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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I noticed what appears to be bubbling under the paint near the driver front and rear door seams. I'm not sure if this is just a paint defect (like particles/dust got into the paint when the door was being painted at the factory) or if the paint just clumped a little from the factory, or if this is rust starting. I'm going to have a certified body shop look at it this week. What do you guys/gals think?

edit: The images came out enormous, so here's a link to the Imgur album. https://imgur.com/a/CU2uV

The first set of pictures is the driver-side rear door and the second set is the driver front door.
 

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I have heard that you guys on the islands need to keep your finish waxed and have to wash your cars more often because of the salt air. The same starts happening to us in the Northeast in the winter if we're not careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have heard that you guys on the islands need to keep your finish waxed and have to wash your cars more often because of the salt air. The same starts happening to us in the Northeast in the winter if we're not careful.
Thanks for your reply!

If you don't live right next to the ocean, the salt air isn't an issue. I don't live near or drive near the ocean and on the rare occasion I have to, I wash the car the same day or next. I'm really anal about keeping my cars clean and rust free. I wash my cars every week and wax it once a month.

From the looks of it, does this look like something a BMW-certified body shop can take care of or should I look at replacing the door?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks fine to me but I'm no expert. I would guess it is where the seams were welded and there was a bit of molten metal left from the welding process.
Thanks for your reply.

I'm hoping that's the case but from what other members and a body shop forum are telling me, the rear door with the bubbles near the seam sealer looks like rust. :mad: :mad: :mad:

I'm going to see a BMW-certified body shop tomorrow and I have an appointment with BMW this Thursday to evaluate the bubbles. If it is rust, hopefully they'll cover it under the 12 year warranty. Anyone have any experience with that process? It's a 2006, so I'm thinking 2016-2006=10 years, so I should have two years remaining correct?

If all else fails, I'll probably just replace the door. $1300 for a new primed door from BMW, $600 for a repaint and blend. :cry:
 

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Uhm... Why don't you just sand it off and reprime yourself? It's on the inside of the door where nobody really sees, right? Seems like overkill to take the door off and repaint all of it.

Poke it with something sharp. If it's a weld or other feature that was painted over it will be hard, rust will be soft
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Uhm... Why don't you just sand it off and reprime yourself? It's on the inside of the door where nobody really sees, right? Seems like overkill to take the door off and repaint all of it.

Poke it with something sharp. If it's a weld or other feature that was painted over it will be hard, rust will be soft
I was thinking about that, but I've seen some members and forums say that (some?) types of rust cannot be totally rid of and will slowly come back. If that's the case, I was wondering if I should just skip to plan B. What's your take on this?

Here's what I'm planning to do:

1. Take it to a certified BMW body shop and see what they say, if it's rust...

2. Take it to BMW and have them evaluate it and see what they say, if that fails..

3. Then try your suggestion and see if it is rust and if it is, sand down to bare metal, put POR 15 over the bare metal, touch up paint, then clear coat. I don't mind doing this, but will the rust creep back or should it stay at bay?

I'm also concerned about the location of where this is. The door cavities and folds make this a hard place to get to all the rust, especially if it had spread under the paint. Normally what you see is just the tip of the ice berg and that's what I'm worried about.
 

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If the paint is cracked, it's likely rust. I don't expect there to be that much though, you caught it early by the looks of it. On sheet metal like that, there there's nothing wrong with sanding it out and priming overtop. You may also want to grab a bottle of rust converter. Then you can sand off excess rust, convert the rest into a paintable oxide, and go from there.

Rust isn't going to form without a source of oxygen, and this isn't a particularly exposed location. It looks like the door might have bent open too much and flexed the door a little, cracking the paint. It shouldn't rust again until the paint barrier is compromised.

But I'm just some kid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If the paint is cracked, it's likely rust. I don't expect there to be that much though, you caught it early by the looks of it. On sheet metal like that, there there's nothing wrong with sanding it out and priming overtop. You may also want to grab a bottle of rust converter. Then you can sand off excess rust, convert the rest into a paintable oxide, and go from there.

Rust isn't going to form without a source of oxygen, and this isn't a particularly exposed location. It looks like the door might have bent open too much and flexed the door a little, cracking the paint. It shouldn't rust again until the paint barrier is compromised.

But I'm just some kid.
Thanks again for your input.

I went to the BMW certified shop yesterday and they confirmed the rear door is starting to rust at the seam. However the front door they said it looks like the way the door was bent and welded at the factory. They had another body guy come and check it and he agreed.

They said that it was pretty rare for modern BMWs to rust that doesn't involve negligence/accidental damage (2004+ BMW changed their anticorrosion process). What's worse is that they said due to the nature of non-surface rust, while they can repair it, they won't warrant the work as they said in most cases it will come back. However for any other repair, they'll warranty their work for as long as I own the vehicle. If I get the rear door rust fixed and risk it coming back without the shops warranty, I'll be out $1000.

So I inquired about replacing the door. For a new primed rear door from BMW and the labor to move the door internals and prep/painting, it's going to come out to about $2500. That also includes a lifetime warranty. So from those options, I'm most likely going to have them replace the door.

I have an appointment with BMW tomorrow for a rust warranty claim. I don't have high hopes, but on the off chance that they approve the claim, then I'll go with that process. If they don't approve it, then I'll just have the body shop replace the door and call it a day.
 
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