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      01-04-2012, 06:27 AM   #1
Steve30dMSport
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X3 M Sport with High Gloss Shadowline trim can't go through Automatic Car Washes

I don't know if people have found this yet but here in Australia you cannot put a X3 M Sport through the touch free automatic car washes. The detergent is far too concentrated for the shiny black high gloss shadow line trim around the door frames. I put mine through one once and it turned the trim from the nice glossy black in to black with a blue tinge to it similar to when you weld stainless steel and it gets that blueish burnt look to it.

I am having mine T Cut and I will find out tomorrow how it turned out. My repairer is one of the best in the country and is one of the few BMW approved repairers and he has seen it a number of times on X3's and X5's and it is always when they have been through automatic non-touch car washes. He told me to never put it through one again and I will certainly take his advice.

Has anyone else had this issue or is it just confined to Australian car washes?
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      01-04-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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Confused mate, can't go through touch free car washes or any automatic car washes?
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      01-04-2012, 07:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OOOSQ View Post
Confused mate, can't go through touch free car washes or any automatic car washes?
Hi Ooosq, I can't confirm that as I only put it through once and it was a touch free one. But Graeme did say don't ever put it through any automatic car wash but he mentioned that the touch free ones have a particularly harsh detergent. He said no auto car washes at all but I can confirm that the non-touch ones will ruin all of the high gloss shadow line trim. Not one part of it was not affected. And when I rubbed it the next day it had a powdery residue on that part of the trim (but not on the rest of the car) which was quite strange.

So for safety I would avoid any auto car washes if you have the high gloss shadow line trim.
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      01-04-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve30dMSport View Post
Hi Ooosq, I can't confirm that as I only put it through once and it was a touch free one. But Graeme did say don't ever put it through any automatic car wash but he mentioned that the touch free ones have a particularly harsh detergent. He said no auto car washes at all but I can confirm that the non-touch ones will ruin all of the high gloss shadow line trim. Not one part of it was not affected. And when I rubbed it the next day it had a powdery residue on that part of the trim (but not on the rest of the car) which was quite strange.

So for safety I would avoid any auto car washes if you have the high gloss shadow line trim.
No good steve.

Will have to keep that in mind when the new M-Sport arrives...
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      01-04-2012, 08:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OOOSQ View Post
No good steve.

Will have to keep that in mind when the new M-Sport arrives...
I'll update tomorrow after I pick up the car and let you know how well it was fixed.
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      01-04-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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This is quite surprising.... my X3 35i M Sport/ Carbon Black Metallic is on order and though I planned to wash/ wax myself, I figured occassionally I would use a brushless wash especially during snow storms to get the salt removed (live in the US Northeast).

Now I'm not so sure
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      01-04-2012, 11:19 AM   #7
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Yes I have noticed that....the first time I went through.

Its not permanent. Just wipe it off with some water and you are good to go...
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      01-04-2012, 09:16 PM   #8
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Had it happen to me in the summer. It does come off with a proper wash. I don't know if it's the detergent per se but possibly the "wax" they say they put on because when I have put it through a touchless without wax option I didn't get the oily smears.
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      01-04-2012, 10:22 PM   #9
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I picked up the car today and it is perfect. I tend to agree with you warmtoes because it did look "oily" so it may well be the "wax".

Having said that, Graeme at Mr Gloss in Moorabin, Victoria, Australia warned me today that the auto car washes are fine on every part of the BMW EXCEPT the high gloss shadowline finish. His explanation was because the shadowline is unlike the rest of the car because it has a type of powdercoat finish which is porous and therefore the strong detergents will destroy it over time.

It is such a problem that BMW were replacing the shadowline trims under warranty. Apparently BMW are now trying to fight those warranty claims because they do not warrant against damage from car washes and now they know it is a car wash issue only.

As Mr Gloss are one of the very best in Australia and preferred by BMW, as well as being one of the very few Lamborghini preferred repairers in Australia, I will tend to take their advice. So I would watch very carefully if you have the high gloss black shadowline trim.

Now I'm off to Falls Creek and the Bogong High Plains for some serious driving roads since I've been without Black Beauty for the past 2.5 months!
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      01-04-2012, 11:32 PM   #10
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I'm not too fussed about it. Never had issues on chrome trim on any other cars we have in the stable over the last 3 winters we've been using touchless washes. I might even black it out if it changes
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      01-05-2012, 06:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve30dMSport View Post
I picked up the car today and it is perfect. I tend to agree with you warmtoes because it did look "oily" so it may well be the "wax".

Having said that, Graeme at Mr Gloss in Moorabin, Victoria, Australia warned me today that the auto car washes are fine on every part of the BMW EXCEPT the high gloss shadowline finish. His explanation was because the shadowline is unlike the rest of the car because it has a type of powdercoat finish which is porous and therefore the strong detergents will destroy it over time.

It is such a problem that BMW were replacing the shadowline trims under warranty. Apparently BMW are now trying to fight those warranty claims because they do not warrant against damage from car washes and now they know it is a car wash issue only.

As Mr Gloss are one of the very best in Australia and preferred by BMW, as well as being one of the very few Lamborghini preferred repairers in Australia, I will tend to take their advice. So I would watch very carefully if you have the high gloss black shadowline trim.

Now I'm off to Falls Creek and the Bogong High Plains for some serious driving roads since I've been without Black Beauty for the past 2.5 months!
Interesting considering I believe the manual specifically states that the vehicle can be safely washed in touchless automatic systems.
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      01-05-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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I've not taken my X3 through the touchless wash yet, but have done so several times with the X5 MSport that has the same shadowline trim, with no issues. Sounds like that particular wash has a high concentration of either detergent or liquid wax that left a residue.
I would recommend keeping a good coat of wax on the trim to protect it. If it does buff off, then it is most likely just a residue and not actually making a permanent change to the finish.
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      01-05-2012, 10:31 AM   #13
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The black trim on the Msport line has been discoloring for awhile now, fortunately it's fairly easy to clean.

SITUATION
The optional glossy black Shadowline exterior trim may become discolored.

CAUSE
Analysis has determined that the discoloration is due to a film deposited on the trim which distorts the light reflecting off the trim. These deposits may come from car washes, hard water, or other environmental conditions.

CORRECTION
Deposits that cause the discoloration can be easily removed by polishing with a quality swirl removing polish, such as Meguiars #9.

Note: The glossy black trim pieces are anodized, not painted, and the discoloration does not mean that the surface has been damaged. Therefore, the trim pieces should not be replaced for this complaint.

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215977
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      01-05-2012, 06:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsublime View Post
The black trim on the Msport line has been discoloring for awhile now, fortunately it's fairly easy to clean.

SITUATION
The optional glossy black Shadowline exterior trim may become discolored.

CAUSE
Analysis has determined that the discoloration is due to a film deposited on the trim which distorts the light reflecting off the trim. These deposits may come from car washes, hard water, or other environmental conditions.

CORRECTION
Deposits that cause the discoloration can be easily removed by polishing with a quality swirl removing polish, such as Meguiars #9.

Note: The glossy black trim pieces are anodized, not painted, and the discoloration does not mean that the surface has been damaged. Therefore, the trim pieces should not be replaced for this complaint.

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215977
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      01-07-2012, 07:18 AM   #15
Steve30dMSport
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsublime View Post
The black trim on the Msport line has been discoloring for awhile now, fortunately it's fairly easy to clean.

SITUATION
The optional glossy black Shadowline exterior trim may become discolored.

CAUSE
Analysis has determined that the discoloration is due to a film deposited on the trim which distorts the light reflecting off the trim. These deposits may come from car washes, hard water, or other environmental conditions.

CORRECTION
Deposits that cause the discoloration can be easily removed by polishing with a quality swirl removing polish, such as Meguiars #9.

Note: The glossy black trim pieces are anodized, not painted, and the discoloration does not mean that the surface has been damaged. Therefore, the trim pieces should not be replaced for this complaint.

http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=215977

This information is 5 years old. I'll take the advice of a professional if it's ok with you guys.
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