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

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  #1  
Old 12-13-2012, 02:42 PM
rtb001 rtb001 is offline
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Location: New York
 
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Mein Auto: 328i
Self applying Opti-Coat on new F30

Hi all:

New 328i owner here. I'm pretty far removed from the detailing crowd, as I've never done much paint/exterior maintenance on my previous 15k sedans which I've been driving around in. I do want to do a good job with my new BMW, since it is the first nice car I've ever gotten, and I plan to keep it for probably 8 years or more. It is also Jet Black, so will be showing dirt/grime etc much more than my previous white car.

Looking around on the web, I am intrigued by the Opti-coat sealer. It seems tailor made for my situation, since for less than $100, I can put on a semi-permanent coating on the paint, trim, wheels, headlights, etc, which will make it much more dirt/grime resistant. I think with the coating on, having the car garaged at night, washed in my driveway every 2 or 3 weeks (or in touchless car washes during the cold winter times in upstate New York), I can keep the car looking new and clean for the next 5+ years. Some of the online 2 year longterm tests of the Opti-coat product all gave it fantastic results.

So first of all, is my impression correct, that by doing an Opti-coat, you get a cheap way to protecting the paint and just with some frequent (and gentle) car washing, and almost no waxing, can keep the jet black paint looking new for years?


Now if I were to choose this path, from all the forum threads and youtube vids I've watched, it seems like something I can do by myself, especially since the car is almost brand new and looks pretty clean. I've got a non-dusty garage to do the coating in, too.

Would this be the general steps?

1. Get the painted surfaces (as well as the trim/wheels/glass etc) as clean as possible.

2. Wipe down the paint with multiple passes of 15% IPA to remove any wax or other treatment that may be on the clearcoat (does a brand new BMW come waxed?). When water no longer beads on the paint, it is ready to be Opti-coated. I don't need to do any abrasive polishing right?

3. Park the car in the garage, and apply the Opti-coat using their foam applicator. They say the 30 cc you get will probably be enough to coat a big SUV, so more than enough for my F30 sedan. It should be very easy while wiping onto black colored paint to achieve a smooth and even distribution of the Opti-coat.

4. Apply one panel at a time. Check every panel 5 to 10 minutes after applying and gently smooth out any thick areas that have not "flashed away"

5. Let it cure for a day or so. Don't touch it while it is curing.

6. Finished!

Seems simple enough to me. I don't see any threads on this forum dedicated to Opti-coat, so if anyone has personal experience with this product, or have really good reasons for why this should be done professionally, I would really appreciate any information/comments/experiences/suggestions!


Also, a few questions I did not find even with some moderate google searching:

1. Is it okay to apply this during winter time? It will probably be 40-50 degrees in the garage.

2. I plan to coat the side and rear windows. Not sure about the windshield. The guy who Opti-coated 50% of his Ford Fusion on autopia reported that the friction from the wiper basically removed the coating from the windshield (or at least the parts where the wiper is scraping) during his 2 years of testing. Although it would be nice having it on the windshield, since it will be like semi-permanent Rain-X, which would enhance visibility and safety. I guess one would have to remove the coating from the windshield every few years and reapply it.


Cheers!

Bob
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2012, 02:07 PM
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ronkh ronkh is offline
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Have Phil do it.............. (or a PROFICIENT detailer, not a "wash and wax detailer)

It sounds easy, but in reality it's more difficult than it seems.

Read what happens if you over apply it, or don't level it properly. At that point you will wish you had someone who has used it do it instead of you.

Or if it needs correction before it's applied. And don't think cuz it's new it won't need claying and some correction. IT WILL

If you insist on doing it yourself, at least practice a few times with optiseal. Then figure out if you really feel "good enough" to do it yourself
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2012, 02:50 PM
rtb001 rtb001 is offline
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Location: New York
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Mein Auto: 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronkh View Post
Have Phil do it.............. (or a PROFICIENT detailer, not a "wash and wax detailer)

It sounds easy, but in reality it's more difficult than it seems.

Read what happens if you over apply it, or don't level it properly. At that point you will wish you had someone who has used it do it instead of you.

Or if it needs correction before it's applied. And don't think cuz it's new it won't need claying and some correction. IT WILL

If you insist on doing it yourself, at least practice a few times with optiseal. Then figure out if you really feel "good enough" to do it yourself
Hmm ... I certainly see your point. It's not that I can't afford ~$400 to have it done professionally, but I'm not sure the typical detail shop in the greater Rochester region will have any extensive experience with Opti-coat either.

2 bucket washing, IPA wipe down, and even the clay barring of the paint all seem easy enough, since they can be done by hand, and though I'm no expert, I am patient and meticulous.

It is the polishing bit that gives me pause. Not something you can easily (or effectively) do by hand, I gather. Also, it is by nature abrasive, so I guess one would need some experience so I don't take off too much of the clearcoat. I wonder how likely a <3 month old car would need significant polishing.


The alternative is to look into more Opti-coat experienced detailers in the greater Washington DC region, and get it done there when I am in the area visiting family later this spring. I wonder if anyone know of any good shops to contact in that region?
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2012, 05:25 PM
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ronkh ronkh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtb001 View Post
Hmm ... I certainly see your point. It's not that I can't afford ~$400 to have it done professionally, but I'm not sure the typical detail shop in the greater Rochester region will have any extensive experience with Opti-coat either.

2 bucket washing, IPA wipe down, and even the clay barring of the paint all seem easy enough, since they can be done by hand, and though I'm no expert, I am patient and meticulous.

It is the polishing bit that gives me pause. Not something you can easily (or effectively) do by hand, I gather. Also, it is by nature abrasive, so I guess one would need some experience so I don't take off too much of the clearcoat. I wonder how likely a <3 month old car would need significant polishing.


The alternative is to look into more Opti-coat experienced detailers in the greater Washington DC region, and get it done there when I am in the area visiting family later this spring. I wonder if anyone know of any good shops to contact in that region?


Was just in roc last week....

if you use a pc or flex machine and quality product you wont do any damage unless you try to........

And I can 99.999999999999 % guarantee that you had the dealer install their optional swirls/scratches. it's a mandatory add on. ck on some of the detailing boards to see if there is anybody in the roc area that is experienced with opticoat or similiar
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