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      05-07-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
Invadermoose
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How does BMW paint hold up?

Some of you saw my last topic about switching from the Camaro to the M3, and a big reason I'm switching is because I dont want to have to maintain my car like I do now. I have to wash my car with the 2 bucket method, foam gun, all that atleast 2 times a week. I completely detailed it once a month, and I'm SICK of it. The paint GM uses on the camaro is the most delicate car paint I've ever come in contact with. It swirls really easily, bird crap is etched into the paint within seconds, and a 5mph drive down a gravel road will 100% leave a rock chip or too (part of the reason I had mine repainted).

I'll either be getting Melbourne Red or Jarez Black, and I'm wondering how bad will a car wash ruin my paint? Most of the pre-owned BMWs I've looked at including my own families are covered in waterspots, but never any swirl marks that I can see. There's a touchless wash by my house, and a normal wash where after you leave the wash bay people dry your car and wax it or whatever you paid for.
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      05-07-2012, 05:00 PM   #2
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I imagine it won't be very different for the M3. I have a Jerez Black and it is really difficult to keep clean. Although you could of course clear bra the whole car which may make it easier to maintain.
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      05-07-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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BMW paint is exceedingly soft and very susceptible to rock chips and swirl marks. If I buy another bmw it will not be Black. I'm surprised the paint on your Camaro is so bad. The paint on the corvettes is very hard.
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      05-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nchan50 View Post
I imagine it won't be very different for the M3. I have a Jerez Black and it is really difficult to keep clean. Although you could of course clear bra the whole car which may make it easier to maintain.




Clear bra an entire vehicle? That's outrageous. This isn't a collectible.


OP, learn how to correctly wash a vehicle and you will be fine.

BMW paint isn't as soft as say Infiniti, but incorrect washes will get you to the same place as every other paint.
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      05-07-2012, 06:05 PM   #5
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Its just a car, buy it, enjoy it, wash it once a week
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      05-07-2012, 06:14 PM   #6
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I have a 13 year old jet black 3-series. car has been in Florida all it's life, and I see that's where you live too. there is some minor rock chipping but absolutely no swirls and the paint is still fresh with no issues. get a garage, and know how to take care of your paint (it is work, but not unreasonable - just sweat the important stuff like contamination and swirls, and not the small stuff like lint or dust)...and you should be just fine
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      05-07-2012, 06:18 PM   #7
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I know I am going to get flamed for this but the quality of the paint that my 2002 WS6 had was much better than my 335 and M3.

I also have no idea what GM is using these days.
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      05-07-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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My '08 has 50K miles (mostly highway). The PO only washed it at the dealership (known for causing paint damage) and automatic car washes (evident from the wheel damage). On the bumper, the rock chips are only small dents, the paint is still there. There are rock chips on the hood where paint is missing. They are small though. My previous 350Z had much larger chips (both aluminum hoods BTW). I just detailed it last weekend (wash, clay, polish with Meg's 205) and it came out great. It looks like a new car.

This may not be relevant but I also have an '84 E30 with 200K miles that's got the original single stage alpine white paint. The car was not babied but despite that the paint looks great. I love the old paint in fact.

I've been impressed with BMW paint thus far. I will say this though, the E9X cars have HORRIBLE orange peel. Horrible, the worst I've ever seen. It looks like something that should come on a GM rental car.
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      05-07-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I know I am going to get flamed for this but the quality of the paint that my 2002 WS6 had was much better than my 335 and M3.

I also have no idea what GM is using these days.
BMW factory paint quality is some of the worst I have seen.
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      05-07-2012, 06:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W Cole View Post
BMW paint is exceedingly soft and very susceptible to rock chips and swirl marks. If I buy another bmw it will not be Black. I'm surprised the paint on your Camaro is so bad. The paint on the corvettes is very hard.
+1 soft as butter. oh well. it is what it is...
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      05-07-2012, 06:53 PM   #11
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It isnt that I dont know how to detail a car, it's just that I'm sick of it. I've even owned a detailing business before. Just sucks after a while.
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      05-07-2012, 07:09 PM   #12
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All factory applied paint is now water based (environmentally friendly ). Total thickness, including clear coat is less then a good sheet of paper. As a result, they are all very fragile. Some colors tend to show imperfections and dirt more than others - black the most while white shows dirt. A neutral color like silver/gray tend to hide swirls and dirt . Of course the more careful you are about maintaining the appearance of your car with proper washing and waxing will go a long way to keeping a smile on your face .
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      05-07-2012, 07:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W Cole View Post
BMW factory paint quality is some of the worst I have seen.


Definitely agreed, orange peel is unreal in the new BMW's. Environmental concerns, or so i've read.


For your basic cars, I'd say Lexus has hands down the best finishes as well as colors.

Exotics, that's a totally different story. Every exotic that has come through my shop has amazing paint quality.
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      05-07-2012, 07:31 PM   #14
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BMW uses 7 coats of paint , Honda uses 3 layers. Just to give u an idea. So twice as long?
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      05-07-2012, 07:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth One View Post
I have a 13 year old jet black 3-series. car has been in Florida all it's life, and I see that's where you live too. there is some minor rock chipping but absolutely no swirls and the paint is still fresh with no issues. get a garage, and know how to take care of your paint (it is work, but not unreasonable - just sweat the important stuff like contamination and swirls, and not the small stuff like lint or dust)...and you should be just fine
Your car is 13 years old. Since then... and most importantly... in the last 5-6 years there have been a lot of new EPA regulations implemented that force automanufacturers to use water based paints. Sure the car is built in Europe but the EU, Canada, and Japan all have EPA equivalant agencies that base their regulations off of the EPA. Today's paints are much softer than they were 8 years ago adn chipping is common. Doesnt matter what car you are talking about... go into any forum and you will hear the same complaints.
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      05-07-2012, 08:12 PM   #16
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the paint on my E36 and E46 were close, both better then my E92...im surprised your having an issue with your camaro because i had a bunch of late model vettes and the paint held up pretty great...to be honest though the paint on my 2010 audi S5 was pretty great
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      05-07-2012, 08:17 PM   #17
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a really good detailer is polishing my paint right now,and he says bmw paint is quite hard.it does vary by color.he does agree about the orange peel.
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      05-07-2012, 08:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IFX View Post
Clear bra an entire vehicle? That's outrageous. This isn't a collectible.


OP, learn how to correctly wash a vehicle and you will be fine.

BMW paint isn't as soft as say Infiniti, but incorrect washes will get you to the same place as every other paint.
i agree. i had a G20 and G35 and the paint sucked ass. the M is not that bad compared to most daily driven cars.

obviously always driving freeway/highway speeds will get more chips with any car
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      05-07-2012, 08:21 PM   #19
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Orange peel FTL!!..its so much more pronounced on BMWs ..sucks
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      05-07-2012, 08:36 PM   #20
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Although I take care of my cars paint pretty well, I have to say that the paint on my jet black is outstanding compared to my 370z's.

A real pain to keep clean though
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      05-07-2012, 09:03 PM   #21
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It isnt that I dont know how to detail a car
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      05-07-2012, 09:12 PM   #22
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I've had 3 black BMW's: Black Sapphire Metallic, Jet Black and now Jerez Black Metallic. Jerez is by FAR the worst to upkeep out of any of those colors I've ever owned, also including any other vehicles I've owned. Don't get Jerez unless you are always going to hand wash/detail yourself frequently with good products, this paint in particular sucks inmho. My next M3 on order is Space Gray because of this (although I wouldn't have minded Black Sapphire Metallic since it's still my favorite paint color).
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