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The Detail Department
Detailing tips, tricks to keep your bimmer in showroom condition.

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  #1  
Old 08-28-2013, 11:25 AM
wyaple wyaple is offline
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Products to Remove Water Spots from 2013 335i

Hello everybody,

It seems my 3 month old red 335i has accumulated many water spots despite my best efforts to dry it right after running through the car wash. The spots are bad enough that, when in the sun and the engine is warm, they can appear as white polka-dots on the red finish.

What I would like is suggestions on how to remove these on obviously fresh paint without making a production out of the process. Is there a single product/process I can use to remove these periodically?

Thanks for your help,

Bill
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  #2  
Old 08-28-2013, 02:27 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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My thoughts, take what you want from it. Ignore what you will.

1. Firstly, anyone in this subforum will tell you not to take it through the swirl-o-matic. Even a rinseless or waterless wash is way better than the auto wash, it is cheaper, and faster. (I mean by the time you get to the wash and paid the cashier, I am already done.) Waterless is more expensive, it's premixed in a spray bottle usually, but particular products are well regarded. My rinseless is ONR, which has a million uses as you will see.

2. Do not let the spots just sit there with the thought to remove them periodically. Over time they will etch INTO your paint, as in more than skin deep, where mechanical machine polishing is needed to remove clearcoat. How deep depends on the level of abuse.

3. If you absolutely insist on the swirl o matic, the first thing I think of is using some ONR in a spray bottle that you bring along, and dousing the whole freaking car (I recommend Kwazar spray bottle because I've never used any trigger that I can precisely control atomization as well for best coverage for the amount of product used, but YMMV), as one of ONR's myriad uses is as water softener. The second benefit (another one of its uses), is that it acts as a drying lube. But see, if you go through this hassle, you can already do this at home. Driveway is not necessary, nor is a hose, look up the WW and NR techniques.

4. If it's really bad one day, and even vinegar won't remove it, you might test some A-MAZ water stain remover on inconspicuous spots. Picked that product rec up from ddboy back when, great stuff on glass.

5. If you do have a driveway and hose, and you decide to try washing yourself, but still have the same issue, an expensive solution would be something like the CR Spotless. Of course always dry under shade of garage, and even at an apartment with a carport, drive it into carport. If not CR, but bucket, you can add some ONR in there to act as water softener, lubrication, and dirt encapsulator.

6. In general, carnauba waxes will be the most resistant to water spotting, however they are also about as fleeting as its gets for protection, which would require frequent waxings by someone. They are IMO a "sacrificial" barrier by nature.

7. If you prefer sealants for better longevity, you can find some controlled tests out there by detailers, however even those who ran those tests will tell you carnauba is still best in this regard. I guess you can do sealant, let cure 24 hrs, then carnauba topper.

Yes, any given route above can be a lot of work and/or money. "Without making it a production"? My guess is the WW/NR wash; you are literally drying as you go around the car. The only real downside IMO is that you will obtain micro fine scratches at an accelerated rate compared to a car wash with good technique and products, but still waaaaay slower than with the swirl o matic.

Those are my opinions and thoughts, I wish you luck. Don't let those spots etch whatever you do, because if they etch deep enough, they will be there forever. Outside of a paint job, but a good paint job is 5 digits, and it still won't touch the quality of the factory paint.

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 08-28-2013 at 02:29 PM. Reason: typo
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  #3  
Old 08-28-2013, 05:11 PM
wyaple wyaple is offline
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Thanks for your suggestions. I guess I'll try white (distilled?) vinegar and see what happens. I'm not a detailer though, but I'd like to get the water spots off if possible.

Bill
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  #4  
Old 08-28-2013, 08:39 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyaple View Post
Thanks for your suggestions. I guess I'll try white (distilled?) vinegar and see what happens. I'm not a detailer though, but I'd like to get the water spots off if possible.

Bill
You're welcome. You may try dilutions of the vinegar, but it sounds like you're going to need full strength by the sound of it. I don't know about where you live, but here there are numerous "water stores" to be found (just google), and the going rate per gallon of RO water is .25 cents. (Last visit I picked up 20 gallons, but I have multiple needs.) You can use this for your cleaning solutions, rinseless washes, etc. Or in the home, or whatever. Not only is it void of minerals, by being more pure the water has its full potential of cleaning power.

You see some people think that rinsing off the vinegar is a good idea as it's pretty acidic, however I haven't yet seen a disaster case. But if the water at your home is hard, well I don't know what to say. Hence the RO water idea.

Another concern is your choice of fabric for rubbing the mineral etches out. But I guess that is a much lower concern right now; the immediate concern is to get the minerals off the paint before they finish eating right through the clearcoat.

Unless you like doing smelly vinegar baths after every car wash, you will need to experiment and/or think about other solutions.
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2013, 01:47 PM
wyaple wyaple is offline
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I tried a 3:1 ratio of water:vinegar, then 100% vinegar with zero results. With my finger, I attempted to "feel" and etching/rough area, or raised spot in the affected areas and I can detect none. I made an appointment at my dealer so they can examine the paint and also replace the massively discolored rubber door seals.

It appears that the white spots in the paint are between the clear coat and the paint itself, but I'm certainly no paint expert. The paint itself feels as smooth as glass and is very shiny, except when it gets hot (particularly the hood). Then the white spots "pop out" quite a bit.

Bill
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2013, 02:52 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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I'm sorry you didn't succeed. This is JMO, but I pretty much don't trust any dealership's detailing service, to say the least, from what I have seen and read. They underequip, underpay, and are generally undereducated about this topic, IMHO. I have seen an educated detailer that I respect a lot talk about a dealership job from long ago, so I know that there have to be a few in there somewhere who respect the work (this guy had to front the money to buy his own equipment, because the dealership's equipment that everyone was using was suspect; it didn't make him very popular among his coworkers though). Okay I got that off my chest. If you need help finding a real detailing pro near you, ask and I might be able to point you in a couple of directions. Actually maybe I will anyway.

There is nothing "between" clearcoat and basecaot, it goes directly from clear to base AFAIK. So basically, the etching has already gone into* your clear, it is now a question of how deeply, and how much further it may etch as each day passes. My understanding is that the heat is a bad thing as it acts as a catalyst in the etching of paint, whether water-minerals, or bird poop. This is another reason why black paint is so hard to take care of, anything like this is accelerated because of the heat of black paint.

My guess is that you will need machine polishing to remove as much as possible. This means removal of some clearcoat. Hopefully just a micron or three will do the trick. When it starts getting much deeper, you have tougher decisions to make.

Okay, I was going to search trustworthy detailers for you, but you'll have to give me city, zip, or something. Or I'll just see what I can find in OH...

This guy is (edit) in between Akron and Cleveland, and if he's good enough to work on the president's airplane, maybe he can do your car... if you use the dealership... well don't say I didn't warn you...

http://www.detailedxpress.com/

and why are your rubber seals massively discolored? Use a dedicated rubber cleaner I say... but whatever, it's a fault of mine, I want the dealership to touch my car as least as possible... can't help it...

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 08-29-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2013, 06:01 PM
wyaple wyaple is offline
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Location: Ohio
 
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As far as the paint goes, I'm expecting the dealer to either say something like "it's no big deal, we don't care" or "we're going to take care of it." It's a 3-month old leased car and I have no plans to pay for "weak paint issues."

I have been using my favorite car wash here for many years on several cars without issue, so my only conclusion that there is something weird my vehicle's paint.

Regarding the discolored rubber around the doors, there's a thread I saw here where many others are experiencing poor quality rubber right from the factory.

Oh well, I guess I'll find out more on Tuesday, when my appt. is scheduled.
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2013, 02:34 AM
TOGWT TOGWT is offline
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There are two categories of water mark (the so-called water spots)

Stage I (Surface) Corrosion
[: defined as a surface with light to moderate corrosion damage to the paint surface]

Stage II (Sub-surface) Corrosion[: definition when the dirt/corrosion deposits are no longer on the surface but have started to break down the molecular structure, leaving an etched or white haze on the surface( a concave circular mark ) after the stain has been removed, with moderate to serious paint damage]


An extract from TOGWT® Autopia Detailing Wiki Article - “Removing Water (Spots) Marks” - http://www.autopia.org/forum/guide-d...ml#post1448627
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2013, 01:32 PM
wyaple wyaple is offline
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Update:

The dealer acknowledged there is a paint problem and to that end had a tech use some type of white, gritty rubbing/polishing compound on the hood. The white spots are now gone, but I have to wonder if the clear coat has now been made "weaker" since a layer (or partial layer) was probably polished off.

To further the idea of defective paint from the factory, I was able to find two black spots (my car is red) on the trunk lid, near the license plate. The dealer determined these were actually in the paint itself and is scheduling the entire trunk lid to be stripped and repainted.

Nifty, eh?

Bill
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2013, 01:53 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Location: CA
 
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Yes, polishing does mean clearcoat removal, it's just that it could be so little to be nearly immeasurable with a tool that doesn't have a 4 digit price tag, or it could have been a lot, and it's the latter that I would be concerned about with a dealership "detailer" with rotary and wool pads in hand. But it's a lease, and so you are handling it in your own way, I wouldn't worry about clearcoat failure in the time it takes for a lease to expire. If it makes you feel better, your paint is about 2x thicker than econobox paints, and maybe even 3x thicker than Mazda paint. It is not nearly as hard as some other German clears, but IMO it is considerably harder than econobox paint.

So you know, the paint job is the most expensive part of your car, all of your panels got painted together, removed/stored/organized together, and were reunited once again in the end for the best possible color matching. The color matching is something that may be compromised with a repaint. Because of the serious process of what the factory paint entails, and with any semblance of QC, it's kind of hard for me to believe your car came with black dots installed... but who knows... I mean, you didn't notice them when you bought the car?

If your favorite car wash didn't do this to your other cars, I am wondering if you now often park in different locations, namely by sprinkler systems. I once parked somewhat close to some shrubs in front of my friend's place, and I received a whole side of water spots, and pretty nasty ones if I do say so myself, his residence has some pretty hard water apparently.

Anyway sorry for your troubles, hope you can find the proper solution so you don't have to go through this again in the very near future.
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  #11  
Old 09-07-2013, 03:58 AM
TOGWT TOGWT is offline
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[So you know, the paint job is the most expensive part of your car, all of your panels got painted together, removed/stored/organized together, and were reunited once again in the end for the best possible color matching. The color matching is something that may be compromised with a repaint]

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) the vehicle body is sprayed by programmable robots fitted with instrumentation on the vehicle to measure paint coverage, thickness and etc, it's then cured at high temperatures in a paint oven at around 320. °F (160. °C) for 20 minutes, in multiple oven zones where the paint is baked with radiation and convection heat, or infrared so that 90-95% of the paint systems out gassing has taken place, the additional 5-10% will cure within 2-3 days.

Once the vehicle body has been painted it is taken to the assembly line where wheels, upholstery, trim and etc are fitted. After the assembly is completed it will probably be stored for one or two days before transportation, it is then shipped or transported OTR or via rail to a dealership and most likely parked on the lot for a few weeks or more.
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  #12  
Old 09-07-2013, 01:02 PM
wyaple wyaple is offline
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Here are the pics of the black dots that are actually in the paint itself that have triggered a full re-paint of the trunklid. One is on the left side of the license plate and the other is on the right side. They both are only 2-3 mm at their widest/longest point.

The "Dealer Scratch" file shows what they had to do to verify the depth of the black dots. But when I picked the car up, no one told me about the test scratch, so I called them the next day to complain.

Bill
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  #13  
Old 09-07-2013, 03:23 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Gee, that must be some new advanced technique I've never heard of! [/sarcasm] Even with my paranoia of some dealership detailing, I am still sometimes surprised. How in the world would an intentional scratch next to the spot help determine the depth of the contamination. I mean, maybe scratch AT the spot (but it's still a stupid technique IMO). I personally would have investigated various chemical cleaners. After that, some polishing. Or combination of both. Your pictures have very little size, clarity, or rez, hard to say, but one of my first thoughts is that it could simply be leftover cosmoline that they ship new cars out with, that is to be removed at a later point. I've removed these very dark greenish-hued spots from all over the engine bay, the sills, near door hinges, etc. Just need an adhesive remover, that's it. Which I also use for tar spots too, until I finally get around to buying some Tar-X. Repaint is always the last option.
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  #14  
Old 09-07-2013, 03:38 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOGWT View Post
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) the vehicle body is sprayed by programmable robots fitted with instrumentation on the vehicle to measure paint coverage, thickness and etc, it's then cured at high temperatures in a paint oven at around 320. °F (160. °C) for 20 minutes, in multiple oven zones where the paint is baked with radiation and convection heat, or infrared so that 90-95% of the paint systems out gassing has taken place, the additional 5-10% will cure within 2-3 days.

Once the vehicle body has been painted it is taken to the assembly line where wheels, upholstery, trim and etc are fitted. After the assembly is completed it will probably be stored for one or two days before transportation, it is then shipped or transported OTR or via rail to a dealership and most likely parked on the lot for a few weeks or more.
TOGWT, I can't find the video right now, but I am quite certain I saw one that briefly explained how there were *thirteen*(?) tanks that BMW panels went through. Do you have any insight on this? Thank you.

I don't remember QC processes for BMW being shown in the video I saw, but I've seen the long, crazy light tunnel that they used for VW Phaetons, using countless lights to represent the different parts of the spectrum that the paint will be subject too. It's also used for finding any small imperfections and blemishes, with people using machine polishers on site. This is partly why I have a very hard time believing the black spots came pre installed on a BMW.
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  #15  
Old 09-08-2013, 03:24 AM
TOGWT TOGWT is offline
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OEM paint the complete vehicle, not individual panels, it's taken from the paint shoe to the QA department (the light tunnel as you eluded too), where it is inspected and any blemishes are removed.

Damage between leaving the factory and the dealers showroom is not subjected to such stringent QA (hence the BS scratch test to ascertain depth, there are not inexpensive instruments for this called paint depth gauges (PTG)

It is possible that these paint blemishes were caused by someone / something other than BMW

FWIW- I would avoid any BMW dealership who allows a 'scratch depth test' like the plague
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Last edited by TOGWT; 09-08-2013 at 03:25 AM.
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  #16  
Old 09-08-2013, 03:29 AM
TOGWT TOGWT is offline
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Have you tried anything to remove them. Least abassive first - try a chemical paint cleaner (Swissvax Cleaner Fluid) before you use an abrasive polish
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  #17  
Old 09-08-2013, 01:57 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOGWT View Post
OEM paint the complete vehicle, not individual panels, it's taken from the paint shoe to the QA department (the light tunnel as you eluded too), where it is inspected and any blemishes are removed.

Damage between leaving the factory and the dealers showroom is not subjected to such stringent QA (hence the BS scratch test to ascertain depth, there are not inexpensive instruments for this called paint depth gauges (PTG)

It is possible that these paint blemishes were caused by someone / something other than BMW

FWIW- I would avoid any BMW dealership who allows a 'scratch depth test' like the plague
Thanks for the response. Yeah, painting while assembled does ring a bell. I think the 13 tanks before hand must have been a lot of prepping I guess (making it amenable to accepting and holding on the paint? primers?).

Yeah that scratch test totally surprised me, and I am already so paranoid of dealership detailing...
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  #18  
Old 09-08-2013, 07:11 PM
wyaple wyaple is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TOGWT View Post
Have you tried anything to remove them. Least abassive first - try a chemical paint cleaner (Swissvax Cleaner Fluid) before you use an abrasive polish
The black spots are indeed fully below the clear coat, somewhere in the paint. It's the wildest thing I've ever seen. Actually, with the naked eye, you can see rather easily that the blobs are well below the surface.

Anyway, this mess has triggered a full repaint of the trunk and since it's a short-term lease, I'm ultimately not too worried about it. If it was my permanent vehicle, I would have already contacted my attorney, seeking a full replacement vehicle.

Bill
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