This may already be old news for some, but I wanted to share something I discovered about the way our cars are prepped BEFORE we ever lay eyes on them, that I found somewhat disturbing Apparently our beasts, as well as most if not all other new imported vehicles, are shipped over encased in a layer of Cosmolene, which is then completely stripped off at the port of entry with a soaking of kerosene, and subsequently rinsed thoroughly before being shipped out.
The kerosene, used as a solvent in this way, obviously strips off not only the Cosmolene, but also any and all of the protective waxes already on the finish, leaving JUST paint/clearcoat. This is how our beasts arrive at the dealership, and explains why they then have to completely detail the car.
It makes me wonder whether this kerosene treatment also softens the paint/clearcoat, as I found on my '02 540i that the paint seemed especially soft and vulnerable to chipping during the first 5-6 months, and now seems slightly more durable.
I guess it's still alright to request that the dealership NOT detail the car prior to delivery, as long as I take delivery as soon as the beast arrives, drive it home, and immediately detail it, but just the thought of unprotected paint makes me wonder if I should just allow them to go ahead and prep her upon arrival.
Apologies for the long post. Any feedback most appreciated.
Never heard of this
I used to work at a Porsche audi dealer and none of them do that
Cosmoline as far as i know is only applied to the engine as a protectant and this just burns off with regular engine heat after a few hundred miles...
as for the paint...
the paint is covered with a sticker of some sort... cant thin of the name... but its a think layer of vinyl adhesive stuck onto your cars major painted areas..
When the cars arrive at the dealer the dealer removes the plastic covering.
I doubt BMW would use such a time consuming process like the one you mentioned.
also i think but im not positive ive seen BMWs with the same plastic "sticker" as i described above.
I understand that BMW's west coast point of entry, Oxnard, is supposed to clean off the Cosmolene. It was not done to my M5. Cosmolene is a yellowish sticky film which is readily visible on the underside of the car. In my case, it is all over the suspension components, engine drive train, etc. It may burn off the motor and other heated parts, but it remains on the cool pieces.
2002 PorscheTurbo, Fabspeed Exhaust w/100 cell German racing cats, Porsche Short Shift, 19 in HRE 541R, Evolution billet diverter values.
2004 BMW X3 2.5i
2002 BMW X5 3.0i
1974 BMW 2002 Tii
2004 Dodge Ram SRT V-10
plain old clear coated paint will be just fine for a long, long time. I know many, many people who NEVER wax their cars. If they keep them clean, they still look good later.
waxes and polymers can provide U.V. protection which will indeed slow deterioration and oxidation, but in my experience they don't protect against anything else. Acid rain and bird poop eats right through them, scratches go right through them. I don't expect the mfg to wax the car before they ship it.
Originally posted by wongster12 BMW uses water base paint which is much "soft". Thank the environmentalist.
The larger issue in the durability of your paint is that fact that BMW started using water-based primer and paints somewhere between the '98 and '00 model years.
I had a Montreal Blue E39 540i/6 as my Pre-Beast, then sold it to my big brother. The Carbon Black finish on my Beast (02/00 production) is MUCH more susceptible to nicks, scratches, and other such bullsh*t at the slightest suggestion of contact with another object.
I treated both finishes the same, in terms of washing and polishing and protecting.
As for the Cosmoline, while BMW does coat the underbody, inside the doors, and other moving parts with the stuff, it does NOT coat the exterior, painted surfaces. If you've ever seen new Bimmers coming off the boat (or seen pictures), you would not see a Cosmoline coating...
SchnelleM5, you are partially correct...BMW applies cosmoline to the underside of the car and a thick shipping wax to the entire exterior of the car. The wax is so thick that they have cutouts they place on the windshield and side window prior to applying the wax, that leaves open areas about 12" square so they can see out. The wax is thick enough to scrape with your finger nail.
I saw this firsthand at a tour of the VPC in Oxnard, CA.
They then run the cars though an automated hot kersosene/water wash that cleans the exterior and underbody. This is an automated system that re-processes and uses the energy from burning the removed wax to create the energy for the hot water. I don't think this is damaging to the car. The VPC then applies a light coat of wax to each car as part of the prep process. The cars are then shipped in enclosed trailers to the dealer.
BMW does not use the stick on vinyl that you see on Japanese cars shipped on open trailers.
Thanks to all for the feedback thus far. It's interesting to see the diversity of experiences out there, as there doesn't seem to be any consistency. While I knew about the water based, environmentally friendly paint that BMW has been using for some years now, I'm still convinced that my 540i paint is more scratch/chip resistant now than it was when brand new, and I've heard others refer to the slow 'curing' process of the paint. Maybe I've just been lucky recently.