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View Full Version : My entire brand new black 328 is scratched from the soap brush at the coin car wash


jasper7821
08-07-2012, 09:42 AM
I have a month old black 328 that I wash all the time at home with my CR spotless system and only wash and dry with microfiber towels.

We went to the lake over the weekend and my the bugs took it's toll on my car really bad.
Instead of getting my whole system out and taking my time I wanted to hurry and wash my car.

I stopped at a coin car wash and very carefully inspected the foam brush that felt very soft and I tested it on a small spot where the front license plate goes.
It seemed totally fine so I used it very lightly to was the car.

Got home and in the garage with the florescent lights I could see whole entire car had light scratches on it.

I tried to use some quick detailer and nothng, then wax and still nothing.

I called the dealer to see what I can do and they said to call the company they use and I can get a nice discount $120 to fully clay bar, color sand and detail the car.

Question is, I've read that the clear coat is very thin and once scratched there's nothing that can be done.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Carboy7
08-07-2012, 01:42 PM
I have a month old black 328 that I wash all the time at home with my CR spotless system and only wash and dry with microfiber towels.

We went to the lake over the weekend and my the bugs took it's toll on my car really bad.
Instead of getting my whole system out and taking my time I wanted to hurry and wash my car.

I stopped at a coin car wash and very carefully inspected the foam brush that felt very soft and I tested it on a small spot where the front license plate goes.
It seemed totally fine so I used it very lightly to was the car.

Got home and in the garage with the florescent lights I could see whole entire car had light scratches on it.

I tried to use some quick detailer and nothng, then wax and still nothing.

I called the dealer to see what I can do and they said to call the company they use and I can get a nice discount $120 to fully clay bar, color sand and detail the car.

Question is, I've read that the clear coat is very thin and once scratched there's nothing that can be done.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
First thing is ALWAYS AVOID the brushes. If you have to use coin-op, what I suggest is bringing your washing supplies for cleaning the car only (so you don't hold up too many people) and doing the dressing up at home like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVtnRoiIRRI

Otherwise, the most I would do is use the pressure washer to spray car soap and let it sit for a couple minutes (although there is a risk the soap might trip your wax).

Since your car now has light scratches on it, it means the surface is no longer perfect and must be polished until the surface is completely perfect or smooth Since paint is thin, you want to start with the least aggressive approach, orbital polishing, and not the most aggressive, wetsanding. Until the paint is polished, the most your wax will do is temporarily fill-in some scratches and I do not recommend the dealer to do the job since most likely their detailer does not have the expertise to do the job; in most cases, dealers will often go for the cheapest detailer which will usually be the inexperienced one.

What I recommend is if you do not have the skill of polishing, I highly suggest you find a professional detailer who can do the job.

jasper7821
08-07-2012, 01:50 PM
thank you very much.
Actually the dealer referred me to the detail shop they they use.
http://www.finelinesauto.com/

I hope they do a great job and not make it worse. Or get rid of the scratches but leave swirl marks.
I'm crossing my fingers.

Ilovemycar
08-07-2012, 02:02 PM
Question is, I've read that the clear coat is very thin and once scratched there's nothing that can be done.


I'm going to quote a couple of snippets, and out of order as well.

Your car should have plenty of clearcoat, as it's only a month old. My car is approaching half a decade, it's been polished multiple times, and I think the very thinnest spot I've measured on the entire car (metal only, not plastic panels) with my PTG is about 131 microns, I think it was near the fuel tank cap. Even that's plenty. My last polishing, yes while a rather fine one with a softer pad at low speed, well I couldn't measure any cc removal whatsoever (not that I was entirely scientific about it, but I did try to see if I could find any obvious removal: nope).

I called the dealer to see what I can do and they said to call the company they use and I can get a nice discount $120 to fully clay bar, color sand and detail the car.

Clay is easy. Detail, what does that really mean, a car wash and vacuum? Yes I can see a lower price of $120. But color sanding??? YIKES. For only $120? QUADRUPLE YIKES. That is all kinds of red flags, well to me anyway. Think like 28 red flags. An exterior light polish, no interior, with a detailer that really likes you and is in a really good mood, ok maybe you could find $120. Color sanding??? Anyway, I'm 99.99999999% sure that is super overkill. My guess is that even a light polish will do a great job, let alone a compound on a foam pad, let alone on a MF pad, let alone on a wool pad on rotary . . . let alone sandpaper.

I wouldn't feel so awfully, because at least some of those swirls were probably dealership gifts, some were likely from your own MF products and/or technique, and I too would worry about insect carcass etching of the paint. Much, much, much easier to polish out superfine scratches than it is to deal with deep etching (at a certain point, there is no more hope).

Ilovemycar
08-07-2012, 02:05 PM
thank you very much.
Actually the dealer referred me to the detail shop they they use.
http://www.finelinesauto.com/

I hope they do a great job and not make it worse. Or get rid of the scratches but leave swirl marks.
I'm crossing my fingers.

Stop. For now. Give me a few minutes. BTW, that pic, he is using a rotary with wool pad. It is an art that some have mastered over the years, but there are many more than will just F your ride up, at least that's my fear. Today, with the advent of the next best thing every month or so, we now have microfiber pads that can provide tons of cut, especially with powerful and easy to use compounds like M105, that even a weakling Porter Cable could likely do it, let alone the more powerful forced rotation machines. If I let anyone touch my car with a rotary (can't see that happening as I'm simply not that abusive to my car), I would only hire a world renowned detailer, I think anyway.

Ilovemycar
08-07-2012, 02:31 PM
Gee, it's hard to find known detailers in Tucson. Though some pros set up trips out there when enough cars are lined up or something. With only some research, I can only find reputed detailers around Phoenix or Chandler, sorry. It doesn't hurt to ask what their travel charges are, and it won't surprise me that they set up their own trips when enough cars are lined up to make it worth their while. Swirls are only cosmetic, in essence; what I mean is that to clear them up you remove more cc (if even immeasurable as in my case). You can leave it waxed to keep it protected, and when you find the right guy, have at it.

This website seems to be a bit wonky, but he is respected at a detailing forum that I frequent.

http://windowsandwheels.com/home/

Here is another detailer that appears to do good work, but it's hard to find his contact info. Sorry I couldn't help you more, I wish you luck, and be cautious.

http://www.autopia.org/forum/click-brag/139967-been-while-some-new-projects.html#post1489226

gmblack3
08-07-2012, 09:38 PM
Gee, it's hard to find known detailers in Tucson. Though some pros set up trips out there when enough cars are lined up or something. With only some research, I can only find reputed detailers around Phoenix or Chandler, sorry. It doesn't hurt to ask what their travel charges are, and it won't surprise me that they set up their own trips when enough cars are lined up to make it worth their while. Swirls are only cosmetic, in essence; what I mean is that to clear them up you remove more cc (if even immeasurable as in my case). You can leave it waxed to keep it protected, and when you find the right guy, have at it.

This website seems to be a bit wonky, but he is respected at a detailing forum that I frequent.

http://windowsandwheels.com/home/

Here is another detailer that appears to do good work, but it's hard to find his contact info. Sorry I couldn't help you more, I wish you luck, and be cautious.

http://www.autopia.org/forum/click-brag/139967-been-while-some-new-projects.html#post1489226

I would go with http://windowsandwheels.com/home/ as well.

aray
08-08-2012, 09:08 PM
Above is all good advice.

Production detailers who focus on high volume dealer work usually are not a good fit for enthusiasts....we have different goals.

Dealers want...
- Cheap
- Fast (related to cheap, results in using aggressive shortcuts like wool pads regardless if they're needed, taking off clearcoat unnecessarily)
- "Good enough"
- Did I mention Cheap?

We want....
- High quality results
- Good value for price paid
- Least aggressive methods used to save our precious clearcoat

There are exceptions to the rule but generally detailers who focus on "automotive reconditioning" for dealers are not used to doing work at the quality level most enthuiasts want. I would be weary of any detailed recommended by my dealer.

ard
08-12-2012, 01:03 AM
I would be weary of any detailed recommended by my dealer.
i
Me too.

Another aspect is that you are trying to separate yourself from the unwashed masses of BMW owners who are generally clueless and impressed with shiny things.


One comment OP made that shows some lack if understanding: you were wondering if they'd eliminate scratches but leave swirls. They are the same. Swirls are simply microscratches in ALL DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS, but when viewed with a circular light source (bulb, sun) seem to appear in radial patterns. Usually from towels and sponges used to wash.

And OP- NEVER let the dealer wash you car, NEVER use a coin op with brushes. (really any, even touchless, for that matter)

jasper7821
08-12-2012, 09:19 AM
I'm going to quote a couple of snippets, and out of order as well.

Your car should have plenty of clearcoat, as it's only a month old. My car is approaching half a decade, it's been polished multiple times, and I think the very thinnest spot I've measured on the entire car (metal only, not plastic panels) with my PTG is about 131 microns, I think it was near the fuel tank cap. Even that's plenty. My last polishing, yes while a rather fine one with a softer pad at low speed, well I couldn't measure any cc removal whatsoever (not that I was entirely scientific about it, but I did try to see if I could find any obvious removal: nope).



Clay is easy. Detail, what does that really mean, a car wash and vacuum? Yes I can see a lower price of $120. But color sanding??? YIKES. For only $120? QUADRUPLE YIKES. That is all kinds of red flags, well to me anyway. Think like 28 red flags. An exterior light polish, no interior, with a detailer that really likes you and is in a really good mood, ok maybe you could find $120. Color sanding??? Anyway, I'm 99.99999999% sure that is super overkill. My guess is that even a light polish will do a great job, let alone a compound on a foam pad, let alone on a MF pad, let alone on a wool pad on rotary . . . let alone sandpaper.

I wouldn't feel so awfully, because at least some of those swirls were probably dealership gifts, some were likely from your own MF products and/or technique, and I too would worry about insect carcass etching of the paint. Much, much, much easier to polish out superfine scratches than it is to deal with deep etching (at a certain point, there is no more hope).

I think I will try to clay myself and see if it gives me good results. If not then I'll tie it to the shop.
The $120 price is the BMW cost, they get an awesome deal.vi think as a walk in price it's around $300 and that's just the outside of the car only. They said it old be a 4 stage process and take about 5hrs.

The fine scratches can only be seen in the garage at night with the fluorescent light and they are straight line scratches from the brush. There are no swirl marks at all.

jasper7821
08-12-2012, 09:31 AM
i
Me too.

Another aspect is that you are trying to separate yourself from the unwashed masses of BMW owners who are generally clueless and impressed with shiny things.


One comment OP made that shows some lack if understanding: you were wondering if they'd eliminate scratches but leave swirls. They are the same. Swirls are simply microscratches in ALL DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS, but when viewed with a circular light source (bulb, sun) seem to appear in radial patterns. Usually from towels and sponges used to wash.

And OP- NEVER let the dealer wash you car, NEVER use a coin op with brushes. (really any, even touchless, for that matter)

What I was talking about was if the shot didn't do a good job and remove the straight line scratches from me using the brush but left swirl marks from their high speed buffer.

I waxed the car and it looks 100% better. I can now only see the scratches at night in the garage under fluorescent light and I have to be at the right angle. Outside in daylight I can't really see anything.
So I'm not as freaked out anymore that it's barely noticeable now since the wax covered the scratches.

I'll take it to the shop and see wht they say about it but I think when I go ack to Orange County Ca for visiting frieds I'll have it taken care of out there since there's probably a lot of great detail shops there.

Ilovemycar
08-12-2012, 04:04 PM
I think I will try to clay myself and see if it gives me good results. If not then I'll tie it to the shop.
The $120 price is the BMW cost, they get an awesome deal.vi think as a walk in price it's around $300 and that's just the outside of the car only. They said it old be a 4 stage process and take about 5hrs.

The fine scratches can only be seen in the garage at night with the fluorescent light and they are straight line scratches from the brush. There are no swirl marks at all.

Clay is cleaning or "decontamination", but is not really a beautifying technique, at least as far as removing clearcoat defects.

Detailers don't really talk like that, "4 stage process". What they instead say is something like 1 step, 3 steps, etc, and that is for only the polishing stage. The number of other "stages" before the polishing, whether wash, clay, paint cleanser, Iron-X, whatever, and then afterwards the glaze, sealant, wax, whatever, those don't count for a pro detailer's "steps".

That said, a 2 step polish in 5 hours is extremely fast IMO. Almost bordering on a rush job, but maybe not for a new car, and maybe not if you have multiple people working on it at the same time.


What I was talking about was if the shot didn't do a good job and remove the straight line scratches from me using the brush but left swirl marks from their high speed buffer.

I waxed the car and it looks 100% better. I can now only see the scratches at night in the garage under fluorescent light and I have to be at the right angle. Outside in daylight I can't really see anything.
So I'm not as freaked out anymore that it's barely noticeable now since the wax covered the scratches.

I'll take it to the shop and see wht they say about it but I think when I go ack to Orange County Ca for visiting frieds I'll have it taken care of out there since there's probably a lot of great detail shops there.

Like I was trying to say before, I highly doubt you need a high speed buffer. I think even the lowest speed of units will likely be enough. I have multiple machines, my more powerful one only maxes out at 480 rpm, but its orbits per min maxes at 9600. I recommend that you only consider using a random orbital for this job. At this point, I'm not sure I can make my personal opinion any more clear, so I guess I'll leave it at that.

Yes, wax is more forgiving than a sealant as far as defects, but I guess the problem there is that is only lasts a few weeks, compared to several months (or more). There are also glazes that help beautify with "fillers", the problem is that they're temporary. Car show contestants use them, but they probably are more known for a less noble use, and that is the cheap detailers' technique of making the car look almost as good as a polished car, without the work of polishing. Then the customer washes the car, and all the swirls magically reappear.

jasper7821
08-15-2012, 12:03 PM
I went down and showed the detail shop my car and he said he can get the scratches out BUT the spiderwebs won't come out. They were there from new and in the sun I can just barely see them.

He said they would first wash and clay bar the car then use a semi rough polish and keep using lighter and lighter polish until all the scratches are out.
If needed, they will color wet sand the spots that still have scratches.
Then wax the car when all the scratches are removed.

Since I used this detailer on the whole car it looks 100% better than it did. The scratches are not very noticeable now since this stuff covered them up.
http://www.amazon.com/Turtle-Wax-T-319-Black-Detailer/dp/B004M3IQO8

Will probably have it done in a few weeks.

Ilovemycar
08-15-2012, 03:18 PM
If the "semi rough" polish doesn't get it out, the finer stuff won't either. Lighter polishes are more about beautifying, like "jewelling". Your detailer has fillers in it, as you probably know, as it's the first thing that the description says, which are temporary and they may be gone with your very next wash or rain. I think with a black car, having a filler glaze on hand is probably may not be a bad idea though.

If you can take a bunch of quality pics, I'm sure you'll get some good feedback from the pros here, and at least a couple of them that frequent this subforum are the tops in the US, including one who has already chimed in your thread, just right here, who made the top 9 detailers in the US according to Autoweek, gmblack3 aka Bryan Burnworth.

jasper7821
08-15-2012, 03:52 PM
I'll try again to get photos but now that I've detailed the car the scratches are so fine that I can't see them with my Sony Nex5n.
I'll try again though.
Thanks.

Ilovemycar
08-15-2012, 08:53 PM
I'll try again to get photos but now that I've detailed the car the scratches are so fine that I can't see them with my Sony Nex5n.
I'll try again though.
Thanks.

Sorry, I don't know what you mean by detailed, but whatever the definition is, it's not worth it until the paint is totally bare. No wax, no nuthin', and perhaps even IPA or paint cleaner to get any oils/residue off before doing an evaluation. Halogens, tach lights, direct sunlight, those are very helpful is seeing what's going on too. I just don't want to waste your time. Good luck.