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View Full Version : 2007 Jet Black 328xi Paint Issue


RTG0507
12-13-2006, 07:12 PM
I picked up my 07 Jet Black 328xi on 11-21. Not sure how the dealer prepped the outside of the car initially, but it looked fine. I washed it for the first time about 4 days later and used a brand new cotton wash mit and used new cotton towels for drying. The car wasn't that dirty, and I was careful with the washing and drying. I know it's a black clearcoat car, but I was shocked to find an inordinate amount of scratches and swirling in the paint after a simple hand wash of a minimally dirty car.

So, with winter approaching anyway, I decided to have the car detailed this past weekend by a local detailer in hopes of taking care of my swirls and scratches as well. My detailer could not believe the softness of the paint. He told me the paint was so soft it didn't even look like it had been baked at the factory. Took him 10 hrs of trial and error to find a sealer/pad combination that would not contribute to the scratching problem. He was finally able to get it corrected. He basically told me that the car would be a maintenace nightmare (worse than typical for a black car) because of the state of the paint.

Needless to say this alarming to me. I am afraid to even wash the car again because the paint is so fragile. It appears (and I have heard that this is common for cars that get damaged during shipping) that some serious repainting was done on my car. But of course, I can't prove that. The guy did tell me the paint on the hood measured a little thicker than the rest of the car. But he had issues with the entire car. It sickens me that a brand new BMW would have such a crappy, soft, non-durable paint job. Has anyone else experienced this with their jet black Bimmers? If so, is the soft paint problem correctable? Do I have any recourse with BMW?

TOGWT
12-14-2006, 02:37 AM
Even single stage black paint should not be that soft.

I would suggest you address the issue with BMW-

Ferrara
12-14-2006, 10:13 AM
I took my jet black 1998 328iC to the top detailer in Beverly Hills a day after I purchased it (like I always do so that I get a proper detail and start-off right ) and they had a heck of a time getting the swirls out. Never did look right. Again, this was 8 years ago, but there was something wrong with that paint IMO

picus
12-18-2006, 04:59 PM
I saw the detailing run down of this car over at Autopia (I can only assume you're the same guy, unless all 328xi's in black are crazy soft), I think the general consensus there is that the car may have been re-painted after being damaged in transit, and not baked. This is just a guess (so take it with a grain of salt), but in my experience BMW black is about average in terms of hardness, so it should not be this prone to marring.

picus
12-20-2006, 06:46 AM
Update: I posted in the Autopia thread too. So I am working on a 328xi today, black, and it has the same problem yours does. The paint is terribly soft, soft enough that I would personally say there is something wrong with it. I've worked on a lot of cars, and this seems pretty out of the ordinary to me. I am going to recommend the owner speak with BMW about this issue. I would not want to have to maintain this car.

RTG0507
12-20-2006, 07:24 AM
Thanks picus. I am in the process of seeking redress with the GM at the BMW dealership where I bought my car. I did check out Thomas' post on Autopia and the numerous replies. I was prepared for possible mechanical problems with the new E92 model, but not paint issues...Ughhh!

picus
12-20-2006, 09:46 AM
Thanks picus. I am in the process of seeking redress with the GM at the BMW dealership where I bought my car. I did check out Thomas' post on Autopia and the numerous replies. I was prepared for possible mechanical problems with the new E92 model, but not paint issues...Ughhh!

Ya, I just came back up from working on the car. It's a nightmare; I think I've got it under control now but the owner is going to have a serious issue on his hands if he intends to keep it swirl free. Unfortunately if it's just a problem with black e92's then you might have trouble convincing them you got repainted or something. I am not really sure what the process would be in this case; most folks don't care enough about paint to make a fuss, but if my car had paint this soft I have to say I'd almost not want it. :(

joyriide1113
12-20-2006, 10:45 AM
My first instinct was going to be that the dealer buffed the vehicle with some glaze that temporarily hid the swirls, but washed off.

But now since PICUS mentions he worked on it, and it is indeed a soft paint issue, I have no reason to doubt its a defective paint job...

chuck92103
12-20-2006, 10:47 AM
It is black paint. it shows everything. This is not a BMW issue.

Every black car I have seen has swirls. The car looks its best the day you drive it off the lot. It is downhill from there.

All manufacturers are using waterbased paint. It may be softer than before, but black is clearly a paint color that shows everything.

RTG0507
12-20-2006, 11:41 AM
I can understand the swirling with a jet black car, but I cannot live with a car that ends up scratched everytime that I wash it. My paint is so bad that a wash mit puts some pretty nasty scratches in the paint. Seems that any type of pressure applied to the car, scratches the paint.

picus
12-20-2006, 12:32 PM
It is black paint. it shows everything. This is not a BMW issue.

Every black car I have seen has swirls. The car looks its best the day you drive it off the lot. It is downhill from there.

All manufacturers are using waterbased paint. It may be softer than before, but black is clearly a paint color that shows everything.

Chuck, I think you might be misunderstanding what I am saying. I am not complaining about how black shows imperfections, I am complaining about the physical *hardness* of this particular paint. I've worked on literally thousands of cars over the past ten years. I've worked on over 600 this year alone and of those about 60% are black, from every single North American sold manufacturer I can think of. That includes recently made BMWs with black paint (e90s, e46's, e60s). What I am saying is that this particular black car has *the softest factory paint I have ever encountered*. I have come across un-baked repaints that are as soft, but they are un-baked repaints and *should* be soft. No factory paint should marr under the weight of an ultra plush microfiber. If I had to put it on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being ultra hard ceramiclear Mercedes paint, and 5 being the industry average (where most BMWs fall), this paint is a 1. I can not even wipe the polish residue away after polishing a section without inducing more fine surface marring.

When I read about RTG0507's issue over at Autopia my first reaction was that the car had been repainted due to shipping damage, and was left unbaked, and that he was a poor sucker who got a repainted car. Now that I have worked on a totally separate black e92 over 1,500 miles away, and have experienced the same thing he did, I think it's safe to say something is up with black e92 paint.

So yes, this is a BMW issue.

picus
12-20-2006, 12:38 PM
For what it's worth here is the post at Autopia with RT's car:

http://autopia.org/forum/click-brag/82627-2007-black-bmw-330-xi-worst-experience-so-far.html

The detailer there, tdekany, is one of the most respected members of the board, and a world class detailer. His experience mirrors mine; only the finest polishes on finished pads will not cause more marring on this paint than correction, and the paint is so soft that the simplest act of washing with a sheepskin mitt, or wiping with a microfiber, will cause marring. This isn't uncommon on day old repaints, but on factory paint it is very uncommon.

chuck92103
12-20-2006, 01:29 PM
Chuck, I think you might be misunderstanding what I am saying. I am not complaining about how black shows imperfections, I am complaining about the physical *hardness* of this particular paint. I've worked on literally thousands of cars over the past ten years. I've worked on over 600 this year alone and of those about 60% are black, from every single North American sold manufacturer I can think of. That includes recently made BMWs with black paint (e90s, e46's, e60s). What I am saying is that this particular black car has *the softest factory paint I have ever encountered*. I have come across un-baked repaints that are as soft, but they are un-baked repaints and *should* be soft. No factory paint should marr under the weight of an ultra plush microfiber. If I had to put it on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being ultra hard ceramiclear Mercedes paint, and 5 being the industry average (where most BMWs fall), this paint is a 1. I can not even wipe the polish residue away after polishing a section without inducing more fine surface marring.

When I read about RTG0507's issue over at Autopia my first reaction was that the car had been repainted due to shipping damage, and was left unbaked, and that he was a poor sucker who got a repainted car. Now that I have worked on a totally separate black e92 over 1,500 miles away, and have experienced the same thing he did, I think it's safe to say something is up with black e92 paint.

So yes, this is a BMW issue.

If you truly worked on "thousands" of cars, you would know this is not just a BMW issue. Lexus and others have switched to softer water-based paint.

I have seen Lexus, Acura, BMW, MB, etc. the black paint is swirl city.

picus
12-20-2006, 01:57 PM
If you truly worked on "thousands" of cars, you would know this is not just a BMW issue. Lexus and others have switched to softer water-based paint.

I have seen Lexus, Acura, BMW, MB, etc. the black paint is swirl city.

Chuck, again, you are not understanding what I am saying (either that or you are being argumentative for who knows what reason...). I am not sure how I have been unclear. I understand modern paint is water-based and softer than lacquer based paint of the past. That is not the point I am getting at. Despite softening paint *THIS PARTICULAR PAINT* is much, much softer than any factory paint I've ever worked on.

I've seen every make of car with swirls, and for what it's worth most of them have switched to water based paint (lacquer is long gone); modern paint being soft in general is not what I am talking about.

Here, look at it like this. When I work on a car I pick a compound and pad to remove scratches based on a few things. 1) The severity of the marring, 2) the hardness of the paint, and 3) how well the compound I am using finishes down on the paint. Now in most cases a car with moderate marring will get Hi-Temp EC on an orange (medium aggressive) pad, on a scale of abrasiveness this combo is about a 6-7 out of 10. Make sense so far? This will remove most of the swirls, I will then finish down with a much finer combo (usually 106FF on a black pad), to leave the paint looking like new.

OK, now on Audi's and Corvette's and other cars with "hard" paint, I need to use a more aggressive combo, maybe something that is an 8/10. With me?

On Acuras/Infiniti's I often need to use a less aggressive combo since the paint is soft. The aggressive combo WILL remove the marring, but it will create "hazing" which is hard to remove with the less aggressive combo. So in this case I will use something that is say, 5/10. So what does all this have to do with anything?

On this BMW paint I was removing marring with a combo that is considered about a 1/10 on the abrasion scale. A combo normally used to finish on "soft" paint. In fact this BMW paint was so soft this combo, which I have never seen cause hazing (except on repaints), was hazing.

Does this make sense?

So, yes, new cars have softer paint than 10 years ago. Japanese paint is generally softer than Germany paint which is generally softer than American paint; however *this* BMW was the softest of them all. Now if this was an isolated car I would have said "oh well", however as you can see from that link above, where another detailer had a similar issue on the same make/model/color, you'll begin to see why I do not think this is a fluke.

As for working on thousands of cars; I have - and as such I know that this *is* a BMW issue.

chuck92103
12-20-2006, 01:58 PM
Chuck, again, you are not understanding what I am saying. I know that in the last 8 years water-based paint has caused all factory paint t become softer. That is not the point I am getting at. Despite softening paint *THIS PARTICULAR PAINT* is much, much softer than any factory paint I've ever worked on. .

I know what you are saying, I just do not believe it.

picus
12-20-2006, 02:06 PM
I know what you are saying, I just do not believe it.

Based on what?

Steveo8998
12-21-2006, 11:44 PM
Is this for All Jet Black 328i? What about Black Sapphire?

Double-S
12-22-2006, 10:07 AM
Is this for All Jet Black 328i? What about Black Sapphire?

I hope not or I'm in big trouble!:eek:

TOGWT
12-22-2006, 12:37 PM
Water-Based Paint Finishes:
In the past twenty years, environmental and occupational safety concerns have put great pressure on the oil-based coatings industry. Many industries (inc newspaper inks) have seen the migration of coatings toward water-based formulations. These changes moved approximately 20% world's automotive industry to water borne coating by 1999, since this change there has been a lot of talk about the durability of these automotive paints. A water based paint system refers to the basecoat, not the clear coat, to my knowledge there are no "water based" clear coat (See also Paint Systems)

However, water borne paints have some drawbacks:•First-Water borne paints are softer than acrylic oil based paints. The quick forced dry process using higher curing temperatures causes the paint to dry fast, but not as hard. As a result, these paints scratch more easily.
•Second- Water borne paints also have difficulties with increased orange peal and production line runs and sags. The increased orange peal causes a reduction in overall smoothness and gloss.
•Third- Water borne paints are also more porous than conventional acrylic finishes. This accelerates a process known as drift; it is the process of waxes and sealants soaking into the pores of the finish.

Because the finish of a water-based paint is porous, when magnified it looks similar to the surface of the moon, peaks and valleys etc., as sealants heat and cool, they soak into the finish. Drift occurs in every known finish, however the water borne paint allows this process to occur much more rapidly, in some cases, even as short as a two week period of time. As drift occurs, the paint is left susceptible to the outdoor elements.
This leads the paint to loose gloss and be susceptible to water spots, acid rain, industrial fallout and many other forms of foreign particles. This only applies to base-coat paint’s; clear coat is a solvent based polyethylene

Maintenance -water borne finishes aren't dramatically different than caring for a conventional paint finish, as with most paint systems the base colour coat is protected with a solvent based polyethylene clear coat

Having said all that::: I will state again, there is a problem with the paint on your BMW that should be taken up with (a) the dealership and / or (b) BMW themselves.

Oil or water based paint should never be that 'soft'

picus
12-22-2006, 01:10 PM
Having said all that::: I will state again, there is a problem with the paint on your BMW that should be taken up with (a) the dealership and / or (b) BMW themselves.

Oil or water based paint should never be that 'soft'

Good info as usual TOGWT; I've missed seeing your posts. :)

The part I quoted is definitely the part that's pertinent to the OP and to my client. This paint is unusually soft. What makes the whole thing more bizarre is that I've worked on a Sparking Graphite and Monaco Blue e92 since the Jet Black and neither had the same issue. Both were "soft", but neither was abnormal, like the Jet Black. I have another Jet Black e92 335i tomorrow, and will let you guys know how it goes.

FWIW, this seems limited to only e92s. I've worked jet black M's, 5's, 330i's, etc, and none had the same problems.

Is this for All Jet Black 328i? What about Black Sapphire?

I've not yet worked on a BS e92, so I can't say for sure. If I had to guess I'd say it's Jet Black only.

Double-S
12-22-2006, 01:53 PM
Good info as usual TOGWT; I've missed seeing your posts. :)


I've not yet worked on a BS e92, so I can't say for sure. If I had to guess I'd say it's Jet Black only.

Yes, but you'll be working on a BS e85 M very soon!

Double-S
12-28-2006, 01:36 PM
Just had my black sapphire M Roadster detailed by Picus (GTA in detail) and thought I'd mention a few things. First off, holy crap he is good not to mention knowledgeable! Secondly, the black sapphire paint was great to work with, no problems at all, at least this is good news for e85's, but I'm sure e92's will be O.K also. Worth every Canadian penny. :thumbup:

picus
12-29-2006, 06:34 PM
Just had my black sapphire M Roadster detailed by Picus (GTA in detail) and thought I'd mention a few things. First off, holy crap he is good not to mention knowledgeable! Secondly, the black sapphire paint was great to work with, no problems at all, at least this is good news for e85's, but I'm sure e92's will be O.K also. Worth every Canadian penny. :thumbup:

:thumbup:

It was a pleasure meeting you Steve. Steve's BS paint is typical BMW; average hardness, easy to correct.

panzer948
01-06-2007, 06:51 AM
Wow, please post whenever you work on a black saphire 335i. I will be picking up one next week and hope I don't have that soft paint issue. As a owner of two previous black cars, I know the downfall of owning that color. But a paint described this soft is rediculous for a company like BMW.

BTW, if you recommend any good detailers in the Charlotte, NC area, let me know!

Double-S
01-08-2007, 05:04 AM
Wow, please post whenever you work on a black saphire 335i. I will be picking up one next week and hope I don't have that soft paint issue. As a owner of two previous black cars, I know the downfall of owning that color. But a paint described this soft is rediculous for a company like BMW.

BTW, if you recommend any good detailers in the Charlotte, NC area, let me know!

I know its not a 335i but just to let you know, Picus worked on my black sapphire M Roadster and he had NO problems! :thumbup:

claudia.csdesig
02-05-2007, 04:37 PM
I just bought a 2007 328, monaco blue. It has swirls everywhere, looks like silver swirls when you look at in the sun. It is really annoying as i only have 550 miles on it, have not had it through a car wash even. The hood has underlying smudge marks on it and the dealer got them off, but when i took a cotton rag onto the hood to remove some dirt, it left scratch marks? Now i'm reading these posts about "soft" paint and am wondering if this could be the problem or is this the nature of monaco blue (almost black). today I saw a 740i, same color, and i could see these silver swirls (they don't look like swirls from a car wash, they are different, like thick silver waves. Feed back, please.

picus
02-05-2007, 07:32 PM
In general paint is a lot softer now than it was 10 years ago. I saw your other post about your last BMW; it is highly likely your new car just has softer paint which will require more diligent care. Your car was probably scratched by the dealership wash prior to delivery, this is not at all uncommon. You can ask them to fix the issue, but that often comes with it's own risks. You may want to look into having the car detailed then taking care of it yourself after the marring is repaired.

It may seem like a lot of work, but you might want to hit autopia-carcare.com and read the "how to's" on washing, they will go a long way toward helping you maintain scratch free paint.

wolf
02-08-2007, 09:50 AM
my 07/328 monaco blue had swirl marks from day one...i have used only quality micro fiber towels and paint care products..the paint will scratch with the slightest amount of pressure..in direct sunlight it detracts from the cars appearance..monoco blue being such a rich color appears almost black in many light conditions..i know it is not something that can be glazed/polished/waxed away...and bmw is not going to do anything about it

picus
02-08-2007, 12:54 PM
Well, the swirls can be polished away; the issue is that given the softness of the paint it will not be long before they are re-introduced unless you are incredibly careful when washing.

wolf
02-08-2007, 02:04 PM
Well, the swirls can be polished away; the issue is that given the softness of the paint it will not be long before they are re-introduced unless you are incredibly careful when washing.

Point. Even though you can polish/glaze the swirls away...its only a temp fix giving the soft paint...but the main complaint is that: 2007 paint seems to be extra soft/sensitive to scratches/swirls.(the amount of noticeable "orange peel" on ALL body panels confirms this)..you would need a weekly polish right after you wash the car to keep them at bay..now i realize that many owners don't even see beyond the color...and do not notice the swirls...some may even think them to be normal..(which is not a far stretch...as most cars have swirl marks)

My take is being that the coupe has plastic fenders..that may have been a factor in changing the paint formula.

picus
02-08-2007, 04:00 PM
Point. Even though you can polish/glaze the swirls away...its only a temp fix giving the soft paint...but the main complaint is that: 2007 paint seems to be extra soft/sensitive to scratches/swirls.(the amount of noticeable "orange peel" on ALL body panels confirms this)..you would need a weekly polish right after you wash the car to keep them at bay..now i realize that many owners don't even see beyond the color...and do not notice the swirls...some may even think them to be normal..(which is not a far stretch...as most cars have swirl marks)

My take is being that the coupe has plastic fenders..that may have been a factor in changing the paint formula.

The problem with that is that not all the coupes have this soft paint. For example, my coupe (Sparkling Graphite) has what I consider "normal" BMW paint; about average hardness. Same with Space Grey, Black Sapphire, Montego Blue, and Alpine White. Actually, the two Monaco's I worked on seemed pretty normal too; it was the 4 Jet Black coupes that seemed excessively soft to me. Maybe it is just hit or miss.

BlueC
02-17-2007, 11:14 AM
I have the same problem on my Jet Black E92. It's just a soft clear coat. I've owned cars with hard clear coats for years, but the downside with hard clear coats is that they chip EASILY. This is why you don't typically see too many BMWs with large quantities of paint chips.

Simple as this, have it detailed in the spring and fall. There's not much you can do but clean up the clear coat on an annual basis. I've detailed my cars for years, a simple PC and a few compounds can do the trick. Although i'm a little hesitant to start detailing my coupe this spring, I know the soft clear coat will be a PITA to work with.


I will say this, be glad its too soft and not too hard. Swirling can always be corrected, paint chips cannot.

silvergray
03-20-2007, 09:18 PM
I know what you are saying, I just do not believe it.

Wierd?? Picus is a very respected detailer over on Autopia. His work is some of the best. Not somebody I would argue with about car car, Chuck.

My friend has a Jet Black E90, and I can vouch for how abnormally soft the CC is. BMW needs to do something to resolve this.

BimmerChuck
04-03-2007, 09:38 PM
I'll chim in here as another owner of a jet black e90 with unsatisfactory issues with the paint. Yes it makes swirl marks/scratches easily when washed or simply touched by even my finger, but the most problematic issue is bird crap. No matter how fast I get it off it eats right through the clear coat and you can see exactly where the bird has craped even after polishing and waxing. Now I have heard that leaving bird crap on for a long time can do this but I'm talking only 8 hours at the very most bird crap is sitting on my paint (assuming a bird craps immediatly on my car when I get to work). For those of you who know the Dallas area there are alot of friggen birds here. The entire car will shortly look like a big crap stain. I would like to address this issue with BMW since this is a lease and I don't want to be responsible for not properly taking car of the car.:bawling: