C. Charles Hahn > Gallery > Cars > 2005 BMW M3 (SMG) Convertible

2005 BMW M3 (SMG) Convertible

Full Interior/Exterior Detail with Opti-Coat **ENHANCED WRITE-UP INSIDE!**


The owner of this 2005 BMW M3 Convertible contacted me a couple weeks back about getting it detailed before it goes into winter hibernation. Unfortunately he does not have a garage, so the car lives outside 24×7 and as a business owner, he has little time to do a lot of maintenance. Since this car is finished in the dreaded Jet Black, these conditions have taken their toll on the car over time, in spite of the low 31,000 miles on its odometer.

As usual, we’ll start with the interior:


Just a bit of loose dirt, really nothing horrible…. except for the drivers’ seat:


Over time, the bolsters of the Cinnamon-colored leather had become caked with dirt, causing them to appear splotchy and brown. By employing Optimum Power Clean at 3:1 dilution and the “Fermani Method” of scrubbing with a toothbrush, progress was made:

Three passes with OPC were required to fully clean up the seat bolsters, and save for a patch on the side of the seat that had sustained further damage, the leather was returned to pristine condition:

The remainder of the interior was steam cleaned and then wiped down with Optimum’s Opti-Clean at 3:1 dilution, and all leather was conditioned with Zaino Z10 leather conditioner. No deep shampooing of the carpets was required, so they were just freshened up with the steamer.



With the interior out of the way, next up was the engine bay. Outdoor living along with some miles have given the engine a nice coating of grime:

Again, Optimum Power Clean was used, this time at 1:1 dilution, along with a siphon-fed compressed air cleaning gun to blast away the soiling and reveal a fresh clean result. Dressing was compliments of CD2 Engine Detailer, seen here freshly applied:

Once the engine had dried and been wiped down, restoration of a factory fresh appearance was complete:

Now, it’s time for the main event: The Exterior.


Sadly the sun wasn’t with me for most of this detail, despite it taking place over the course of four days. Still, evidence that this car is most definitely driven was apparent:


In addition, a bit of unfortunate damage had befallen the front clip, which is beyond the scope of this detail:

The car was foamed down with a combination of Optimum Power Clean and DP Xtreme Foam Formula wash in the low buck “foam lance” that came with my pressure washer:

With the car clean, clayed with Clay Magic Blue, and dried, it was brought back into the shop for inspection. Several etched areas from water spotting and bird droppings were found, along with scratches and a generally hazy appearance over much of the car, especially on the hood and trunk.


Given that this car is going to continue living outdoors for the time being, we weren’t going for a full correction; however three buffing steps were required to bring the car up to an acceptable level suitable for application of Opti-Coat to make maximize protection and minimize the further impact of environmental exposure.

Here’s a sample area showing what I had to work with:

The first pass was M105 on an MF cutting pad with the G110v2:

Next a pass with D300 on a MF cutting pad:

And finally a pass with Menzerna PO106FA (SF 4000) on a Lake Country HT Crimson:

After applying Opti-Coat to the paintwork and applicable trim, the car was moved back outside, where the beautiful matte-black aftermarket wheels were removed for cleaning and also to have the center caps replaced with “BMW” roundels for a more factory-like appearance. When they came in, they were covered in grime from the notoriously dusty factory brake pads:

Following a thorough scrub with P21S Wheel Gel, and an application of Stoner More Shine on the performance rubber, things are looking much more tidy:

What we’re left with is a much more respectable and menacing M3, ready to eat up the streets or the track:




Thanks for looking!