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      08-24-2012, 11:45 PM   #1
cannibalfish
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Premature paint wear on Jet Black 2011 M3

Has anyone else noticed premature wear on their Jet Black (or similarly dark) paint on recent-model M3s? My 2011 has never been through a machine wash, has only 12K miles, and has basically been babied in the mild LA climate. However the paint is in worse condition than that of my last two black Nissans after years of ownership (and machine washing). Every inch of the car is covered in scratches. Every time a bird poops on it, no matter how quickly I clean it up, the clear coat is etched. Last year I had some rusty water drip from a pipe in my garage, and it deeply ate into the clear coat on the roof, resulting in a $450 bill at Paulee's for roof sanding and polishing. The paint looks so bad now that my hand wash guys often panic after the car dries, because they think I'm going to blame them and get them fired.

This is my first BMW, so my first question is, what gives? Is BMW paint just fragile? Am I wrong to expect paint on a $65K luxury car to be at least as durable as the paint on my $25k Xterra?

I finally got fed up last week and took the car back to the dealer (BMW of Beverly Hills) to file a warranty claim for the paint and for the disintegrating leather on the steering wheel. The service manager, Sean Clemens, agreed that the car looked terrible and that I had a case. He and other service reps at the dealership had seen the progressive paint damage on several occasions since I'd bought the car, so it was well documented. However, a 'factory rep' supposedly inspected the car and declared that it was ordinary wear and tear... basically, go shove it. Sean told me that he was 'shocked' at the verdict but there was nothing he could do.

So now I'm wondering what to do. Repaint the car? Go to a detailer for sanding/polish (and repeat yearly, since it's the same delicate clear coat)? Take the dealership/BMW to small claims court for selling me a lemon? Freeze the car in carbonite? All of the above?

Any input would be much appreciated.
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      08-24-2012, 11:55 PM   #2
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Escalate it up to BMW North America. Don't let one unknown factory dude be the final jury. You've got nothing to lose.

I had heard about the softness of the BMW Jet Black, but I had also heard it had improved in recent years.
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      08-25-2012, 12:00 AM   #3
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Dark colors esp jet black (non metallic)..show flaws on the clear much worse than any lighter colors.. the bird drop etchings are almost a guarantee...you would just need to compound/polish more frequently and use a very good wax protectant
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      08-25-2012, 12:13 AM   #4
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^^ I get that dark cars show flaws more easily, but I have had a series of dark cars, including my 335i, which is Monaco Blue. My paint is pretty flawless and it feels like quality+++

I never had an issue with a dark car as long as I took reasonable care of it. And excessive, repetitive polishing would eventually wear down the clear coat, wouldn't it?

I think there's something wrong with OP's car. Unless (the non-metallic) Jet Black is much worse than the other (metallic) blacks.
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      08-25-2012, 01:02 AM   #5
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take it all the way up to BMW NA. Paint supposed to withstand climate conditions such as severe cold and hot weather.
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      08-25-2012, 02:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3alabama View Post
It sounds like you are not polishing or protecting the paint? 450 for a polish of the little roof is a total rip which you could have easily done in an hour. Get yourself a Porter cable polisher, read detailedimage.com or the internet, get some polishing supplies and a couple good products for protection (sealants) and give the car a polish every 6mo-1 year and apply protection every month. I had a JB bmw a few years ago and the paint looked better the day I sold it 4 years later than on delivery.

You don't need to sand anything. You can get a pretty abrasive polish to remove almost anything and there are a bunch of different strengths. WIth the orbital polisher it makes it nearly impossible to damage your paint unless you sit there or fall asleep with the thing spinning on one area for 5 mintues. I learned on my bmw and it was a no brainer and very easy.

Also it sounds like you are paying too many people to clean your car. I would never trust anyone else to "handwash" my car. They are probably the cause of most of the damage. A touchless carwash is better than someone handwashing it as it is extremely hard to do a perfect handwash and not introduce scratches, marring and swirls on a JB bmw. I would learn to wash, polish and protect your car all on your own if you want paint to look nice.

This honestly isn't a warranty or bmw problem, it sounds like poor choices of someone handwashing your car poorly, some bad luck with bird shit and rust and a lack of paint care and protection on your part. Easy to fix luckily, all you need is a bit of time and effort
+100000 pretty much hit the nail on the head with what most likely is going on. I can probably guarantee you need paint correction and with proper maintenance all your problems will be gone. My advice? Hit up jimmy lucci and get an amazing correction done on your car and ask him how to maintain it. Looking at jet black will make it swirl up. If you can't handle the cost to get it corrected or feel this is just outrageous then you will realize to never buy a black car unless you want to take the time and patience to make it look good properly. Sorry you had to buy this expensive of a car to find this all out thought the black paint thing was a universal concept. Best of luck
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      08-25-2012, 05:05 AM   #7
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I know how you feel. But like they said above, a good wax (lots of it) and compound goes a LONG way. I wax almost once every 3 months (sometimes more) for a nice thick coat. On top of that, after every wash I use meguiars waterless spray to clean off water spots and stuff (which also has a little wax in it). Enough wax has allowed me to just wipe of hard water stains with no damage to the clear coat and most bird crap doesn't touch the clear cost or just barely etches, making my detailing life easier.
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      08-25-2012, 01:51 PM   #8
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If you're in LA you should cruise down to Chemical Guy's in Inglewood.

They are really cool guys and know everything about polishing and paint protection. I also remember getting quotes around $400 for a complete car polish.
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      08-25-2012, 02:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ilya335 View Post
If you're in LA you should cruise down to Chemical Guy's in Inglewood.

They are really cool guys and know everything about polishing and paint protection. I also remember getting quotes around $400 for a complete car polish.
That's a great price and I can see that being true since they have so many workers
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      08-25-2012, 02:12 PM   #10
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Yep. Jet Black is a PITA. Everything on black shows. The last 4 posts sum it up. I can remember the first time I washed, claybar'd, washed, waxed....I noticed a bunch of swirls and thought I marred the heck out of the car. The color is tempermental and difficult to keep swirl free. This is the reason some stay away from black. It will require twice as much TLC, then some, compared to all other colors. Good luck!
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      08-31-2012, 09:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cannibalfish View Post
Has anyone else noticed premature wear on their Jet Black (or similarly dark) paint on recent-model M3s? My 2011 has never been through a machine wash, has only 12K miles, and has basically been babied in the mild LA climate. However the paint is in worse condition than that of my last two black Nissans after years of ownership (and machine washing). Every inch of the car is covered in scratches. Every time a bird poops on it, no matter how quickly I clean it up, the clear coat is etched. Last year I had some rusty water drip from a pipe in my garage, and it deeply ate into the clear coat on the roof, resulting in a $450 bill at Paulee's for roof sanding and polishing. The paint looks so bad now that my hand wash guys often panic after the car dries, because they think I'm going to blame them and get them fired.

This is my first BMW, so my first question is, what gives? Is BMW paint just fragile? Am I wrong to expect paint on a $65K luxury car to be at least as durable as the paint on my $25k Xterra?

I finally got fed up last week and took the car back to the dealer (BMW of Beverly Hills) to file a warranty claim for the paint and for the disintegrating leather on the steering wheel. The service manager, Sean Clemens, agreed that the car looked terrible and that I had a case. He and other service reps at the dealership had seen the progressive paint damage on several occasions since I'd bought the car, so it was well documented. However, a 'factory rep' supposedly inspected the car and declared that it was ordinary wear and tear... basically, go shove it. Sean told me that he was 'shocked' at the verdict but there was nothing he could do.

So now I'm wondering what to do. Repaint the car? Go to a detailer for sanding/polish (and repeat yearly, since it's the same delicate clear coat)? Take the dealership/BMW to small claims court for selling me a lemon? Freeze the car in carbonite? All of the above?

Any input would be much appreciated.
Welcome to the world of modern BMW paint. It's extremely sensitive to basically every kind of environmental hazard you can think of. I doubt BMWNA will do anything being nothing is probably unique about your paint: that's just BMW paint in general. You can bring it by our studio and I can help give you an idea of what should be done.
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      09-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #12
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mine is horrible i can never keep it clean. Shows everything
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      09-12-2012, 03:47 PM   #13
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Pics please, we can't see the damage/issue your dealing with. tks.
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      09-12-2012, 03:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipsisNA View Post
Welcome to the world of modern BMW paint. It's extremely sensitive to basically every kind of environmental hazard you can think of. I doubt BMWNA will do anything being nothing is probably unique about your paint: that's just BMW paint in general. You can bring it by our studio and I can help give you an idea of what should be done.
This!

Should not be a warranty issue. All cars are painted on a line by robots that do hundreds per day. Paint correction (compounding) followed by sealant/wax and you'll be OK again. I have a black car, and yes it shows if you even breathe on it wrong.
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      09-24-2012, 10:45 PM   #15
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I took the car to Jimmy Lucci in OC, and he performed an extensive paint correction. The difference is remarkable. However now that I've had to sink a large sum into fixing the damage, I need to find a car wash service in West LA that will follow the proper procedures for avoiding abrasions, so that I don't end up right where I started (alas I can't wash it myself... no time and no location to wash it in).

Any recommendations?
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      09-25-2012, 06:02 AM   #16
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Gotta be super careful with jet black.. I've been doing paint corrections for several years now and personally have owned two JB bmws and understand the attention required.
It's not hard at all to introduce imperfections to jet black. Clear is super soft and extremely non- forgiving

My best advice, do a proper paint correction followed by lsp, wash your car yourself (2-bucket method) and use high end soap (better lubricity) and microfiber towels.
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      09-25-2012, 09:13 PM   #17
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What you need is a paint correction. There is a guy in Los Angeles I have used and can almost guarantee get your car up to your expectations. His name is Jimmy, call him at 949-436-0837 tell him Waleed sent you, he will set you up and explain what he does. PM me and I will send you pics of what he did to my car. its absolutely incredible work.
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      09-25-2012, 09:14 PM   #18
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I might add, that he can come to you and do it as he is mobile
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      09-26-2012, 06:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaptorKTM View Post
What you need is a paint correction. There is a guy in Los Angeles I have used and can almost guarantee get your car up to your expectations. His name is Jimmy, call him at 949-436-0837 tell him Waleed sent you, he will set you up and explain what he does. PM me and I will send you pics of what he did to my car. its absolutely incredible work.
Already done. Just need to find a good car wash service to preserve his work.
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      09-26-2012, 09:42 PM   #20
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Already done. Just need to find a good car wash service to preserve his work.
Ask jimmy himself. He should refer you to someone
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      09-26-2012, 11:52 PM   #21
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Ask jimmy himself. He should refer you to someone
PM john1c, he does good maintenance work in your area.
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      09-27-2012, 09:24 AM   #22
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PM john1c, he does good maintenance work in your area.
Hahahaha I do my own maintenance washes! Thanks though
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