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      12-23-2008, 11:33 AM   #1
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Windshield gets chipped easily?!

Background
I went out for a ride with a couple of friends during last weekend on some "challenging" rural road to have fun. Each one of us brought their cars - the others were a modified Elise (2000 model) and a Honda S2000. We had great fun on the twisties and I really enjoyed the M as I never had so far. We had 3 runs over a 1hour timeframe, whereby each one of us leaded each time. We maintained something like a 20m safety distance one after the other.

Comment on performance of the M
I did not expect for such a heavy car like the M to be "on top of the league", but to my surprise it was extremely fast in cornering and I was sooo happy with the overall handling. I really left with big smiles, particularly in view of the fact that the other 2 guys know what they are doing behind the wheel (they are tracking their cars for years). Such good performance was a positive surprise, and BTW there was no brake fading and no issues with the disks afterwards. I consider the route challenging with lots of tight corners (most in elevation), all of which I felt had put tremendous strain on the various components (drivetrain, differential, brakes, suspension, tires etc) with the exception of the engine. The engine seemed to run soooo smoothly with "effortless" power delivery. Most of the driving was done in gears 2 - 4 and the performance of DCT (with progman 31.1) was impecable with no hesitation to downshift under threshold braking. Anyway, that's all the good stuff and probably irrelevant to the windshield chipping issue but I felt I would share.

The windshield issue...
The bad surprise came next day when I hand-washed the car (like I always have done since the time I got it in June). In the evening when I got out for a ride I noticed many little chips on the windscreen under close examination. I am talking about some 20-30 small chips most of which are barely visible (0.2mm - 0.5mm) and some 3-4 which are visible (0.8mm in size), plus a couple of 2mm scratches! Unbelievabe! Although during the run of the previous day I was hearing little (invisible) rocks landing on my windshield, I would never imagine that these can make the damage they did! Neither the speed was so high in the twisties nor the distance was too close (or at least that was my impression).

The future?
Anyway damage is done and I guess it is irreversible (unless you guys have ideas how to repair this). But what worries me most is why is the windshield so sensitive / brittle! Am I the only one here or does anyone else share this view too? I dont mind about the paint as there are solutions to this (clear bra, repainting, detailing etc), but a vulnerable windshield is a big issue in the way I see it! BTW, I did not detect any paint chippings (although probably there will be some). I know many will say I should have kept a bigger distance but I felt the distance was sufficient. After all, the rocks landing did not sound as if they were landing with tremendous momentum. I have not asked whether the others friends have experienced this but I will soon.

Any thoughts?
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      12-23-2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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Not much you can do but learn to live with it. My 535i with 10K miles looks like it has 60K miles on it with all the windshield and paint chips! I've never had a car look sooo bad after so few miles and I try and NOT follow too closely on freeways, avoid dirt trucks at all costs, etc. Seems my BMW's windshields/paint chip more easily than my previous non-BMW new cars, but that's probably just my perception. Still it's painful when you are trying to keep your nice car nice...
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      12-23-2008, 12:41 PM   #3
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I have a similar experience but not with the windshield, rather the passenger side window. Upon inspecting my car after its tint job at the tint shop I noticed a thin slice that went from the top of my window to the bottom right near the edge (near the b pillar).

I asked my tint guy if he cut the window film there and he said that he cuts on the outside edges of the window, not on the actual window. Upon further inspection, we noticed that the "slice" goes down past the weatherstrip.

We basically concluded that what most likely happend was that a tiny rock got wedged between the weatherstrip and the window and when I lowered the window the rock put a slice in the glass.

How cheap is the glass that BMW uses? Can we do anything to get some type of compensation for the cheap material used?
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      12-23-2008, 12:51 PM   #4
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I am getting a clearbra for the windshield at the moment to prevent future damage. *TLud* Yes, I know, it's crazy.
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      12-23-2008, 01:02 PM   #5
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careful with the clear bra option. hazing is a huge issue over time esp if you do not keep ur wiper blades clean.
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      12-23-2008, 01:26 PM   #6
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same issue with my e46 m3 and this car. tons of tiny pin hole chips everywhere.
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      12-23-2008, 01:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SECRET M View Post
careful with the clear bra option. hazing is a huge issue over time esp if you do not keep ur wiper blades clean.
Yea I warned about that but I never bring the car out when it rains and I always keep it Rain-X'd. It beats having to replace the windshield and worrying about quality installers.
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      12-23-2008, 02:37 PM   #8
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I only have 1 chip in my windshield that is visible and its right in my line of view in the drivers seat. Its very annoying
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      12-23-2008, 03:35 PM   #9
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i don't have any chips. these are tiny pin size nicks all over the windshield. visible with direct sun.
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      12-23-2008, 03:41 PM   #10
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i thought it was just me... every car i buy turns like that
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      12-23-2008, 05:48 PM   #11
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it is really annoying... it seems that the windscreen glass is so sensitive whilst it shouldn't be. But the most frustrating part is that you cant do anything about it really other than to watch out (i.e. stay as further as possible the car in front)...
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      12-23-2008, 05:55 PM   #12
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My 335i has the same isssue, after the first 10k the windshield looks horrid. In bright sunlight almost tough to see. Others have reported the same thing, figure the M will have the same fate.

Now anyone know about how much it costs to replace the entire windshield and if so non OEM options?
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      12-23-2008, 07:22 PM   #13
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I noticed that on my car, too. There were nearly any chips at the windshield of my Porsche´s over 30.000miles, but i got the first one with my M3 two days after buying it and it was very visible... 12mm(after repairing) ...
i got other smaller ones now and i start to belive bmw builds cars with very vulnerable windshields (compared to Porsche and i think you might add some other carmanufactures here) :-(
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      12-23-2008, 08:13 PM   #14
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I have tiny chips on my windows too. I learned not to follow trucks too close. also, never run the wipers when the window is dirty, it will scratch it. I run the hose on it. man, it is annoying..
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      12-23-2008, 08:33 PM   #15
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Same here. I have a pretty good chip (little smaller than a dime) on the passenger side. When I had my 04 M3 I was got a pretty good rock chip in the windshield. I had it replaced at the dealer and on the way home I got another rock chip. Now I wait until I either sell the car or I get one that interferes with my visibility.
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      12-23-2008, 08:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
I noticed that on my car, too. There were nearly any chips at the windshield of my Porsche´s over 30.000miles, but i got the first one with my M3 two days after buying it and it was very visible... 12mm(after repairing) ...
i got other smaller ones now and i start to belive bmw builds cars with very vulnerable windshields (compared to Porsche and i think you might add some other carmanufactures here) :-(
I agree with you on that. My Porsche after 20k miles did not seem to have much if any small chips on the windshield (at least from what I recall), but my M3 with only 8k miles on it has far more already. I don't seem to recall this being an issue with my 2005 M3 either. On another note, I feel that the rain sensitive wipers in my 05 M3 worked much better than in this one...
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      12-23-2008, 10:22 PM   #17
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We all need to drive around with tear offs!
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      12-23-2008, 10:29 PM   #18
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I will concur. I have about 10k miles on my car and the windshield looks like the one from my E36 M3 with about 100k miles. It is either really shit glass or a quality problem. Sucks for such a car for sure. Service depts may replace them while under warranty. I might try before I hit 50k miles (warranty period in the US).
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      12-23-2008, 10:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swamp2 View Post
I will concur. I have about 10k miles on my car and the windshield looks like the one from my E36 M3 with about 100k miles. It is either really shit glass or a quality problem. Sucks for such a car for sure. Service depts may replace them while under warranty. I might try before I hit 50k miles (warranty period in the US).
Do you think we can get them replaced under warranty?
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      12-24-2008, 01:04 AM   #20
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Three on my M3 in two weeks of ownership. One in 18 months in the Posche.
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      12-24-2008, 06:21 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMMorish View Post
Do you think we can get them replaced under warranty?
I have no idea but I will try at some point.
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      12-24-2008, 08:13 AM   #22
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I believe its something about aerodynamics!
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