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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-16-2019, 07:54 PM
Jay530 Jay530 is offline
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Front bumper scratch

Hey guys just noticed this scratch in my front bumper. I'm pretty sure it happened in a parking lot and noticed it when I got home. The scratches are not too deep but has gouged the plastic pretty bad. Not sure what to do. Would oem touch up paint suffice? Or would it cost a bit much to fix professionally ? Any input is appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2019, 08:42 PM
Ralph III Ralph III is offline
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It's hard to answer your question because I do not know your skill level or your expectations.

You could repair and paint the area yourself fairly affordably (-$100.00) but there is no guarantee it will match perfectly. In fact, it would be hard to feather it in to match perfectly unless your are highly skilled or depending on how old your vehicle is.

The dealership quoted me $450.00 to paint a brand new bumper for my 2007 530xi. They would charge more to repair a bumper and then paint. I can paint myself and have the professional equipment to do it, so that is what I am doing. I only had BMW quote me a price to see if it was worth it. It's not at $450.00.

Worst case, make the repair yourself being sure to use a quality aerosol paint and 2k clear. If you don't like how it turns out have a pro fix it.

God Bless,
Ralph

Last edited by Ralph III; 12-16-2019 at 08:44 PM.
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2019, 07:29 AM
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Jay Arras Jay Arras is offline
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I've purchased paint from these people and repaired some scratches myself with moderate success.

https://www.automotivetouchup.com/

There are how-to videos on their site.
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Last edited by Jay Arras; 12-17-2019 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:11 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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I'm also in favour of buffing out what you can then using a spot of touch up paint. The bumper is the same colour as the factory paint so you might be able to get it good enough with buffing.
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:30 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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have a look at Dr. Colorchip. I havent used it yet, but have heard good things. https://www.drcolorchip.com/

To fix what you describe professionally would require someone with decent body shop skills. e.g. fill in the scratch with some sort of plastic filler, sand the area around it, probably at least a 1 foot wide area and then blend in new paint and clear coat.

not exactly sure what you mean by scratch not too deep, but plastic gouged bad??? pictures are not very clear.

ya, I agree. get some rubbing compound and try working the area by hand and see how it reacts. you can't hurt it at this point.
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Last edited by SunglassesGuy; 12-17-2019 at 09:32 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2019, 11:09 AM
Ralph III Ralph III is offline
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Hello Jay530,

Yes, as others have stated you should buff the area but let me give you some professional advice having managed a detail business for 14 years. Buffing via hand with compound isn't going to do one thing to improve those scratches. You will simply work yourself to death. You need to use a DA polisher or a rotary buffer to address those scratches and you should avoid the later if you are not proficient with one, especially on plastic.

Even if you professionally buffed that area you could only hope to improve about half of those scratches. You could be even more aggressive in attempting to improve it further but you'd do more damage then good. Buffing with compound is used to heat up the paint/clear and get it to flow in order to fill in minor scratches. You are actually removing a thin layer of clear each time you buff with compound which is nothing but liquid sand paper (very fine to very aggressive).

If it were me this is how I would do the spot repair.

Sand and repair the area with filler putty. Spray a primer coat and re-sand the area being sure it is level. Then spray the base coat followed with several coats of clear. Each clear coat heavier than the last (3 or 4). After a few days I would then lightly re-sand that area and beyond with 1500 or 2000 grit sandpaper. Then buff the entire bumper with a compound followed with a polish and wax. You do not want to be overly aggressive with any of these stages. You goal is to simply level the clear coat to the point it is similar to the original or otherwise looks good. You then buff the entire bumper in making it all blend in as best as possible.

Good luck,
Ralph

Last edited by Ralph III; 12-17-2019 at 11:13 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2019, 11:59 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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It's always a big help to have experienced hands on deck.

But I think, for a minor repair such as this, it can be buffed, and the gouges can simply be filled with some touch up paint to a satisfactory result with much less effort.
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Old 12-17-2019, 12:05 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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I definitely agree the DA will get you there faster. In fact, any BMW guy should have one in their arsenal of tools to help maintain paint. But I always start out something like this with care, and by hand to see how it reacts before moving to more aggressive methods.
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2019, 12:26 PM
OnlyGerman OnlyGerman is offline
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I would just leave it alone. Not worth repainting entire bumper for that.
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Old 12-17-2019, 09:55 PM
Ralph III Ralph III is offline
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Hello All,
The OP has been given some good advice and yes there are numerous ways to approach this. That however is dependent on the OP's expectations.

1. The method I outlined really isn't as tedious as it seems and that will render the best results, for a spot repair.

2. Yes, you could just throw some touch up paint on it and call it good but it won't look good because the cracks/scratches are still going to show. I'd consider that a crap job personally.

3. You could apply numerous coats of touch up paint in building it up and then sanding. This is sufficient for minor scratches and chips but that is not what the OP has. His is quite a bit more significant. It would be faster to use spot putty and a primer and then paint. Just FYI for those who do not know. The main purpose of primer, in addition to leveling, is to provide something that the base coat can properly adhere to. If you spray a base coat on a surface that isn't primed then you take the chance it doesn't adhere properly in which case failure at some point could occur.

4. In regards to buffing of which I have professionally buffed well over 10k cars. Yes, the golden rule is to start with the least aggressive method as SunglassesGuy noted and excellent advice, btw. For a professional that means choosing the proper compounds or polishes and equipment (DA vs Rotary) as well as proper pads, etc. Having said that, there is no reason to consider hand buffing a vehicle when a DA polisher can be used, especially for paint correction. A DA polisher is virtually as safe as hand polishing but it takes the manual work out of it and it is faster. You'd have to purposefully be attempting to damage the paint in order to do so with a DA. It's more important to choose the proper compounds and pads. Now a rotary buffer is an entirely different story.

Take care,
Ralph

Last edited by Ralph III; 12-18-2019 at 06:20 AM.
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2019, 04:21 AM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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My car has plenty of paint that needs touching up... It seems like it spent a lot of its past life on gravel roads and has lots of chips. I know I'm not going to spend $2000 getting it repainted. What kind of tools would you recommend?
Dual action polisher, obviously. A cheap airbrush? Got a decent brand in mind? Electric vs air powered? What else? One of those inflatable paint booths? What's required for a guy with nothing but a backyard to get a proper DIY paint job?
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:00 AM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_ View Post
.........
Dual action polisher, obviously. A cheap airbrush? Got a decent brand in mind? Electric vs air powered? What else? One of those inflatable paint booths? What's required for a guy with nothing but a backyard to get a proper DIY paint job?
Princess auto is your friend. One of those temporary garages makes a great spray booth. Wet the ground before you spray to keep the overspray down. A box fan with a pleated air filter will work to capture a lot of overspray as well.
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Old 12-18-2019, 08:53 AM
Ralph III Ralph III is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_ View Post
My car has plenty of paint that needs touching up... It seems like it spent a lot of its past life on gravel roads and has lots of chips. I know I'm not going to spend $2000 getting it repainted. What kind of tools would you recommend?
Dual action polisher, obviously. A cheap airbrush? Got a decent brand in mind? Electric vs air powered? What else? One of those inflatable paint booths? What's required for a guy with nothing but a backyard to get a proper DIY paint job?
Hey Kurt. All good questions. I'm a professional detail-er not a professional automotive-painter although I have painted a dozen vehicles or so in my lifetime with excellent results. Mostly because I am a stickler for details and willing to make the effort. I do however paint at work regularly using automotive type painting equipment but non automotive items.

1. If you just have a lot of small chips and minor scratch marks, then any brush on touch up paint will suffice. You just apply several coats in completely filling in the scratch/chip. You then wet sand the immediate area in order to completely level it. After that you would buff it, polish it, and then wax it. I prefer using a rotary buffer but that is best reserved for people who are proficient with one. A DA polisher however is virtually full proof and perfectly safe for even a novice, minus pure stupidity.

You could also check out Dr ColorChip. That is a very fast process which seems to garner a lot of praise. I've never used such a kit because they can be expensive and I can do the same for less. I also do not see how that process could match the quality of the leveling process but folks do report excellent results.


2. If the damage is large enough or serious enough that it will require spray painting then here are my suggestions. You can try a quality aeresol paint followed by a quality clear coat aeresol, as previously noted. Otherwise you can invest in some automotive spray type equipment.

a. I have used SATA hvlp spray guns and currently have a SATA 5000 RP 1.3 spray gun. These are very expensive and high end guns. The Devilbiss Tekna Prolite is another quality gun and maybe better for the less experienced. It also costs quite a bit less than SATA. Quality guns like those just do a better job laying paint/clear so there is typically less or no correction necessary afterward. Important for professionals where time is money but less important for DIY. Honestly, most any decent gun will suffice for a DIY as long as they are willing to do a little wet sanding and buffing afterward in leveling the paint job. One thing to note, you can always re-sell a quality gun like Devilbiss or Sata because they hold their value. So if it is a one time job then consider that.

b. You will need a filtration system of some sort to prevent water/oil/debris from being introduced into the paint via the air line. Those can be had on Eb_y for around $100.00 as found HERE.

c. Paint booth. Yes, a paint booth is ideal but an inflatable one is going to cost you some money. This is what I have done. I will clean out a shop and then build a visqueen paint booth. I will then build one or two boxes and then install a box fan with house filters in it. I will use it to create a positive pressure within the booth. It really doesn't take much if you seal it fairly well. You want to introduce fresh air in order to expel the paints over-spray outdoors. It's a good idea to filter the outgoing over-spray also. You can build a booth outdoors also but you need a solid structure otherwise the wind will cause you havoc. Note: You do not want your fans directed at your vehicle and the incoming air needs to be filtered. Also, be sure to purchase a full face mask and use gloves or long sleeves when painting. Some of these automotive paints are very dangerous to breath.

So a DIY can purchase enough equipment and create a paint booth for a few hundred dollars. He can expect good results with such. I assume you have an air compressor and that will be a determining factor on which spray gun you eventually purchase.

Good luck and God Bless,
Ralph

Last edited by Ralph III; 12-18-2019 at 10:14 AM.
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