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2011 M3, New Car Prep, Opti-Coat 2.0 Application, Install Appearance Mods


A good client of mine had contacted me in the spring asking questions about a new M3 he had just ordered.  Over the years I’ve taken care of several new vehicles for this owner and having pointed out damage caused by new car dealers, he was very concerned about getting his new baby in unmolested. I had instructed him to strictly inform the dealer not to touch the car outside of the necessary PDI (pre-delivery inspection) work…apparently he reminded them of this several times during the waiting period. He also informed the sales guy that I’d be coming along the day of delivery to inspect the car, and that if it had been washed, detailed, or damaged in any way, he wouldn’t accept the car. LOL, you should have seen the sales guys face when I pulled out my Dual Xenon Brinkmann and started looking over every square inch of the car! 🙂

I didn’t have my good camera with that day but I did snap a few phone pics…I was actually impressed that the dealership listened to his request!


The arrival date on the car had changed a few times so it was a couple weeks before I could actually get to it as a results of scheduling conflicts. This meant the owner would be doing the first wash himself. He was a little nervous about this at first, but he had read Todd’s washing/drying article before and I had also shown him how to wash a time or two when working on his other vehicles. He was also fully equipped with a CR Spotless system, pressure washer, Sheepskin Wash mitt, and high quality DI drying towels, so I assured him he could handle the job. 😉


The car arrived at my place a couple weeks later, minus a few bugs on the front and some adhesive from the protective wrap, it was clean and unmolested.


Appearance mod installation

First up would be the removal of the factory chrome grills and installation of the gloss black ones.


Much better!

Next I would be removing the front reflectors and replacing them with painted inserts.

Color seemed off a hair but it did offer a cleaner look

I then moved onto removing the chrome turn signals from the fenders and replaced them with blacked out ones.

Last but not least, remove the chrome badges in exchange for black ones.

New Car Prep

Moving onto the detailing portion of the job, I started out with a good foam bath using Chemical Guys Citrus Wash followed by a 2BM wash using a Sheepskin Wash Mitt.

Wheels needed a good cleaning with Sonax Full Effect and various brushes. They would later be removed and prepped for the Opti-Coat application.

Tar specs removed from barrels

Ready for Opti-Coat 2.0 application

Opti-Coat 2.0 Application

Better than new!

Wheels re-installed and torques to factory specs

After claying the car with some fine grade clay I did a light polishing with Meguiar’s M205 on the DA polisher equipped with a crimson LC pad. Then I rewashed the car and wiped it down with a 15% IPA solution. You can also see a quick video of my Opti-Coat 2.0 application below and the full review for the product can be found here.

Now for some finished pics!

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Chad Rskovich Rasky's Auto Detailing
Chad Raskovich
Rasky's Auto Detailing
Minneapolis, MN

36 comments on 2011 M3, New Car Prep, Opti-Coat 2.0 Application, Install Appearance Mods

  1. DJ Mayo says:

    Great job, Chad. Excellent photos too.

  2. kostas skourtis says:

    Nicely done! Thanks for sharing.

    What did you use on the tyres to get this nice matt effect?

  3. Kim Smith says:

    The car came out great Chad. Awesome job! Thanks for adding the video to the write up. I find it very helpful to see things being demonstrated.

  4. MarkyMark says:

    Nice work. Funny about the dealership, would have liked to see the sale’s guy’s face too. Those black outs are nice.

  5. Kevin Kellie says:

    Awesome job Chad.

  6. Misha Nikolich says:

    Looks great, Chad! Good work on aesthetic mods as well. I’m in love with the E90 M3 in this color. I bet the owner was really during delivery. Seeing this makes may want to try some of the products on my black sapphire metallic 135i coupe.

    • Thanks Misha!

      Let me know if you decide to give the Opti-Coat out a try.

      I’m sure you know all to well how badly BMW’s accumulate brake dust, and this stuff makes cleaning your wheels soooo much easier! 😉


    • Dave Johnsen says:

      I read an article that you wrote about the 2010 BMW135i Coupe. The kidney grill is black. I have a 2008 135i convertible in black. The wheels on your car in the photos appear to have spacers installed….. making the wheels wider. if you did this……. what size spaces did you use. Please respond as I could really use your help. Thank you. Dave Johnsen

  7. Ron Ayotte says:

    Watching your video.. I am very tempted to use opti-coat on my 2006 tungsten gray Mustang GT.

    Did you end up using the entire syringe on the car?

    • Hey Ron,

      I average 6-8cc on an average sized car, much like your Mustang, and that’s including all paint, trim, lights, wheels, and glass. One syringe should be more than enough to do two cars. 😉


  8. John Mason says:

    Hi Chad–great video and prep. I notice that you applied the Opti-coat by hand. Do you prefer that over doing it by machine? Also, if you find a high spot, would you just buff it out? Thanks Chad.

    • Thanks John,

      Given the nature of the Opti-Coat I’m not sure application by machine would work very well, if at all. I would suggest sticking to hand application only. 😉

    • Sorry…missed your second question. High spots can typically be buffed out with Poli-Seal or Optimum Finish II without compromising the coating. If after washing you notice a reduction in the hydrophobic properties in the polished areas, you likely polished too much and will have to re-apply the coating.

      Best to just take your time and avoid any high spots. 😉

  9. Ej says:

    Wish my dealer listened when I said do not detail now it looks like they used a Brillo pad. Any idea if this is correctable?

    • Hey Ej,

      It would be hard for me to answer that question without seeing the car. However, being a new car I can’t imagine they did unrepairable damage. If you want, you can email me a picture of the damage so I can better answer your question. Just make sure it’s in direct light and clearly displays the defects. A camera with manual focus usually works best too as the auto focus tends to grab the reflection in the paint, and not the surface.


      • zeljko says:

        Hi Chad,
        Just found about your work searching the web. I have 2 months old 2012 Benz with 800 miles that I did clay it as the first thing. It’s been washed only twice and I did dry it up, as usually. I noticed spots on the paint and would like to hear your opinion – where can I send the pictures so you can give me advice on how to remove them?


        • Zeljko,

          You can reply directly to the email I sent you today. As far as the water spots go, a great place to start is with Chemical Guys Water Spot Remover. You will also want to asses where they are coming from. 😉


  10. Ray Scott says:

    Chad, I have ordered a BMW X3 which will be delivered the end of the month. I will tell the dealer not to detail it. Is washing it by the dealer ok or should I pass on that as well. Since it is a BMW I plan to order some Sonax, how does Sonax compare to P21S. Also, I prefer Blackfire Wet Diamond as a protectant. Should I clay bar and polish ( I have M205) as you did on this M3. Great job by the way.

    • Hey Ray,

      I would tell them not to touch the car outside of the necessary PDI (pre-delivery inspection) work. That means no washing either, and unless they can bring you in the back and show you that they are washing the cars by hand using the 2BM, new wash mitts, and grit guards in the buckets (VERY unlikely), it’s just not worth the risk.

      You can certainly go straight to wax/sealant if you like, but in my experience most new cars need to be clayed. After a wash check your paint using the “baggy test” and see if you feel any bonded surface contaminants. If so, then claying would be recommended. Claying can often leave behind very light marring on some paints, which is why I always polish afterward. You can use pretty much any finishing polish after the claying and M205 is definitely an option, but there are some slightly less aggressive polishes like Menzerna SF4500 (PO85RD) which will work too. On the day I did this M3 it was over 90 degrees in my shop and I find M205 is more forgiving in those climates than some other polishes. 😉

      Sonax and P21S are both very good and safe wheel cleaners. I feel Sonax is a little more effective than the P21S (given equal dwell times), but it also smells like hair perm! If you can get past the smell, Sonax gets my vote.

      Feel free to email me directly if you have anymore questions.


  11. Ray Scott says:

    Chad, should I use the Citrus wash when I wash the X3 the first time. And, can I dilute it for subsequent washes so as not to remove any protectant. What would you recommend for dillution.

    • Ray,

      Any of the car washes sold on DI will work just fine. Most of us use the Citrus Wash for clients cars at a paint prep ratio to help remove previous waxes/sealants or any fillers that may be on the paint. While it’s a rare occurrence, some durable sealants can hinder the ability to polish the paint as they can have a hydroplaning effect. This is why we try to remove them prior to polishing. Claying will help remove the majority of waxes and sealants too. In your case, you are dealing with a brand new vehicle and you shouldn’t really have to worry about the above. That being said, all the Chemical Guys soaps are great and safe for regular washing when mixed at the correct ratio…I believe the dilution ratios are printed on the container as I can’t recall what it is off hand.

      For what it’s worth, I have a new found love for a daily car soap, and that is the Optimum Car Wash. It smells amazing and I love everything about it. 😉

      Again, all our car soaps will be safe for regular use and I’m confident you will be happy with any one of them.


  12. AR says:

    Whats the average amount of time the coating can last on a daily driver?

  13. Billy G says:

    I’m looking for a good detailer in the San Antonio area. Could you recommend a detail professional? I love reading your articles. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  14. Mitch Blume says:


    I’m picking up my Jeep later this week, and I was planning on applying the OptiCoat 2.0 myself. I was going to wash with Meguiar’s gold wash, fine-grade clay, wash again, then IPA wipe prior to applying the OptiCoat 2.0. When washing the car I was going to spray Optimum instant detailer on the micofiber towel prior to drying to help give it more shine. Does this sound like a good prep and application method for this product since it is a new car? I wasn’t planning on polishing prior to applying the OptiCoat 2.0. Also, I told my dealer to not detail the Jeep before I pick it up. Thanks for all your help!


    • Hey Mitch,

      After you’ve coated the car you can use the Optimum Detailer, but I wouldn’t use it prior to coating as it may affect the bonding. Everything else in your process is fine, but I would look the car over good when you get it as I have yet to see a new car come in my shop that doesn’t need some amount of polishing, even without the dealer prep. 😉

      • Mitch Blume says:

        Thanks Chad for the advice! I just picked up the Jeep yesterday and I’m planning on detailing it today. Would you recommend spraying anything on the towel prior to drying instead of the Optimum Detailer?

        • Hey Mitch,

          There are lots of detail sprays that will work as drying aids, Optimum would be one of my favorites, but anything you spray on the surface prior to coating will need to be removed as they can effect the bonding of Opti-Coat. So you can use them prior to coating if you wish, but you will need to spend more time wiping the surface down with Isopropyl alcohol to remove it. Once you’ve coated the car you use Opt Detailer as much as you like. 🙂


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