WoodlandHills
Posts: 751
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: SoCal

Paint quality: Orange peel?

Thu Nov 06, 2014 12:23 pm

While washing my i3 today I noticed that there really seems to be quite a variation in the quality of paint on the various parts. The color is all uniform, but the orange peel is quite pronounced on all panels. Not only that, but the uneven surface varies from part to part, it is very obvious when comparing the clarity of reflections between the fenders and the charging and fuel flaps. My smart has painted plastic panels too, but they are painted by much better robots and there is nearly no orange peel in the surface. The same with our old Infiniti: much smoother paint surface.

I really like this car, but once the novelty wears off and you begin to look at it like any other car, there really are some quality and build issues. Just like any new car introduction...... This is our first BMW since I had a 2002 back in the '70s and they seem to be a bit of a let down. Not sure if it is unrealistic expectations from owning several MB cars or just the nature of 2014 cars in general. Part of my feeling is caused by software issues that keep me from using features as promised such a slow and glitchy Bluetooth, the entire Guess-o-Meter display, the buggy iRemote, etc. but given how automated our cars have become software is just as or even more important than hardware.

The cheesy robot sprayed paint is not the end of the world, but kinda sucks on a $55k car.....
Clipper Creek HCS-40P 32a EVSE
2014 REx Arravani Grey Giga all options
2008 Infiniti EX35
2008 smart ForTwo Cabriolet
2000 F-250 Powerstroke
2006 Westfield eleven
1984 Laverda RGS-1000

jackt
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 4:57 am
Location: Leeds, Yorkshire, UK

Re: Paint quality: Orange peel?

Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:02 pm

Welcome to the trough of disillusionment :p http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle

I would raise it with your dealer, and get them to send some photos back to HQ - you might not get the answer your want...but its better to make BMW aware otherwise stuff never gets fixed.

Without pictures its hard to say, but there was areas of mine that had been badly washed and waxed pre-delivery that made the paint work look a bit off. As I am sad and have way too much time I spent some time giving it a good wash and clean and now all is looking ace.
i3 Rex - 25 July 14 - ( Standard Interior -Arravani Grey, Pro Nav + Enhanced BT, HK Audio, Park Assist, Winter Pack )
Outlander PHEV GX4HS - 1 Sept 14

elptex
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue May 06, 2014 1:44 am
Location: Henley On Thames UK

Re: Paint quality: Orange peel?

Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:04 pm

Just ran out to check on my car and the paint finish is super smooth.
Avg ~72 mile/charge over ~9k miles

mindmachine
Posts: 501
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Paint quality: Orange peel?

Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:30 pm

elptex wrote:Just ran out to check on my car and the paint finish is super smooth.


Plus 1!

Merax
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:24 am
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Paint quality: Orange peel?

Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:48 pm

Mine has orange peel. I also follow Corvettes and it's a common complaint there too.

My understanding is that almost any paint job that isn't given many hours of personal wet-sanding attention (like the exotics) will exhibit orange peel to some extent. Composite panels may be more prone to it than metal panels because they can't use an electric charge to help lay down the paint evenly.

HomelessDude
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:18 pm
Location: Sunny Arizona

Re: Paint quality: Orange peel?

Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:29 pm

noticed the Orange on all of the i3's I looked at. I'm sure Merax is correct about the challenge painting composite body work represents. I polished mine with a orange peel pad, it's less noticeable maybe 50% but I didn't work the paint as hard as I could have not wanting to remove too much clear coat.
Last edited by HomelessDude on Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2014 BMW i3 REX Rollin on 20's
1991 Mercedes 420SEL

WoodlandHills
Posts: 751
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:50 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Paint quality: Orange peel?

Thu Nov 06, 2014 4:58 pm

Merax, that's a good point about plastic panels and static charges, hadn't occured to me. Thanks.
Clipper Creek HCS-40P 32a EVSE
2014 REx Arravani Grey Giga all options
2008 Infiniti EX35
2008 smart ForTwo Cabriolet
2000 F-250 Powerstroke
2006 Westfield eleven
1984 Laverda RGS-1000

DeafSoundGuy
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:35 am
Location: Portland ORYGUN

Re: Paint quality: Orange peel?

Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:24 pm

I'm kinda surprised more i3 owners haven't piped up about this.

Anyhow, I was thinking about it and just checked my finish. It's awesome, No detectable orange peel unless maybe I get out the really strong glasses :geek: . Maybe it's a bad luck or paint color issue, or both. I have Laurel Gray. I'd be curious to know if your black bonnet is showing the same signs, or different.

parkerbomar
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 5:12 pm

Re: Paint quality: Orange peel?

Tue Nov 11, 2014 5:35 am

The movement by car companies to a Water based paint system to prevent rust did not help either. it left paint with a lower quality. just look at cars from the early 90's compared to the paint on cars now.

hpeet79
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:27 am
Location: the Netherlands

Re: Paint quality: Orange peel?

Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:47 am

This is orange peel indeed, my Laurel grey i3 also has "orange peel", it is even worse on the door panels because BMW has painted my door panels (because of dents) again. Anyway, all BMW's have orange peel, on plastic parts it is even worse. Even my 2004 645ci S has orange peel, also worse on the plastic parts (but not so bad as the i3). Maybe a good car cleaner can sand it away... But i'm not sure about it with the i3.
2013 BMW i3 REx Laurus Grey
2004 BMW 645ci

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