BMW 328i Heavy Swirl Removal & Correctionby Brian Guy
This BMW had some poor maintenance in a prior life and a good client of mine picked this car up for his wife. He understands the value of good car care and before seeing the car he tells me, “yeah Brian, its a little messed up” . Which I happened to find out was a bit of an understatement. We see so many 3 series BMW’s under these conditions and a couple years back BMW was doing excellent lease offers with these cars, it seemed like everybody had one. Now that time has gone by and many of these have been turned in and then purchased out right, it is very common to see these cars in this condition.
The imperfections you see are a result of poor detailing, dirty pad choice, wrong size pad choice, technique and most of all … lack of caring. Some people believe that the dealer is the best option for the car, however what they don’t know is most dealerships hire cheap and pay cheap for their detail services. That being said, it makes it very hard for the employees to care all that much about it. Like the saying goes, “You get what you pay for” and that is exactly what this customer received when they had the car “detailed” by the dealer.
Have a look at some of the before pics and the swirl damage prior to me getting stated with this detail. You may also notice the lack of care around the trim work and edges.
Below: Passenger side rear fender area.
Below: Roof edges.
Below: Side Mirror.
Below: Drivers side rear fender area.
Below: Front quarter, Drivers side.
I used a little test spot to help myself get started with the detail. Prior to marking this test spot, I wet sanded down a few areas on the hood that had OEM touch up paint loosely touched in.
I started polishing with the Meg’s Microfiber Cutting Discs and M105 on the Rupes 15. For the second step, the finishing was done with the Meg’s Microfiber Finishing Discs and M100 on Rupes 15.
Below: 5050 of the trunk lid.
From a little further away you can see the huge difference that is being made.
Below: These areas I handled with a 3″ Meg’s Cutting Disc and M105 on the Porter Cable.
Below: The roof and trim moldings had some minor water etching. They were properly taped up to avoid anymore stress to the edges of these pieces. The roof moldings were also handled with 3” Meg’s cutting Disc and PC.
Tons of correction took place and many hard hours of work were put into perfecting the paint. On top of the correction we also had to rid this car of all used factors. Prestine Clean was used for all of the vinyl and leather surfaces. This area in the picture below was sprayed, scrubbed lightly with semi soft brush, then wiped down with a clean MF towel. Check out the dirt removed from just one swipe!
Below: Light 5050 showing some difference on the steering wheel. The area still needed a little more work to get it where I would like.
Below: Results after re leveling the paint work.
After all this correction, the car was topped off with Dodo Juice Blue Velvet Hard Wax.
Thanks for viewing this detail, If you have any questions? Please feel free!
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What counter weight do you use on the PC for 3″ pads?
I use the same 6″ counterweight that the Porter Cable comes with. I’ve never swapped it out.
I have 2 questions:
1- for the second step is any reason you went to M100 with MF finishing pad rather than the norm of using M205.
2- Normally, I suffered form the second hazing of DJ Blue Velvet Hard wax. How you dealing with that if you have similar satiation.
Well, I failed to mention the final pass with Modesta P-01A. (as far as finishing before LSP)
I’ve been using and testing the P-01A Primer / Finishing polish for some time now… Once the P-01A has cured (about 3 hrs) then the car was topped of with the wax. I didn’t have any hazing issues with it. The weather was actually pretty good during the course of this detail. I put the wax down in a very thin coat also.
Amazing job on this one, amazing how much marring there was on that car.
I also have to ask why you went with Maguire’s M100 and not the standard 205, which I have also seen you do on other write ups.
I do have to ask what you used in the engine bay and for the wheels, those chrome wheels/trim/ect look great.
Thank You Jeff!
I use Swissvax Nano Express in most all engine details as a final shine / protectant. And same with the wheels, Swissvax Metal Polish always!
Hi Brian, as usual, beautiful work. Your photography is excellent with beautiful effects on the one with the tool box. Excellent presentation, Best Regards.
San Antonio, Texas
Thank You Bob!
Hi Brian, I have a 2008 BMW 650i and I made the mistake of using ‘bad’ towels to wash/dry and resulted in some light swirls in the paint. The car also has 3 scratches on the side panels. I washed, clayed and polished with Meguiars Gold Car wash, Clay kit, Ultimate compound and Ultimate polish. The swirls were redudced but they’re still there in the sunlight, I dont have a DA and I do everything by hand. What are some good pads and products for a two-step finishing process that can be applied by hand for polishing and finishing? My car does not need the level of paint corrections as this 328i, so I would assume it falls under the light swirl & paint correction.
In order to get those scratches out, I feel you would have to machine them appose to trying to do by hand.
Modesta P-01A could potentially mask the scratches (fill) if wanting to do by hand. But its really hard to say without see the car.
Great write up and incredible work! I too was curious of the pad/product you used but the proof is in the pudding, wow! I’ll definitely try it. My only issue is I’ve been having issues with the cutting discs both 5.5 and 3″ separating from their backing. Thanks again for the write up!
Thank You Scott!
Yes, sometimes you may get some defective Meg’s disc. Not a problem! They will replace them.
Beautiful job. I am new to detailing and recently had my red Acura TL detailed at a local shop. They did a terrible job and left the paint looking the way this bmw did before you restored it. I’m thinking of fixing it and following the instructions you outlined in this article. Do you think as a beginner I will be able to restore my paint with the right products or would you recommend me going to a professional?
Great results! Amazing.
I have a 2011 Audi TTS Quattro Black and currently have the same before shots (not quite as bad). Would you recommend i use the Meguiar’s Ultra-Cut Compound M105 then apply the Meguiar’s Pro Speed Compound M100?
Again excellent after shots! 🙂
Please define what you mean by “re-leveling”.
Anybody knows what rims are those?
Hey Brian: Great work..
Quick question..have used Porter Cable random orbital for years. Easy.
Moving to Makita rotary and finding it a real chore to handle.
I am using pad\product combos suggested here, 4 dots of product on dry pad. Horizontals are not too bad, but fender curves,and verticles have that rotary on a trip of its own.
Any tips or tricks I am missing to make that machine a bit easier to handle ?
Thanks for the help.
Bob, working with a rotary is completely different. It will take sometime before you get comfortable with it. If the pad is jumping around and skipping on you, you could spray a mist of water to help. It could jump and skip from a dry pad or a overloaded pad. (overloaded meaning to much product in the pad) I always have water spray in hand when working with any machine polishing. You’ll be able to get the full abrasives out of the product being used. Note: the outside of the pad is hotter than the center when working with rotary.
Give me a bottle of Nu-Finish and a 6″ Orbital buffer and I’ll make your car look like new in an hour !
Looks great Brian. I have a Jerez Black M3 with some swirls that Im trying to remove. But not as bad as the above vehicle. What pads would you recommend for light swirl removal up to finishing the car with a wax/sealant? And as far as the small areas such as between the door window and roof panels how do I get in there? By hand or can I use the edge of the porter cable with pad? I currently have some 6.5 inch pads, but looking to buy a few new. thank you. John
John, pad choice will also depend on product choice. (Either way I’d recommend a medium aggressive polishing pads for removing minor imperfections)
6.5 inch pads are a little big to be using in those small sections. I would recommend picking up here at detailed image an additional machine for those spots. A machine with 3″ backing plate and pads. (maybe a 3″ Rupes 75 or a Griot’s 3″ random orbital)
How do you get the edges so nice on the roof trim? Anything special? I’m always afraid product will get in there and it’s such a paint to get out. How can you polish those areas and still keep them so clean?
Dear Brian – I have a jet black Nissan 370 which is coated and has Reload applied.
Can Dodo Juice Blue Velvet be used over Reload?