From digest.v6.n694 Mon May 26 06:21:35 1997
From: Sterling <carcare_at_ix.netcom.com>
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 05:23:40 -0700
Subject: <long> Meeting w/ BMW re Paint Protection & Maintenance
I received the final answers, this week, to the questions that I asked in
the discussion in Dingolfing on March 25th and follow-up faxes I sent in
April and May. I believe the delay was associated with the need for
internal review at BMW. I know that there were engineers from Regensberg
and Munich that participated. To be frank I was somewhat disappointed in
the brevity and the lack of more detailed information.
I will not cover all of the items discussed in this email. It would be too
long for most readers. I will only summarize the points that I think would
be of general interest based on the posting that have been made to the
Digest. The complete content of the discussions and my editorial comments
will take a while to assemble. I plan to publish the document I will write
in the Golden Gate Chapter BMWCCA newsletter and I will add it to my
website shortly. Everyone who sent me mail will also be contacted and
offered the complete content.
Here are the points I believe have general interest. In most cases I have
made only minor changes in grammar for clarification and english sentence
- I faxed 27 emails from the Digest, regarding paint chip postings over
an approximately two week period. The information was requested by BMW
following an exchange of faxes. The response:
Regarding damage due to rock chips, it is difficult to make a
There is the neeed to observe the cars at the dealers and to find out
the kind and cause of the damage.
Editorial comment: At least they have the information. There was
extensive discussion regarding dissatisfaction with the new paint
formulation. I honestly believe that, at the factory level, there was
almost no awareness of the fact that this represents a major concern.
2. Due to the recent postings regarding natural waxes and synthetic
polishes, I asked for a statement regarding BMW's opinion on this subject
and also on the removal of scratches and swirl marks. The response:
Both synthetic and natural waxes are fundamentally suitable for both
protection of the paintwork and prevention of scratches and swirl
BMW recommends the use of brushless car wash facilities and regular
polishing/waxing of the paintwork. We also recommend products from
3M company (eg Finesse-it) and Meguiars for removal of swirl marks.
There is no preference for either type of generic product (natural or
Editorial comment: There was no on-site discussion of the merits of
individual manufacturers. This was deliberate on my part. The specific
comment on 3m and Meguiars came as a result of a request that I made for
BMW offers both types of generic protection products under their own brand.
3. There were further discussions on the relative softness of the new
paints. I asked if I could have a statement regarding this subject. The
Water based paints in combination with 1K and 2K clearcoats have the
same durability and all quality attributes of the prior solevent based
paints. BMW agrees that the new generation of clearcoats appears
softer. This system is more flexible and, for example, scratches with
no abrasive characteristics are regenerable (flow effect). The big
advantage of the clearcoat is high acid rain resistance.
Editorial comment: BMW has used clearcoats on all of their color options
for the last three years. This process seems to have both advantages, such
elimination of oxidation and disadvantages, such as the apparent high rate
4. I asked whether there were any types of products that BMW would not
recommend their customers use. The response:
Silicon based products are not allowed for use at any BMW facility (up
to the point of delivery to the customer). It is the customer's
responsibility from that point forward. BMW dealers offer various
Editorial comment: In addition to this statement, there was a discussion
of the generic "Wash and Wax" type of products. The response was that
there was very little benefit associated with the use of these procucts.
5. I asked whether there was a generic product that BMW would recommend
for the removal of contiminants on the paint surface (road tar, oil etc).
BMW recommends Isohexan.
Editorial comment: BMW also recommends a mild acid solution for the
removal of acid rain and water spots.
6. I asked whether there were any quality standards that BMW recommends
for non BMW repair facilities. The response:
BMW recommends that these facilities conform to BMW's systems.
In summary, I asked whether there were any recommendations that BMW would
give to US BMW owners. The answer was no. I do not want to appear overly
critical in this summary. I believe the engineer I met with was competent,
supportive and came well prepared to discuss the questions that I had
submitted in advance. We should not expect that BMW will have immadiate
answers to the problems that we all face in protecting and preserving the
paintwork on our cars.
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