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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 07-27-2010, 12:56 PM
DWill DWill is offline
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Venture Shield and bugs = FAIL...

A quick report about Venture Shield (clear bra, 3M film, paint protection film etc…).

First sorry for the long delay posting this. I’ve been swamped with work since I got back a couple weeks ago.

Last December, Christmas Eve in fact; I ordered a 2010 X5 M.
I took delivery of that car in mid March.

About 6 weeks later I bought a 2010 X5 3.0 M Sport to be used as my daily driver.

Over the last 20 years or so I’ve owned at least one BMW bought new every 18 months I’d guess. Most time I’ve had more than one.

I like BMW’s…

Every BMW I’ve ever owned up until the two E70’s I have now I’ve used a black front end mask (car bra) on. I’ve never had a single mark on any car from using a car bra; never…. Though I never put them on and leave them on for longer than a day or two at most without removing them and cleaning the car and the underside of the bra.

So, the story of the Venture Shield…

Shortly after buying the X5 M I found a few threads on this and other forums about rock chips on the rear doors, fender flares etc. So I talked to the person I buy all my BMW’s from who is also a very close personal friend.

He tells me that he has seen a couple cars with damage but it’s not usually anything more than normal “wear and tear. I also owned two X3’s (a 06 and a 07) with M Sports packages prior to the two X5’s.

Neither had any damage to the fender flares, doors or rocker panels after two years of driving the first and two and a half of driving the second.

But I decided after reading the forums that I would cover the lower portion of the doors, the rocker panels and the rear fender flares rather than deal with this potential problem.
While I was at it I decided to have Venture Shield put on the front bumper cover, the hood and the fenders of both X5’s.

The work was done on both cars in June. The M was done the first week of June and the 3.0 was done the first couple of days of the second week of June. It’s important to not that each car was done from a different batch of film.

All of this work was custom, meaning not one piece of film came from a kit. It was done by a highly recommended company in San Diego. I have to say the install work is flawless.

So what happened….

About the 17th of June I took the 3.0 on at 3750 mile road trip from my home in San Diego to my home in Montana and back. While there I went to Yellowstone Park and drove the car around Montana a bit.

The car of course performed perfect. I was originally planning to use the M for the trip but decided I’d take the 3.0 instead to save some wear and tear on the M and save a little gas money.

I was a little concerned about the power of the 3.0. That proved to be a non issue; it isn’t the M but it cruised along at 100 MPH plus on many occasions with not problem. The gas mileage was fantastic. Between San Diego and Craig Montana I averaged 84 mph and still saw an average of 22.6 mpg (as I recall). For the entire 3750 miles I averaged 50 mph and about 22 mpg. That of course included the Yellowstone trip and all the town driving etc. Not bad.

Now about the Venture Shield….

I managed to make it through the entire trip without a single rock chip that I can find on the car.

There are a few impact marks on the front of the car, the outside mirrors and the rocker panels. However not one of these impacts went through the Venture Shield and touched the paint.

In that respect the Venture Shield (clear bra) worked perfectly.
That’s the good news…

The not so good news…

The Venture Shield on the outside mirrors and the front of the car is completely destroyed and needs to be replaced.

What did it? Bugs…

When I left for Montana I drove the first day for about 17 hours then drove the rest of the way the second day after a good night sleep.

When I got to the house in Montana I unpacked the car, ran the grocery store (I got there about 6pm) then came home let the car sit in the garage for while to cool and washed the car. I really didn’t pick up too many bugs until the second day while driving through Idaho and Montana. A few the day before of course but not too many.

When I finished washing the car it looking at the front of the car it looked as if I had never washed it. It looked to be covered with bugs still. Looking closer what I was seeing is where the bugs had been but what was now just “spots” of where they had been.

So, I pulled the car into the garage. The next day I call the person who’s company did the install on the clear bra and told him what was seeing on the car. His response took me a bit by surprise.

He said “you shouldn’t get bugs on the film and, if you do you need to use plain water and a clean micro fiber cloth soaked in plain water and get them off right away. Then follow that with a wash and then use plexus on the film to clean and seal it.

He said try a micro fiber cloth soaked in water first, then rewash using lots of soap and water and finally follow that with Plexsus. Maybe that will take the residue off.

If not then he would have to polish the film when I got back.

So I tried what he said. I used a brand new micro fiber cloth that had been washed fresh from the bag but never used. The car had been sitting outside on an overcast day about 15 minutes before I started this project.

The only thing that happened was the clear bra scratched badly where I was wiping. Remember I had wash the car the night before and had just rinsed it moments before and soaked the brand new never used micro fiber cloth in water seconds before using it on the car. I was using very light pressure basically from my finger tips on the car.

But there they were scratches set into the clear bra from a clean wet micro fiber clear being used on a clean car… I was a bit pissed….

So, I called the guy back and told him the bug residue hadn’t come off and told him about the scratch. He told me I had shouldn’t have cleaned the film while the car was hot and/or right after the engine had been running. None of which I had done…

He told me I probably had waited too long to clean the bugs off and they had etched into the film. When I asked how long was too long he said I should have cleaned them off immediately when I saw them and not let them dry up on the film.

I asked him didn’t he just tell me to not wash or touch the film while it as hot from the being outside and/or from the engine running because if I did it would likely scratch?
He said yes… I then asked him then “how am I suppose to clean the bugs off the moment I see them if the car is hot”. His answer; carry a spray bottle of water….

I asked him where he got this information from; he said 3M.
So I checked with 3M and sure enough and sure enough they tell me they don’t recommend getting bugs, bird dropping or letting water dry on the film. When I asked how soon after getting bugs on the film do they need to come off? The answer right away… I asked about cleaning the film while it was warm and/or hot. They said no it will easily scratch if you do.

To make matters worse; last week I took the X5 M out of the garage here in San Diego (Ramona) where I have a house to run down and get a cup of coffee with a couple friends. The X5 was sitting in the shade at the coffee place.

I was there maybe 20 minutes total sitting there; the shop is maybe 3 or 4 minutes from my house. Total time outside less than hour.

I notice a bird dropping on the bumper cover when I was walking up to the M to go home. After driving it into the garage I touch the bumper cover and it was cool to the touch. So I get a clean micro fiber cloth, soak in it in plain water, pour plain water on the bird dropping, let it sit for maybe 1 minute and wipe it off.

Scratch goes the clear bra and the bird dropping left residue (etching) in the exact shape of the dropping in the film…

I call the guy up… he says… you left it on there too long and car was hot when you cleaned it…. So I called 3M and bitched to them; they basically tell me the same thing…

Long story short after much trouble 3M has said they will replace the film on both cars under warranty, even though it’s not their fault. But I have to pay labor charges.

The bottom line is I’m taking both cars in next week to have the film removed from the front of the cars. I’ll leave it on the rocker panels, lower rear doors and rear fender flares.
Though there is a “bug mark” on one of the rear fender flares on the 3.0. I can live with that.

I’m going back to a normal nose mask on the front of both cars and the outside mirrors.

Anyway, take it for what it’s worth… YMMV… ***61514;
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2010, 01:01 PM
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hsindogg hsindogg is offline
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That sucks...it's a little unrealistic for 3M or the installer to think people should carry around a bottle of water, a microfiber cloth, and then drop everything to wipe off bugs on the film.
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2010, 01:04 PM
Beemersn Beemersn is offline
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I have had 3M clear bra on all my cars and haven't had any problems except few marks from stone chips. I wouldn't let the dead bugs more 24 hours.
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2010, 01:28 PM
sdbrandon sdbrandon is offline
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I have never been a fan of saran wrap on cars.

Sure it may protect the paint by absorbing damage in some areas. But in the end, you have paint and saran wrap to replace as a result of damage.

The main issue I see in cars is not the front bumper/hoods. It is chipped/crack windshields, chips on front door pillars, and chips on roof line above windshield. All areas typically missed by saran wrap installers.

Just hope you never have to have it removed after a few years.

I know the film is more than just saran wrap, but it reminds me of the plastic coverering my grandmother put on the sofas.
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2010, 01:58 PM
Newmanium Newmanium is offline
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I had the 3m clearbra on our TSX for 2 years, and it was fantastic. I didn't follow any guidelines for cleaning, and never once had anything like you're describing. I call BS based on my experience, is there anyway 3m has different types of material for this?

Mine was also a custom install, no precut kit.

Those guidelines they are giving you are insane, flat out ridiculous.
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2010, 02:23 PM
CAX5 CAX5 is offline
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I Put Clear Bra,( I think 3M calls it Scotchguard) not Venture Shield on my 50 a couple of weeks ago. I put it on the lower corner of the Rear Doors, the front of the Rear Wheels Flares and the corner turn in on the Lower Rocker Panel. I have had no problems washing bugs off. The installer showed me the Venture Shield. It is much thinner and more flexible, so he only uses it in hard to get areas. He told me the Clear Bra ( Both are now owned by 3M he said) is a much stronger product. He used computer generated pieces for the Doors, the rest he custom made. My wife has Clear Bra on the entire Front Bumper, Front half of the Hood, the Front of the Front Fenders, and the Mirrors. We have had her Car for 18 Months, and have no bug stains at all on it. They always wash off. Have them Try Scotchguard " Clear Bra" not Venture Shield this time.

Last edited by CAX5; 07-27-2010 at 02:28 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2010, 02:34 PM
Newmanium Newmanium is offline
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Mine was the Scotchguard product, not Venture Shield - sounds like there's a big difference.
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2010, 10:19 PM
DWill DWill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsindogg View Post
That sucks...it's a little unrealistic for 3M or the installer to think people should carry around a bottle of water, a microfiber cloth, and then drop everything to wipe off bugs on the film.
That's my thoughts exactly.
Not a very realistic solution.

Which is why it's coming off and I'll go back to the old black car and mirror bra.
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2010, 10:29 PM
DWill DWill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newmanium View Post
Mine was the Scotchguard product, not Venture Shield - sounds like there's a big difference.
If I'm not mistaken the "scotchguard" product is the old 3M product with the adhesive from Venturshield.

Their both 3M products now.

According to the intaller if I understood him correctly the original 3M product is a little thicker and has more orange peel to it.

He felt that given the compound curves on the front end od the E70 that the thinner product would be a better and that because of the dark color paint on both X5's he felt that I wouldn't like the orange peel look on the hood and fenders.

I do think that if I had a light colored car the bug thing may not be so much of an issue. You wouldn't see the etching so much.
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2010, 10:48 PM
ard ard is offline
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It doesn't matter what they SAY you should do... what does the warranty STATE? Verbal instructions from the installer or 3M are nice to hear, but at the end of the day it is the terms in the warranty and their published instructions that define the arguments.

Oddly, the warranty I could find is pretty poor...no real directions other than cleaning "as soon as possible"...nothing about hot surfaces, nothing about how soon "possible" would be, etc. But even then, the film it is only warranted against "cracking", "bubbling" or "yellowing". Not peeling off, not disintegrating unless it was a crack, not discoloring unless it is yellow....

I have clearbra on the P car for 5 years, and despite some abuse from rocks, bugs are no issues.

Hope someone else is paying for this error.
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  #11  
Old 07-28-2010, 09:05 AM
seex seex is offline
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Exclamation ventureshield=delicate

The clear coat on the ventureshield(vs) makes it look great and orange peel free, but it's not a true clear coat as is the one on 3M scotchcal. VS surface will scratch VERY easily with no way of removing it(scratch would incl. 'bug stains'). This is due to the microscopic pores on the the film. It will trap whateva gets imbedded in the pores. Thus, constant(2x mth) preventive maintenance is call for on VS. If the film receive minimal maintenace(303, Plexus, etc.), say within 6mths, it'll turn dull due to entrapment of the 'environment'(road grease, rain, etc.); VS will look GREAT for years on exotic cars that get driven a month out of the year.

VS is quite easy to install compare to 3M. But when it comes to durability and reliability, experience installers prefer 3M because of its true clear coat. For instance, if scratches or bug stains are on 3M, usually an experience detailer can make it 'NEW' with a speed polisher. I've seen a professional detailer pulling his hair out trying to take out fine scratches on VS with an electric buffer.

If you've PPF on your vehicle, especially not 3M scotchcal, it's highly recommended to put a couple of coat of wax/Plexus/303 on the the film before you go on a long distant drive through a bug infested area. The 'coat' will ease the removal of the 'bug stains' afterward

BTW, tape over the edges of film with 1" wide masking tape before waxing to prevent wax build-up.

Last edited by seex; 07-28-2010 at 09:12 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-28-2010, 10:30 AM
DWill DWill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seex View Post
The clear coat on the ventureshield(vs) makes it look great and orange peel free, but it's not a true clear coat as is the one on 3M scotchcal. VS surface will scratch VERY easily with no way of removing it(scratch would incl. 'bug stains'). This is due to the microscopic pores on the the film. It will trap whateva gets imbedded in the pores. Thus, constant(2x mth) preventive maintenance is call for on VS. If the film receive minimal maintenace(303, Plexus, etc.), say within 6mths, it'll turn dull due to entrapment of the 'environment'(road grease, rain, etc.); VS will look GREAT for years on exotic cars that get driven a month out of the year.

VS is quite easy to install compare to 3M. But when it comes to durability and reliability, experience installers prefer 3M because of its true clear coat. For instance, if scratches or bug stains are on 3M, usually an experience detailer can make it 'NEW' with a speed polisher. I've seen a professional detailer pulling his hair out trying to take out fine scratches on VS with an electric buffer.

If you've PPF on your vehicle, especially not 3M scotchcal, it's highly recommended to put a couple of coat of wax/Plexus/303 on the the film before you go on a long distant drive through a bug infested area. The 'coat' will ease the removal of the 'bug stains' afterward

BTW, tape over the edges of film with 1" wide masking tape before waxing to prevent wax build-up.
I use Plexsus every time I wash the car per the installers instructions. I used it the night before I left San Diego for Montana as well.

I've asked the installer to get me a sample of the other film to see what it looks like on the car.
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  #13  
Old 07-28-2010, 01:47 PM
seex seex is offline
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Question Most film looks great initially ...........

the installer is the KEY. He can turn a piece of scrap film into WOW. If you're worry about what film to pick, buy from an installer who has been around the good and the bad(experience).

A PPF tech guy once told me, "a good film is not easy to install and a film easy to install is not good" (?)
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  #14  
Old 08-13-2010, 06:59 AM
paintprotector paintprotector is offline
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Here is the real story about Ventureshield/3M Scotchguard. Yes, 3M owns both. Scotchguard is a clear coated (painted) product that definately will resist bug stains, etc better than the Venture overall.
The Venture is NOT thinner, it is actually a half mil thicker at 8.5 mils w/2mil adhesive. It does have 3times the tensile strength as Scotchguard 419% stretch ability.
Venture is what is referred to as a top-coated product that is double extruded with a compressed smooth layer being on the top, hence the smooth finish with no orange peel. The down side of this is a pore structure that will open up with heat and then close with cold, thus trapping some of the bug acid or road oils, etc.
Two helpful hints:
1. Don't use Plexus on Venture even though it says so everywhere. Over time it will tend to yellow the film and it doesn't have the longevity.
2. Use 3M performance finish (best applied when surface is warm to get the wax into the pores) or a pure carnuba wax.

If want the best looking install on a dark car nothing beats the clarity of the Venture. As long as you keep it clean and waxed it weathers fine. If you prefer a more durable finish with less maintenance and don't mind the orange peel, use the Scotchguard.
Any good 3M certified installer can install either without any problem, but it is definately more difficult to install the Scotchguard because of the combination of a more agressive adhesive and lesser ability to stretch.
Unrealistic expectations and poor results come from not explaining the differences in the films correctly and not understanding the expected results.
To the one with the leather bra fetish, you are one in a million who removes the bra to wash the vehicl and doesn't let it stay on for more than 1 or 2 days. Everyone else just washes the vehicle allowing all that nice grit to settle under the bra and scratch the HELL out of the paint. You are probably the only one in the world who actually folows the instructions.

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  #15  
Old 08-13-2010, 07:00 AM
paintprotector paintprotector is offline
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Correction

410% stretch, correction
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  #16  
Old 08-13-2010, 07:22 AM
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dalekressin dalekressin is offline
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I prefer to use carwash soaked towels over front of car after night drive.
The wash insects & stains away easily.
I have not tried bra or any shield.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:15 AM
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David1 David1 is offline
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Plexus is a waste. I have been using Mequires NXT on the 3M film for years and makes the bugs easier to get off, but on either film, something very acidic will etch it.
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  #18  
Old 08-16-2010, 06:31 AM
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twowinns twowinns is offline
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I had the same problem recently. It looked perfect right after installation, but after a 1500 mile trip it is ruined. I called my installer to complain, and he said that happens with bugs on the film. My friends have film on their cars too, but they have lighter colored cars. My X5 is Monaco Blue, and the bug etchings stand out so much more.

If I could do it all over, I'd have never wasted the money on getting the film. I'm more upset with how it looks now, over what a rock chip would have left.
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  #19  
Old 11-10-2010, 06:41 AM
Jean-Claude Jean-Claude is offline
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You drove 3,000+ miles on a road trip?
How many times was the car washed on this trip?

Some bugs are way more acidic than others. Love bugs tend to etch clear coat faster than grass hoppers and other critters. If you drove a long period of time prior to cleaning those bugs off, it becomes neglect. Paint protection films are wonderful, but they still require care and attention. They must be kept sealed up with a sealant or wax. They must be kept realistically clean.

I know folks who drove to Florida for 5 days, came home and had bug marks that etched the clear coat in just those few days.

The clear bra did it's job. It protected the finish of your car. The clear bra can be peeled off when you don't like how it looks and replaced. A repaint is much more expensive and reduces the resale value of your car.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:06 AM
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^^^ Van Dam - whatever happened to the ol zorro mask? Did that go out of fashion or something? Now THAT'S protection!!
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