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X3 F25 (2011 - current)
The latest X3 brings some added style and some new features to the BMW SUV family. Talk about the new F25 now!

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  #1  
Old 06-10-2012, 08:50 AM
Jen4BMW Jen4BMW is offline
Jen4BMW
Location: Minneapolis
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Mein Auto: 2013 X3 35i M Sport
Please share your car care secrets

This question goes out to all my fellow Bimmer friends who have experimented around with different car care products and wouldn't mind sharing your secrets, likes & dislikes.

I've read that Griot's is very good- any first hand reports?
How about BMW's line, Pinnacle, Wolfgang, Meguiars, DP, Turtle Wax Ice?

I am sure there are many great products and processes out there and I'd love to hear yours!

Thanks!!
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2013 X3 35i M Sport / PREMIUM / DHP / TECH / COLD 1 & 11 / AW / OYSTER

Last edited by Jen4BMW; 06-10-2012 at 08:54 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2012, 10:10 AM
Wabbajack Wabbajack is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 X3 35i
I've bought stuff from Griots and Autopia. I 'm getting you the name of a sealer wax/paint protectant that freakin' rocks for the winter in keeping the salt from dulling your clear coat and also makes it so a drive thru touchfree car wash will keep it clean in the winter without having to hand wash (usually necessary to get road treatments off). My local detailer used it on my Toyota SUV last winter and it was unbelievable compared to the previous winter when the car was new and just had standard wax on it.

For my DIY touchup stuff, I am in love with Zymol. And I use it on my interior wood trim too. You just wipe it on with a microfiber towel like those yellow car towels from Costco and wipe it off with a clean one. Doesn't take any effort. Just like washing a window. Zymol is not like a hard wax, though and really only lasts between washings.

Oh and I bought various Kit things from the Shop in Munich and the interior wipes f-ed up my Burlwood and plastic. In tiny print on the packages amidst 4 languages it said to only use them on vinyl surfaces. But the product name was Interior Finish Wipes or something like that. Super bummed about that but I got over it and just turned in that car two days ago so it's history now. So needless to say I'm not a fan of the BMW products.

Last edited by Wabbajack; 06-10-2012 at 10:13 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2012, 10:21 AM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is online now
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Mein Auto: 2011 X3 35i
If you head over to the detail section of this forum, you can find a lot of great info. It is here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=13

I found it super useful in finding great products Sonax wheel cleaner is a MUST for rims! Love, love, love, that stuff!
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  #4  
Old 06-10-2012, 11:16 AM
Wabbajack Wabbajack is offline
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Funny, I've never needed wheel cleaner. Maybe because I wash my car enough to keep it clean?
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  #5  
Old 06-10-2012, 01:42 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbajack View Post
Funny, I've never needed wheel cleaner. Maybe because I wash my car enough to keep it clean?
I wash my car 3 times a week and do the rims every time. I use Sonax once a week and it makes cleaning the brake dust a breeze. It gets in every crack and crevice and makes the rims shine like new. If you read the details forums, just about every high end detailer uses it.
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  #6  
Old 06-10-2012, 05:02 PM
Wabbajack Wabbajack is offline
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I'm saying my brake dust just washes right off and my wheels shine right up by doing nothing! *shrug*
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2012, 07:02 PM
Want the Thrill Want the Thrill is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wabbajack View Post
I'm saying my brake dust just washes right off and my wheels shine right up by doing nothing! *shrug*
Maybe the break dust is worse on a 2011 than on a 2013 My X will be a year old on July 7th. Maybe over time yours will get worse. Enjoy it for now!
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  #8  
Old 06-10-2012, 07:32 PM
Wabbajack Wabbajack is offline
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I was referring to my 2011 335i. I just got my X3 Friday.

Last edited by Wabbajack; 06-10-2012 at 07:34 PM.
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  #9  
Old 06-10-2012, 07:51 PM
bigsarge bigsarge is online now
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I agree that Sonax is a great wheel cleaner.

I like using Zaino leather cleaner and conditioner to keep that new leather smell.

There are many products to choose from but the ultimate decision is yours.
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  #10  
Old 06-10-2012, 08:37 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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BMW care care secrets:

1) wash the car weekly with water and a good microfiber cloth.
2) treat the leather monthly with McGuires or the BMW stuff (I love this stuff)
3) change oil every 8k miles
4) follow old school maintenance plans
5) enjoy a few 100k awesome miles!
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  #11  
Old 06-11-2012, 01:25 AM
jgroarke jgroarke is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3 3.0d Msport
I use Meguiars Scratch X for fine scratch removal.

I was VERY nervous about using this stuff, since I was scared of making a real f**k up of the paint work. I tried it on a small area of the rear bumper/fender when I got something out of the boot/trunk and scraped :-(

It actually worked a treat, and I've used (sparingly) on other minor scratches.

I've decided on my new X3 NEVER to go through a automated car wash with brushes. I found with my previous vehicles (all Merc) that you get so many swirls ...

I clean when possible with sponge / chammois leather down, then wax with AutoGlym wax, works nice for me. The wheels are a constant pain though with brake dust ...

Next stop - getting rid of the stone chips :-/
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2012, 10:58 AM
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gfeiner gfeiner is offline
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use a microfiber mitt for washing and a microfiber towel for drying.
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2012, 12:33 PM
snowboardjoe snowboardjoe is offline
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Use a small paint brush for cleaning up dust on the dash. I use this for cleaning the gauge displays, radio controls, wood trim..., anything that is plastic and can collect dust. It's really easy to to and the brush is completely safe. Much better than paper towels that can scratch plastic.
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2012, 05:50 PM
Doctorx3 Doctorx3 is offline
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Zaino products are THE way to go!!!
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  #15  
Old 06-12-2012, 07:55 PM
JupiterX3 JupiterX3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2012 X3 35i M Sport
The biggest thing to take from your thread is that everyone will have an opinion and use different products. I personally have been using the Meguiars Ultimate line of products, from the wash, wax, detail sprays and interior cleaner. I love all of it. For windows I use RainX 2 in 1 Glass cleaner, with true RainX treatment on the exterior of all windows. Harsh wheel cleaners are NOT necessary. Others will go for the higher end Zaino, Zymol, and Griot's... Personally, I like being able to walk into almost ANY store (Walmart and Target included) and purchase my preferred products...

BUT... The most important thing to know about detailing is procedure and process. Products won't matter if you aren't doing it right. For a brand new vehicle, just wash it and wax it. Take the time to wash the rims thoroughly with just the soapy water. Get your wash mitt inside the spokes and on the backside of them. Always wash from the top down, and do the wheels last. Harsh wheel cleaners are just that... harsh. The rims are just about ALWAYS painted silver, so I ask you... You wouldn't use harsh cleaners on the paint would you? So why use them on the wheels?? If you frequently clean the rims and don't let brake dust sit on there, it will clean off easily every time. If the water is really dirty, change it out half way through. Rinse thoroughly and do not use a sprayer. Let the water flow from a bare hose end gently over the vehicle, not spraying it.

When it comes to waxing, make sure to work in a garage, or at least the shade. Make sure the vehicle is cool to the touch (especially dark colored vehicles!). Work one panel at a time. For applying wax, you want to use either foam or terry cloth pads on your orbital (I use a 6" random orbital with terry cloth). For removing wax, you can use microfiber pads on your buffer, or just microfiber towels. I use towels and remove by hand. Make sure to turn often so always to use a clean area on the towel, keep it dry, and shake it out often. Use more than 1 towel, as 1 won't be enough to do an entire X3. After I finish waxing, I go over the entire vehicle again with Mequiars Ultimate Quick Detailer. It removes any remaining haze and helps to bring the shine alive. I usually hit the wheels too with the same spray to remove any leftover water spots...

Finally, I do the windows and tires. And again, for every product, I use a separate microfiber cloth. I have about 40 of them, all are the yellow ones from Costco. They're a great size, last a LONG time, and are very inexpensive...

Good luck! Oh, and it looks like our X3s will be twins...
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2012 X3 35i M Sport /// 2004 330i ZHP

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Last edited by JupiterX3; 06-12-2012 at 07:57 PM.
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  #16  
Old 06-13-2012, 02:07 AM
Sadi Sadi is offline
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Location: Windhoek, Namibia
 
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Posts: 17
Mein Auto: X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen4BMW View Post
This question goes out to all my fellow Bimmer friends who have experimented around with different car care products and wouldn't mind sharing your secrets, likes & dislikes.

I've read that Griot's is very good- any first hand reports?
How about BMW's line, Pinnacle, Wolfgang, Meguiars, DP, Turtle Wax Ice?

I am sure there are many great products and processes out there and I'd love to hear yours!

Thanks!!
Got to agree with JupiterX3's synopsis.

If you like reading - this ia assured to keep you busy for some time...:

Detailing websites:

1)*http://www.autogeek.net/auto-detaili...ce-center.html

2)*http://www.dodojuice.com/

3)*http://www.autopia-carcare.com/

4)*http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showth...ight=Detailing

5)*http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=13

Highly addictive hobby !!
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  #17  
Old 06-13-2012, 04:05 AM
JupiterX3 JupiterX3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2012 X3 35i M Sport
Hah, thanks for the support Sadi...

I forgot to mention... I'm about to do a full detail on my 330i as I just purchased her and its time to get the paint into the shape I want it. So if you need help, I can try and take photos for you as I go. I washed it last night, today will start with getting the car on jackstands, wheels removed, and a full clay bar to remove imperfections... Also, just a couple pictures of my last car below. 150K miles, and NOT much of that spent in a garage. And the wheels were never cleaned with 'wheel cleaners'... Simple soapy wash water...
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2012 X3 35i M Sport /// 2004 330i ZHP

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Last edited by JupiterX3; 06-13-2012 at 04:14 AM.
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  #18  
Old 06-13-2012, 07:47 AM
BMW4grrl BMW4grrl is offline
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Location: Toronto
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 65
Mein Auto: 2013 X3 35i M-sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterX3 View Post
The biggest thing to take from your thread is that everyone will have an opinion and use different products. I personally have been using the Meguiars Ultimate line of products, from the wash, wax, detail sprays and interior cleaner. I love all of it. For windows I use RainX 2 in 1 Glass cleaner, with true RainX treatment on the exterior of all windows. Harsh wheel cleaners are NOT necessary. Others will go for the higher end Zaino, Zymol, and Griot's... Personally, I like being able to walk into almost ANY store (Walmart and Target included) and purchase my preferred products...

BUT... The most important thing to know about detailing is procedure and process. Products won't matter if you aren't doing it right. For a brand new vehicle, just wash it and wax it. Take the time to wash the rims thoroughly with just the soapy water. Get your wash mitt inside the spokes and on the backside of them. Always wash from the top down, and do the wheels last. Harsh wheel cleaners are just that... harsh. The rims are just about ALWAYS painted silver, so I ask you... You wouldn't use harsh cleaners on the paint would you? So why use them on the wheels?? If you frequently clean the rims and don't let brake dust sit on there, it will clean off easily every time. If the water is really dirty, change it out half way through. Rinse thoroughly and do not use a sprayer. Let the water flow from a bare hose end gently over the vehicle, not spraying it.

When it comes to waxing, make sure to work in a garage, or at least the shade. Make sure the vehicle is cool to the touch (especially dark colored vehicles!). Work one panel at a time. For applying wax, you want to use either foam or terry cloth pads on your orbital (I use a 6" random orbital with terry cloth). For removing wax, you can use microfiber pads on your buffer, or just microfiber towels. I use towels and remove by hand. Make sure to turn often so always to use a clean area on the towel, keep it dry, and shake it out often. Use more than 1 towel, as 1 won't be enough to do an entire X3. After I finish waxing, I go over the entire vehicle again with Mequiars Ultimate Quick Detailer. It removes any remaining haze and helps to bring the shine alive. I usually hit the wheels too with the same spray to remove any leftover water spots...

Finally, I do the windows and tires. And again, for every product, I use a separate microfiber cloth. I have about 40 of them, all are the yellow ones from Costco. They're a great size, last a LONG time, and are very inexpensive...

Good luck! Oh, and it looks like our X3s will be twins...
JupiterX3, that is a lot of really good info.

My question for you is how do you remove the wax that gets caught in the mouldings? When I have my car detailed it comes back perfect. But when I wax it myself I can always see a bit of wax stuck where ever there is rubber. I have now started to avoid those areas completely.

How often do you wax? I now find that I only have time twice a year unless I take it somewhere. Is that enough?

Last edited by BMW4grrl; 06-13-2012 at 07:49 AM. Reason: typo
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  #19  
Old 06-13-2012, 09:39 AM
JupiterX3 JupiterX3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2012 X3 35i M Sport
Jen- Well first thing, I try and use a wax that doesn't dry white, this helps with the visible haze. But you're bound to miss some wax when removing, so this is why I've started going back over the car with a detail spray after waxing.

If you still find that you're getting buildup, try avoiding those edges until your wax pad has a little less wax on it. For instance, when I first add wax, I'll put it on the pad and start in the middle of the panel, working out to the edges. Anytime there are places where wax could get caught up, I avoid that area until the wax pad is a little less full. This includes window moldings, around the gas cap, windshield washers, exterior lights and emblems, etc... That make sense?
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2012 X3 35i M Sport /// 2004 330i ZHP

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Last edited by JupiterX3; 06-13-2012 at 09:40 AM.
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  #20  
Old 06-13-2012, 06:13 PM
lukeeesteve lukeeesteve is offline
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Keep your car away from UV light as much as possible. If you have the option to park in a covered garage while at work, do that. UV does a number on Interior and exterior finishes. Tinting and sun shades help as the next best option.
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  #21  
Old 06-15-2012, 07:43 PM
Jen4BMW Jen4BMW is offline
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Location: Minneapolis
 
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Mein Auto: 2013 X3 35i M Sport
Great advice everyone. I picked up some goods tips and can't wait for my car to arrive so I can apply some of this newfound know how?
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2013 X3 35i M Sport / PREMIUM / DHP / TECH / COLD 1 & 11 / AW / OYSTER
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  #22  
Old 06-16-2012, 04:42 AM
JupiterX3 JupiterX3 is offline
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Let us know how it all works out!
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2012 X3 35i M Sport /// 2004 330i ZHP

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  #23  
Old 06-16-2012, 12:53 PM
usaret usaret is offline
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Use the double bucket method.

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