BMW Frozen Paint: Overview and Cleaning - DRIVE CLEAN

Uploaded by drive on 07.07.2012


LARRY KOSILLA: What's up, guys?
Larry here from AMMO.
A few weeks ago, I went to the Jacob Javits Center and the
New York Auto Show.
And I walked in the door, and the first thing that hit me in
the face was BMW's brand-new paint scheme called "frozen
paint." Now, I'm walking around the show and I'm
thinking to myself, well, how do I take care of it?
Do I use the same products, the same methods, same
techniques, all that stuff?
So what better place to visit than right here, BMW's North
American headquarters in New Jersey.
I'm hoping to get all the answers to my questions coming
up today on this episode of Drive Clean.
LARRY KOSILLA: Good to see you again.
Good to have you.
LARRY KOSILLA: I saw you at the auto show.
And the one thing I was looking are these
matte-finish paint.
So tell me a little bit more about it.
MATTHEW RUSSELL: Yeah, the frozen paints actually come
from our overall BMW design group that you're familiar
with in Munich.
This is what they did in their spare time.
All the way to the very, very top of our design group, they
put these paints on their cars.
And they test drove them.
And these paints were many years in development.
I actually brought one of the cars from the New York show
for you to see.
It's the frozen blue M3 coupe.
You're going to have a lot of fun looking at it up close,
the way the frozen paint absorbs light, the way it
shows the contours of the car.
It makes the M3, which dates back now to 2008 in its
current generation, it makes it look like an all new car
once again.
Let's go back and check them out.
MATTHEW RUSSELL: So here's the M3 from the New York show.
MATTHEW RUSSELL: You ought to recognize it.
LARRY KOSILLA: This thing looks amazing.
MATTHEW RUSSELL: So I brought the car out to you from the
New York auto show, Larry.
But I wanted to bring you to the guy that I believe is the
absolute authority on BMW paint and body repair in the
United States.
He's the only guy that I would trust on one of my cars if it
needed some real work.
So with that set up, Walter Malec, Larry.
Nice to meet you.
MATTHEW RUSSELL: I'm going to leave you in
really good hands here.
If you have more questions, let me know.
I'm around.
But this is the authority, as far as I'm concerned.
LARRY KOSILLA: I appreciate it.
WALTER MALEC: The first thing I'd like to do is
maybe take a step back.
You were discussing frozen finish with Matt
a little bit earlier.
I'd like to take you at least 15 to 20 years back in
refinish technology.
LARRY KOSILLA: I think that's a good idea.
WALTER MALEC: Single stage included the clear coat and
the color coat all mixed together in one.
So at the end of the day, that finish had to not only protect
the vehicle from outside influences like stone chips,
bird droppings, things of that nature, but it also had to
give you the color and the appearance that you were
looking as a customer.
And anybody that knows single stage remembers with a red
vehicle if you put a little bit of polish on a rag and hit
the paint a little bit, rubbed a little bit, it
came off red, right?
With a clear coat finish, which we introduced in the mid
'90s, that clear coat high gloss finish
reflects a lot of light.
That's how gloss is measured, by how much light it reflects.
So when you look at it, the appearance of-- let's say we
go to an auto shop and the cars are all polished and
waxed just perfect.
The gloss level's very high.
All car manufacturers more or less took a look at that in
the early '90s, started to develop limited vehicles with
clear coat.
And then by the mid '90s it was commonplace.
Every car, more or less, has it today.
Some of those clear coats are applied in a different manner,
some in powder form.
Some cars have powder clear coats.
Some manufacturers use that.
Some use a 2K solvent clear coat.
But at the end of the day, they all provide that hold
out, that gloss, that high level of gloss, that luster.
And customers enjoy that because it's much easier to
take care of.
You don't have to worry about rubbing through the finish.
If we take a step further and we look at vehicles today that
we're producing with the frozen finish, the gloss level
is not so high.
It can be perceived as matte or satin finish by customers.
And we actually have some additives that we put into the
clear coat that reduce the gloss level.
And when I say reduce the gloss level, it doesn't
reflect as much light.
LARRY KOSILLA: So it actually absorbs the light?
WALTER MALEC: It's absorbing the light, exactly.
LARRY KOSILLA: So the old school would be single stage.
You rub it, comes off on your hand, right?
Comes off on the towel.
Then you get the clear coat, protects it.
And you want to make extra shine, you can polish,
compound, all that stuff.
That's 99% of the cars today.
And you guys came up with the frozen paint.
So instead of it actually reflecting or bouncing off the
clear coat, it's actually absorbing it.
WALTER MALEC: A large percentage of that light is
absorbed, exactly.
To the average customer, it looks like
a lower gloss level.
But the additives that we put into the clear coat are
actually helping absorb that light.
LARRY KOSILLA: But it's just as protective?
WALTER MALEC: Absolutely meets all the same standards, yes.
So for stone chipping and corrosion resistance,
environmental fallout, things like bird droppings, tree sap,
things of that nature, yes, absolutely
meets the same standards.
LARRY KOSILLA: So I'm getting a ton of emails.
And they're all asking me, what happens when the frozen
paint gets scratched?
Or if they want to do a little touch up or they want to buff
it or polish it, what do you say?
WALTER MALEC: I'm glad that you asked.
We get those questions all the time, too.
Come over here.
I have a few props I wanted to show you and talk about a few
different strategies that we have.
People ask about, oh, I have a light minor scuff
in my frozen finish.
Can I polish it out?
So what we did here is we refinished a hood with frozen
black and cured it properly.
And then the next day, we actually put a scratch in the
outer surface.
Used a mild polishing compound and a yellow wool pad on a
rotary polishing machine.
And we basically buffed the scratch out as you would with
a traditional gloss clear coat.
And what do you notice that happened here?
LARRY KOSILLA: It's really shiny.
It looks great, but it's kind of--
WALTER MALEC: Very shiny.
And that's exactly what will happen with a frozen finish if
you try to polish anything, any type of surface
Any type of paint defect-- a scratch, a gouge, or something
like that-- can't be polished away from the surface.
LARRY KOSILLA: If I want to touch something up-- so I got
a little nick here from driving and a rock hit me.
And I want to just touch it up, what do you think?
WALTER MALEC: Touching up a frozen finish is possible,
just like any paint finish.
But I just want to clarify one thing.
When we touch up the finish on a vehicle, any vehicle,
whether it's frozen finish or not, the idea of the touch up
is to protect the substrate, so to protect the metal from
corroding, from rusting.
That's the purpose of touch up.
It also provides some cosmetic improvement, but that's really
not the goal of the touch up.
A lot of people are under the impression that a touch up is
to hide the scratch or repair the scratch.
And really, that's not the case.
The idea of a touch up is really just to prevent
corrosion from happening from underneath.
LARRY KOSILLA: So really it's about protection and then
looking good afterwards.
With that said, when we have a frozen finish, we know right
off the top if we want it perfect-- and a lot of our
customers are very picky about their finish--
if they want it perfect and we want to restore it to the
original condition, it would have to be refinished.
So in that case, we have training programs that we
offer for the dealers.
And what I wanted to do is more or less explain to you
some of the differences.
So we put together this panel.
And this is referred to as a letdown panel.
And it looks like three different colors.
Actually, it's not.
The ground color or the base coat color is the same.
And what we've done here--
I put this together just to show you some examples of how
these finishes are treated during a repair.
So what a painter would have to do is mix up the repair
material and spray it.
And what we've done here is we've mixed the frozen clear
with slow hardener and slow thinner.
It's a two-component product.
So we have to activate it.
So slow hardener, slow thinner, and apply it.
We've baked it, let it dry.
And then here what we did was use normal
hardener, normal thinner.
Same exact temperature, same exact ground coat, just
different hardener selection.
And notice what's happening here.
The gloss level is increasing, right?
LARRY KOSILLA: Of course, yeah.
This one's even more.
What we're talking about here is temperature range, hardener
selection, application methods.
If you were to spray one of these panels and I were to
spray one with the same temperature, same guns, we may
get two different results.
So it's very critical for a painter to create one of these
letdown panels.
So when he goes to the vehicle, he can match it up.
And he knows what hardener selection, what fluid tip size
he used, and what temperature range it was
when he applied it.
So he can match it to that finish, so he knows exactly
how to do the repair.
And this isn't new to painters out
there in the body industry.
With many tri-coats and pearls,
this is common practice.
So we have to do the same application process evaluation
prior to actually doing the repair.
So it's time consuming.
Takes a little preparation prior to
refinishing the vehicle.
The key message is this-- that if a customer has damage to
the frozen finish, it's important to have a trained
technician repair their frozen finish.
In fact, why don't we take a walk over to the paint shop?
And I'll show you an application
of that frozen finish.
LARRY KOSILLA: Let's check it out.
So what's going on in here?
WALTER MALEC: This is our paint training center.
So right now, Jose is over there prepping a few panels,
getting ready for our advanced color system training that
we'll have this week.
Actually starts tomorrow, so he's getting a lot of the
things ready.
A lot of what we do is right in here in the
paint mixing room.
Well, this is our paint mixing system.
And we have two retrieval systems in here, so we can
conduct a paint training class at any given time and run two
classes simultaneously.
But we can mix paint for any vehicle as long as there's a
formula for it, not just BMW vehicles.

LARRY KOSILLA: I'm ready to do this.
LARRY KOSILLA: I geeked out and got to paint my first
frozen hood.
But I'm a detail guy, so let's get out there
and clean that M3.
Now, in the first episode, we talked about how to wash a
car, and specifically the Audi R8 Blackbird.
And as I suspected, I got a ton of emails about
matte-finish paints.
Although the wash techniques are somewhat similar, there
are a few major differences we need to cover before we move
on to the other detailing tricks covered in
the upcoming episodes.
To start off, I'm pretreating the grill and the front bumper
with a citrus bug remover to loosen embedded insects.
Let it sit for a minute or two, then begin
the paint wash process.
The reason it's good to presoak bugs is that you can't
be too aggressive with the paint.
Think about it.
Any extra rubbing or increased pressure can cause the finish
to flatten out and increase its light reflection,
obviously defeating the purpose of the frozen paint
and its light-absorbing qualities.
Next, heavily rinse the paint, top to bottom as always.
Notice I'm standing on water grates that catch runoff water
and dispose of it properly.
Be sure to check your local town regulations about this
runoff water.
Personally, I'd rather have a dirty car than
dirty drinking water.
So be heads-up on that.
Now that the majority of the dirt is rinsed off, use the
two-bucket method with or without the foam gun.
As always, work in straight lines top to bottom.
But remember, don't use a hard sponge here.
It's not only more likely to scratch the paint, but to ruin
your matte finish.
Because if you scratch the paint, you can't polish or
compound it out.
When you're done, rinse the soap off and dry with
compressed air, a spin around the block, or a
gentle drying towel.
Then you're good to go.
Remember these tips.
Don't buff, polish, compound, or use any abrasive products
on the finish.
These products create a reflective surface by leveling
the clear coat until it's flat and smooth,
acting like a mirror.
Likewise, avoid waxes, glazes, sealants, or any product with
silicones or what we call fillers.
All these products are designed to add depth and
shine because they fill up the imperfections in the paint to
create a flat reflective surface, defeating the purpose
of having matte-finish paint.
This BMW M3 with the frozen paint package
is obviously gorgeous.
And today we learned about what frozen paint is, what do
you do when it gets scratched, and of course, how to properly
clean and maintain it.
But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter whether
you have frozen paint or regular paint.
The purpose of these cars is to get out and drive them.
That's it for me, guys.
Thanks for watching Drive Clean right here
on the Drive Channel.