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One week into owning the vehicle, great driver, lots of compliments, looks great in the garage but under the right light many surface scratches.

Stopped by BMW today and detailer who works there said he could sand the surface and re-polish and remove all the scratches for $200.

Has anyone had this done to their black car? Happy with the results?
Did it last long?
 

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Yup! I had a similiar experience too! Under the fluorescent light in my garage I could see a LOT of spider/hairline scratches on my M5 hood. My local body shop buffed my hood for free and they were able to remove everything! Now it looks perfectly smooth. You want to be very careful about that. If they buff too much off then you'll end up going right through the clear coat.
 

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There are a few good threads here on detailing- ONE of the steps is 'swirl removal' or light compounding.

I generally don't trust folks to do things right, so I do it-

here are the rough steps:

Clean/wax stripping
Clay bar
Compound/swirl removal
Polish
Wax

The rule of thumb with any abrasive (light compound, swirl remover, etc) is only to use the level needed to remove the defects- better to hit the surface 3 times to get the swirls out, than to hit it too hard and create a disaster.

Search for 'swirl remover'..

A

PS You will also find some excellent guidance on how to car for a black car to avoid (or minimize) those scratches...
 

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I really doubt any of you really got the scratches out. They were either just hidden or made less noticeable. I have not seen one black M5 except my own that really has the scratches out. You cannot touch a black M5 with any cotton or microfiber or terry or your clean hand without scratching it. Only psuede microfiber, not any type, creates the fewest scratches while removing surface dust or light debris. You must remember that any color except black will hide scratches. Atomic's car looks great, but remember, it is Lemans blue I believe.

I use the Porter cable polisher from Meguiars with a yellow foam pad and 3M Foam Pad Polishing Glaze for dark cars. I think that is the name. I use it with a setting of about 3-4 in areas of 1 foot square. Any more than that, and the gloss will not come up because the diminishing abrasive will not work. Also, wax of any type makes the car finish look less reflective. However it does even the finish and increase the color depth. Color depth however, usually creates a dull look in low light. I avoid wax. There is a lot to learn about this. Removing visible scratches is one thing, but getting bright, undistorted gloss is a whole different thing. When you remove scratches you can lose a lot of gloss because tiny micro scratches still exist that diffuse light. You cannot subscribe to the status quo advice about polishing. Most detailers know almost nothing about achieving a high quality finish. They simply apply silicone-based solutions to hide the small scratches.
 

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HBRAMSTEDT said:
I really doubt any of you really got the scratches out. They were either just hidden or made less noticeable. I have not seen one black M5 except my own that really has the scratches out. You cannot touch a black M5 with any cotton or microfiber or terry or your clean hand without scratching it. Only psuede microfiber, not any type, creates the fewest scratches while removing surface dust or light debris. You must remember that any color except black will hide scratches. Atomic's car looks great, but remember, it is Lemans blue I believe.

I use the Porter cable polisher from Meguiars with a yellow foam pad and 3M Foam Pad Polishing Glaze for dark cars. I think that is the name. I use it with a setting of about 3-4 in areas of 1 foot square. Any more than that, and the gloss will not come up because the diminishing abrasive will not work. Also, wax of any type makes the car finish look less reflective. However it does even the finish and increase the color depth. Color depth however, usually creates a dull look in low light. I avoid wax. There is a lot to learn about this. Removing visible scratches is one thing, but getting bright, undistorted gloss is a whole different thing. When you remove scratches you can lose a lot of gloss because tiny micro scratches still exist that diffuse light. You cannot subscribe to the status quo advice about polishing. Most detailers know almost nothing about achieving a high quality finish. They simply apply silicone-based solutions to hide the small scratches.

Maybe I'm confused. Here's how I thought it worked:

The reflectivity of any surface is dependent on the roughness- this roughness is measured microscopically. Fine scratches are -simply put- 'valleys' of missing paint or clearcoat. To reduce the scratch you remove material from around it until the valley 'floor' is the new surface.

Increasingly fine abrasives further reduce the rms roughness.

All this on multicoat paint systems is a delicate task- you only have so much material to work with.

waxes/polymers/etc just coat the surface and protect- they should not be used to cover a 'rough' surface.

Is this the status quo on polishing? or am I on the right track?

thanks!

A
 

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tough to get them out completely but you can round them and make the appear to go away.

Heres what I suggest, now this takes 2 days but worth it.

Wash

Clay the car

Wash

Dry

then this : http://www.topoftheline.com/32ozheavcutp.html

Then a layer of :http://www.topoftheline.com/hitligcutswi.html

then:http://www.zainostore.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=Z-5&Category_Code=Zaino

two layers of that and all applied by a orbatal buffer, that web site also has great finishing pads softest foam pads i've found.

then wash and dry the car again and spray polish it and you good to go, all swirl marks should be unvisable or at least way way way way better.
 

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Ard, yes you have the right idea but executing it well takes time and experience. That ususally means making mistakes, and I've made my share. Jayson's mention of the foam pads is right. Sometimes the real soft pads won't take out the medium scratches, so in certain instances you may want to start with a medium foam pad like Meguiar's yellow polishing pad then work to their finishing pad. I use Meguiar's pads. I actually find the best gloss and reflectivity with the polishing pad and never use their finishing pad. Anyway polishing for gloss occurs after I remove most of the visible scratches. What I do is to isolate a small area and work it with light pressure with special techniques until I see the white, sharp light reflecting. Use the orbital, Meguiar's pad, and the 3M glaze for dark cars at a medium r.p.m. Experiment with technique and you will get there. I actually don't apply wax since it reduces the reflectivity of a properly polished surface.

The best and worst looking M5s I've seen are jet black. When in high gloss, the nice shapes and details of a black M5 stand out. Also, at night, a high gloss car will turn heads where a dull black one hardly gets noticed. A real high gloss and low distortion finish really shows up at night or in low light.
Good luck.
 

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HBRAMSTEDT said:
The best and worst looking M5s I've seen are jet black. When in high gloss, the nice shapes and details of a black M5 stand out. Also, at night, a high gloss car will turn heads where a dull black one hardly gets noticed. A real high gloss and low distortion finish really shows up at night or in low light.
Good luck.
HBRAMSTEDT, PM sent.

You really seem to have the knowledge and care to get a black car looking right. Have you ever thought about doing side work as a detailer? I would be your first customer!!
 
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