailer's domain posts and site) and my paint still has very fine swirl marks in it. I'll probably be either investing in an orbital buffer myself or taking the car in to get detailed every other year or so. I have thus far been terrified of doing it myself for fear of creating the dreaded half moon swirls from improper technique.
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      12-19-2012, 07:18 PM   #11
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IMO an Orbital buffer is a must when you own a black car
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      12-19-2012, 07:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwhiz View Post
Van, funny you should mention that Jet Black is a "soft" paint. I noticed that fact within a couple washes of my car. This is my 3rd black car and have some pretty solid washing and maintenance practices (much of it picked up from reading the detailer's domain posts and site) and my paint still has very fine swirl marks in it. I'll probably be either investing in an orbital buffer myself or taking the car in to get detailed every other year or so. I have thus far been terrified of doing it myself for fear of creating the dreaded half moon swirls from improper technique.
Invest in 3 grit guards and two pickle buckets.

Trust me I was right there with you.

Rinse frequently!
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      12-19-2012, 07:57 PM   #13
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My 08' Montego Blue was ... uh... HORRIBLE! I just finished spending 12 hours alone on the paint work this past weekend! 1 pass LC yellow pad, 1 pass LC orange pad, 1 pass polish, 2 passes wax, and re-wash. I couldnt move my back hurt so bad! started at 7 am and finished at 8 pm! But... after all that time.. the car now looks brand new. no more RIDS, swirls, water etching, etc. just nice, water dripping glssy paint. (minus the rock chips...lol)

I cant believe I waited so long to actually do it since I bought it... But im glad its over. The cars paint looked horrid and you would think it needed a new paint job... how much a detail changes that.
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      12-19-2012, 09:59 PM   #14
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Guys...if you are enough into cars to be on this web forum...invest in a car polisher. Best money I spent. It makes a major improvement in the look of your paint. I use it on my car and my wife's car...even on my boat. Makes the job easier plus produces much better results. Don't waste your time and money taking it to a detailer...learn to do it yourself. Very easy to learn plus there is lots of good video's and online support.
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      12-20-2012, 12:35 PM   #15
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truly. Also take into account some people simply do not have the time. Whether its the job or family.
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      12-20-2012, 03:25 PM   #16
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I would go as far to say that BMW paint is 1000x better than the subaru paint i had on my STI. My AW '10 135i has the spiderwebbing, but it doesnt chip and flake nearly as bad as my 1 year old '11 STI. I drove 45mi each way to and from work for a year and the front bumper was absolutely sandblasted. Almost worth just buying a new bumper and having it repainted and then clear-bra'd. Was bad.
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      12-21-2012, 01:14 AM   #17
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Jet Black paint will show the swirls and scratches more than others. But since all the colors are clear-coated, the paint can't be "soft" - it's not the paint, it's the clear coat. The black just shows it more.
This past weekend I broke in my new Griot's Garage Dual Action (DA) polisher. Autogeek.com has a deal where you got the polisher and 6 pads: http://www.autogeek.net/griots-rando...-polisher.html - no sales tax, and free shipping.

I washed and clayed the car, and then used the yellow pad with a Meguiar's cutting polish, then the Orange pad with Meguiar's SwirlX, then the black pad with Meguiar's Ultimate Wax. The whole process took about 4 hours - it would have been 2 days if by hand.
When I was doing the first pass (yellow pad), the car looked like it had a white haze - wasn't really even shiny, and I was worried that I had ruined it. But the second pass (orange pad) brought it back, and the wax made it pop. I've never had to do this on a car before, but the results are incredible.

Last edited by bbbbmw; 12-21-2012 at 01:24 AM.
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      12-21-2012, 01:18 AM   #18
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If you mention "Jet Black" over on Autopia, people start running for cover. So nice when finished perfectly, so much of a bother in everyday life.

Yes, washing and drying can install marring. Be careful!

Detailer's Domain is a good resource, as is Autopia.

And, it comes down to time. There are lots of people who don't have the time. A while back, I didn't. Now, I just pull the car out of the garage, get the necessary supplies out, get the satellite radio going on the back porch, and go for it until my old-codger body says "time-out."

For many people, access to a good detailer is golden.
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      12-21-2012, 08:57 AM   #19
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Can't begin to say how helpful this thread is. Thanks for everyone's advice. I'm definitely investing in a polisher in the near future.
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