BMW 130i M-Sport Limited Edition – Carbon Black

(it’s worth noting at this point that this is a long read – may be worth running down to stick kettle on whilst you wait for the images to load? :) )

Booked in over four days for a ‘White Detail’ (Major Paint Correction, wheels-off, engine-bay and (in this instance, light) interior work)

The car in question is a 2007 model with a shade under 40k miles on the clocks. My customer made the purchase just five weeks ago; a well known BMW dealership/group.

Buying the car ‘blind’, the sales-man at the time reassured my customer that the car is to the Dealer’s quality ‘approved standards’ and is ready for collection when they were… You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Collection, unfortunately, was at evening whilst it was wet outside. A few bad areas were noted at the time and my customer wasn’t happy. The car was left with the dealer for rectification.

Second time round, little improvement. Albeit a few years old now, this was a £15k purchase and the car was a mess – no excuses on the dealers behalf.

Rather than let the dealer’s try again, my customer chose to seek external professional advice.

A brief insight to the damage caused by the bodyshop ‘repairs’:

The usual buffertrails from incorrect machine polisher use..

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Unfinished DA sanding marks,

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Blemishes,

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Unpainted areas and a burn through O/S front wing/bonnet,

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And paint runs,

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Product

• 3M FastCut +
• 3M Ultra Fina
• 3M Glass Cleaner
• AutoSmart G101
• AutoSmart Tardis
• AutoSmart Hazsafe
• AutoGlym Vinyl & Rubber Care
• AMDetails’ mild clay bar
• Belgom ALU
• Chemical Guys New Look Trim
• Chemical Guys JetSEAL109
• Dodo Juice Born To Be Mild
• Hammerite Smooth Silver high-temp
• Jeffs Werkstat Prime
LTT auto ultra leather
• Menzerna 203s
• Menzerna 85RD 3.02
• Meguiars Super Degreaser
• Meguiars Last Touch
• Raceglaze Black Label Concours Wax
• Zaino Z6

The rest of the defects will be presented later on.

For now, here’s the general condition of the rest of the vehicle:

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Alongside the deep scratches on the N/S rear quarter, can you see where a football has hit?

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…damned kids!

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As to be expected on a BM of this age, corroded discs and calipers,

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Starting with the wheels-off treatment – wheels deep cleaned inside and out; removal of old wheel weight residue. Arches flushed and brake assembly wire brushed/prepped for later painting.

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Disc before..

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After wire brushing and brake cleaner – ready for paint.

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The wheels, although ‘fully’ refurbed, didn’t come up very well at all. Lazy refurb; inner rim and wheel-nut housings were covered in overspray which I couldn’t remove.

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Front N/S caliper ready to be prepped for paint.

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Tar removal using AS Tardis,

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With all four corners complete, it was time to wash the bodywork down and remove surface contaminants.

Pre-rinse with AS Hazsafe. Foamed with Bilt Hamber AutoFoam. Washed with Dodo BTBM. Tar removal with AS Tardis and clayed with AMDetails’ mild clay bar.

Very little protected seen on the paintwork, (see if you can spot the machine holograms shining through!)

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Once fully dried down, the wheels were back off for sealing and caliper/disc refurb.

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Retaining springs removed and sprayed,

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Fronts before/after,

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Meanwhile, wheel weight residues were stripped off the wheels,

(see what I mean about a poor respray, the overspray?)

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Sealing with JetSEAL109,

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More signs of a poor refurb,

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Caliper & disc painted and then put back together.

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BMW badge realigned with the Motorsport text.

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A little before/after…

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Whilst jacked, the exhaust system was polished up.

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That was pretty much it for the first day. 9 hours work.

Before leaving, I ran around with the camera capturing all of the bodyshop defects that I could find.

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Front bumper – Overspray. Masking marks. Lifeless.

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Bonnet edge looking a little beaten,

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Even overspray on the grille,

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Bonnet buffertrails,

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A blemish on the O/S front wing and an awful smart repair around the side indicator:

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O/S sill, overspray:

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Rear bumper.

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Looks like the light clusters were caught with their machine ‘polishing’…

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Some of the worst sanding marks (DA ‘pigtails’) I have ever seen:

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N/S A-pillar. Overspray.

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Masking mark and overspray on the lower lip of the front bumper,

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Another rough edge between the wing and the bumper,

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Now a handful of shots of the other defects..

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So, early start on day 2, time to start the machine work.

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High on the roof, the thickness readings were original (and healthy)

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Initial pad and polish tests weren’t enough; paint was seriously hard. Settled on 2/3 hits of Menz 3.02 and a foamed wool pad for heavy cut.

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After refinement with Men 203s:

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50/50 on the boot spoiler:

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Working my way down; C-pillar to the A-pillar:

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Tiny gloss-black section corrected between the two windows. Before/After:

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O/S rear quarter hazy due to the machine holograms and swirling.

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Gloss, clarity and depth reinstalled after heavy correction.

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Refined to a jewelled and sharp finish.

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The nasties on the arch were sorted with a 3M green spot pad and Menz IP.

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Night and day difference now:

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Wheels bolts primed and sprayed.

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Scratches around the driver’s door handle, before:

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After:

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Another 50/50 shot between two panels:

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Wing showing high thickness readings because of the respray work:

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Sorted:

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Remember this?

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Moving on to the bonnet, it wasn’t particularly bad.

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Very difficult to correct though; much different to the rest of the car (even the other painted areas), it didn’t like heat at all.

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First set of wheel bolts were set and ready to go back on the car,

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Front bumper, before:

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After:

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Before:

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After:

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Second batch ready!

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Bringing day 2 to an end, the O/S sill was machined.

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Day 3, bootlid.

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Remember this?

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A painfully slow process involved here. Lost count of how many passes were made to chase 95% correction…

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N/S half of the roof. Some nasties seen here:

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Reduced down to,

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The overspray on the N/S A-pillar?

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Gloss-black section on the N/S sorted, too:

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Area of caution here now… the N/S rear quarter where it meets the bumper, there was a bit of a thin spot.

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Knowing I can’t polish over the area for fear of a burn through, I managed to cover the affected spot and work around it.

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Managed to achieve good correction too!

50/50 between N/S door and rear quarter:

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Some bad scratches in that rear quarter… Almost as though the car’s been brushed passed a hedge or similar? Scratches running the length of the car.

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Again, losing count of how many compounding passes had to be made to chase perfection.

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Rear bumper before:

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Dealers “approved standards”. I quote, “We pride ourselves on staff retention and investment in training so we have highly trained and experienced team members working hard to deliver the very best quality of vehicle servicing and repair.”

Bumper after:

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Rear clusters before/after:

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A funny looking repair on the N/S wing mirror. Before/After:

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After some 18 hours machine polishing, the car’s complete and ready to go out for a rinse.

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At this point, the engine bay was cleansed.

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Soaked with degreaser, agitated and rinsed at low pressure.

Similar process to the doors shuts and then a thorough blast to remove all trapped dust and polish residues between panel gaps, petrol filler housing etc.

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Once inside and bone-dry (Black Baron vehicle dryer comes in handy here), the engine was dressed:

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And the first of two coats of Raceglaze Black Label Concours wax applied:

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With darkness just around the corner, that was it for Day 3.

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Bright and early, day 4, second coat of wax applied.

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Dealer stickers (on owner’s request) removed throughout:

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Glass polished inside and out with 3M’s cleaner:

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Sun-visor mirror looking a tad grubby! (the rest of the engrained dirt on the visor was picked up later on the interior stage)

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Exterior britework cleansed with Jeffs Prime.

Grille before:

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And after (even managed to shift the overspray!)

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Polish clumping removed from door shuts, panel gaps etc.

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A little toothpickery:

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Only a quick session needed on the interior – plastics, console, leather, pedals etc.

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Tyres dressed. Final wipedown and we’re finished. ~34 hours over the four days.

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Before/After:

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Would I buy a car from the BMW group in question? Yes. Would I let them valet, repair, touch, breath on the car? No.

Before parting with thousands of pounds, be it a new, an ex-demo or used car, always make sure you know what you’re buying.

Thanks for reading.

Jim

Customer testimonial:

I first became aware of Jim’s work when I dropped onto one of his posts on the MX5 forum. I was fascinated by the process and staggered by the level of improvement possible.

Having recently purchased a new (to me) car I was as Jim alludes to, ‘somewhat disappointed’ by the quality of Syntners’ efforts to put right the poor finish on several panels. The rear bumper was resprayed but this resulted in only diverting my attention briefly from the numerous other ‘nasties’ (as Jim puts it) covering the vehicle.

I believe you only truly get to know your cars proper condition when you wash it a few times. Having done so and seen BMW’s efforts to pass the car off as ‘to the expected BMW standards of quality and finish’ I decided to contact ‘White Details’.

Jim is clearly a talented individual. His attention to detail (spraying wheel bolts/aligning wheel centre caps etc etc) , his dedication to his craft, his informed, professional, courteous manner all add to the fantastic experience I had. Teaser photos of work in progress, mini updates, discussions around work required all again add to the enjoyment of seeing your pride and joy return to its former glories (although I don’t think it ever looked so good – even with its war wounds!!).

I will be contacting Sytner to discuss why I had to pay to put the car into the condition it should have been. I will also be recommending Jim and White Details to just about anyone who will listen. Good luck Jim in the future and keep the picture reports coming.