When the BMW name is mentioned it more often than not creates an image of businessmen hurling up and down the motorways or of a sports saloon that dominates the market in terms of smiles-per-gallon. The manufacture has created some of the best sports saloons to this day; M3, M4, M5 and the more recently released 1M just to name a few. All of which have theirown charm, sharp lines and dripping with such materials as carbon fiber, aluminium and other composites all in the name to save weight. Sadly though, the 'M Series' may not be suited to everyone for various reasons. Whether it be the extra price tags, fuel economy or general practicality sometimes the 'M' cars just aren't viable. So what do you do? What's the next best thing? How about an M135i, still featuring the legendary M Division badge whilst being a more civilized animal.
This M135i hatch was brought in for a very well needed enhancement after previously being poorly machine polished and being covered in holograms and buffer trails. Further into the detail you will see why it is extremely crutial that the people you trust to carry out any polishing work on your vehicle must be properly trained and skilled to carry out the job safely. Anyway, more about that later, lets crack on with the detail..
The cars registration plates were removed to allow access of the grime behind. The lower panels and bug splattered front were then sprayed with a dilution of citrus pre-wash and it was left to work whilst the wheels were taken care of. Sprayed with a non-corrosive wheel cleaner and agitated with an assortment of non-scratching wheel brushes, the wheels were cleaned free of any brake dusting. Long reach wheel woolies were used, allowing access to the rear barrels and also behind the spokes and callipers even with the wheels still fixed to the car. Arches were sprayed with a mild dilution of APC and agitated with a long reach brush. The wheel and arch were then thoroughly rinsed.
The car was then covered in a layer of foam pre-wash and left to dwell for 3-4mins whilst the badges, body gaps, grills etc were agitates with a 1" long bristle boar’s hair brush. The whole car was then pressure rinsed before moving onto the bucket wash. A two bucket method with a grit guard in each bucket accompanied a high quality synthetic wash mitt and pH neutral shampoo solution. Thoroughly washed down of any dirt and grime, the car was then rinsed once again before any tar spotting was removed from the vehicle using a specialist cleanser. Any treated areas were then thoroughly rinsed again.
The car was then partially dried down using a drying towel to allow the fallout remover to gain maximum contact with the panels in order to work most efficiently. This was left to dwell on the surface for 6-7mins whilst the wheels received a second clean with the same product. Any ferrous particles present would turn a deep purple once the chemical reactions had occurred.
The car received another rinse paying extra attention to water traps and body gaps before a surface prep towel removed any remaining contaminants to complete the 3stage decontamination process.
The car was then brought into the unit and dried down using a combination of warm filtered air and drying towels. Any delicates such as badges and rubbers were taped up to prevent the polisher from staining or damaging them. An inspection under artificial lighting was carried out to see any large areas of damage; a paint thickness gauge was used to highlight any thin areas from previous polishing attempts. Under inspection, a deeper scratch that had appeared to have been (or attempted to) touched up and flatted back resulting in a small area of terminal damage (strike through). This area would have to be taken with extreme precaution during the polishing due to its low 81micron reading.
The car was polishing using a 2 stage process to remove as much swirling and previously inflicted damage as possible without compromising any more of the vehicles paint. An assortment of polishes and pads were selected to achieve the desired finish making sure to IPA wipe the panel after each section. Any re-polishing necessary would be carried out before moving onto the next section and once again IPA wiped for residues and oils. The area surrounding the break through luckily was only damaged in terms of buffer trails, meaning that the areas only needed a single pass with a finishing polish and finishing pad (very low cutting). This allowed the gloss and clarity to be restored without further damaging the panel. If any RDS had been present they may not have been workable due to the above issue.
Once all polishing was completed, the car was then IPA buffed free of any remaining finishing polishes and it was time to move onto the waxing. The customer asked for the premium wax upgrade in the name of Auto Finesse Desire. Two coats were applied to the car thinly, allowing a minimum of one hour between the removal of the first coat and the application of the second. A plush pile microfiber was used to remove the wax once cured leaving a streak free glossy finish.
All glass was cleaned free of polishing dust, hand prints and general dirt whilst the window rubbers were dressed and protected with Gtechniq T1 Tyre&Trim. Intricate trims such as honeycomb grills were dressed with Auto Finesse Dressle along with the arch liners. The wheels were then wiped free of polishing dust using a quick detailer before the tyres were Dressed to an 'as new' finish using T1 Tyre&Trim also.
The interior was thoroughly vacuumed of loos dirt and debris on all surfaces including dashboard, carpets and seats. The owner asked for minimum chemical usage on the interior due to him having children in the car often, so the only two products used on the interior were glass polish to remove finger prints and a diluted mix of non-scented, non-staining dressing that was applied by spraying onto the microfiber.
With the detail now completed, time to sit back and take in the stunning appearance of this hot M135i hatch..