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From digest.v6.n694 Mon May 26 06:21:35 1997
From: Sterling <>
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 structure:

  1. 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 statement.

        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 additional clarification.
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 response:

        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
to be
        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 as
elimination of oxidation and disadvantages, such as the apparent high rate of chipping.

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). The response:

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.

Darold Wilson
Appearance Products & Tools

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