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      09-10-2012, 10:25 AM   #1
VMcV3y's Avatar

Drives: 2012 M3 Cabriolet
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Austin, Texas, USA

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Install clear bra after 15k miles and 200 chips?

2012 E93 M3: Euro Delivery and picked-up in Spartanburg in March 2012. Now has 15,000 miles on it.

The M3 is the first low-ride car that I've owned in over a decade. (all high-lift pickup trucks and motorcycles).

The front end of the M3 is gorgeous, owing to the LeMans Blue Metallic combined with the flat, painted bumper surfaces!

I did not want to install protection over the front of the car because I felt it was unnecessary.


Though the car has benefited from weekly hand-washes by a local, reputable business, I finally had the opportunity to wax it, yesterday setting in two coats. I examined every bit of the front of the car (bumper, grill-separator, and hood leading-edge.) And I am quite stunned by the quantity of paint-eating-insect-impacts and rock chips!

I'll allow that my former vehicle, a Mazda B3000 DS, was significantly higher from ground-level than the M3, but it seems that the paint on the Mazda was more durable - 150,000 miles and less than 1/10th the amount of little dents vs the M3.

Two broad questions for the group, please:

(a) Is it too late to install a clear bra? I know it will not repair the slight dings on the front of the car, but it would protect from further damage. If a clear bra is installed over these little pits, will they stand-out more from under the plastic coating?

(b) I searched several postings on here about this topic, and a few people made off-handed comments about skipping the clear bra and just getting a repaint done. It may have been a joke...but has anyone here actually tried this technique....of just getting the front-end repainted on regular intervals? If so, what was your experience? Did you do this at the five-year mark, or six-year, or....? What was the cost?

It is my daily driver and I expect wear-and-tear as a natural part of being on the pavement. But I'm a bit concerned that the front bumper will look like the load-side of a garbage dumpster by the time it rolls the 50,000 mark.

2012 ///M3 Cabriolet; Le Mans Blue Metallic.

. . . .Munich . . . >. . . .Houston

When one wants a cabriolet, is there really any other choice than an M3? No. No, there's not.