Scratch and blemish removal, 2002 BMW 330i – Level 3 exterior detail

A customer of mine recently brought me his 2002 BMW 330i that was in need of some scratch and blemish removal/repair. The car had a number of semi-deep scratches and what looked to be tar or sap deposits in the paint. Some of the tar/sap deposits had even eroded through the clear coat entirely! With some advanced techniques and patience, most of the scratches and blemishes were removed successfully, or at minimum looking much better than before. In addition to the scratch/blemish work, I also performed a complete Level 3 Exterior detail on the car to bring out maximum shine and gloss to the paint. Read on to get the full scoop!

To begin, the car received a 2 bucket hand wash using soft sheepskin wash mitts with citrus wash shampoo, and a thorough cleaning of the wheels using a Detailed Image EZ detail brush. The car was treated with CarPro Iron-X as part of my “ultra paint decontamination” process, which would be followed by a clay bar treatment. The pictures below show the pH-balanced Iron-X product in action. The purple colored drips are an indication of the product breaking down iron deposits left on the car that cannot be washed off with a wash mitt.

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Once the wash and clay bar treatment was complete it was time to tackle the scratches and blemishes. Below are some pictures of the defects, that would require a combination of techniques and products, in order to safely remove or hide them.

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For the deep scratches and tar/sap deposits, it was necessary to wet sand the areas using very fine (purpose made Meguiar’s) clear coat sanding paper and pads. Working slow with careful attention is required for these steps in order to get the best, and most safe results. The pictures below show the blemishes after wet sanding, but before polishing.

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To complete the process, multiple stages of machine polishing were used to restore the clear and glossy finish to the paint. The first step was done using a Porter Cable 7424XP with Lake Country orange cutting pads and Meguiar’s M105 compound. This was followed up with Rupes yellow polishing pad and Sonax Perfect Finish polish by way of a Rupes 21 orbital polisher, or the PC7424XP mentioned above. As you can see from the photos, the scratches and blemishes were either completely gone, or looking much better than before in the case of the tar/sap deposits!

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Moving on, the entire car was polished using the Rupes 21/PC7424XP, with Rupes yellow pads, and the fantastic Sonax Perfect Finish polish. These products, along with the right technique, are excellent at removing the majority of fine swirls in the clear coat, while leaving a high shine and high gloss finish. The metallic grey paint is good at hiding minor scratches and swirls, but they are visible in the first two photos below, which are before the polishing step.

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Now that the car is polished, the Level 3 Exterior detail finishing touches were completed. First, Blackfire Wet Diamond paint sealant was applied via the PC7424XP machine and then carefully removed by hand. The tires and trim pieces were dressed, and the exhaust tips were shined, resulting in a very nice looked BMW!

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See below for a full list of products used in this custom detail:

  1. Grit Guards
  2. Chemical Guys Citrus Wash
  3. Sheepskin wash mitts
  4. DI Brushes EZ Detail Brush
  5. CarPro Iron X
  6. Clay Magic detailing clay
  7. Microfiber waffle weave drying towels
  8. Microfiber all purpose towel
  9. Microfiber applicator
  10. Rupes LHR 21ES
  11. Porter Cable 7424XP
  12. Rupes Yellow polishing pads
  13. Lake Country Orange cutting pad
  14. Sonax Perfect Finish
  15. Meguiar’s Ultra-Cut M105
  16. Lake Country black finishing pads
  17. Blackfire Wet Diamond paint sealant