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Man in the know!
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Discussion Starter #1
I was going down the motorway the other day, and some car flicked up a stone and it hit the window. I thought no more of it, small chip in the windscreen - nothing to worry about.

Then after washing my car, i noticed some stone chips on the bonnet, as the stone had rolled up the bonnet to hit the screen:



I am a little concerned that such a small stone can go through to the white coat underneath.
Has anyone else had similar problems??
Should i complain to the dealership/BMW.

I think there should be a thicker layer/s of paint on a car than this.
 

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If you only have one chip so far I don't think that you can blame poor paint quality. Even the glass couldn't take the impact despite the cushioning of the impact by the bonnet.

If after 10000 miles the front of your car looks like it was shot at by a 12-bore then you will have a case. Many Fiat Coupes that are under 3 years old have had to have a complete respray. Some owners have succesfully claimed against their local highways authority when the resurfacing chippings have become unstuck and damaged their cars paint-work. The fault though lies as much with the paint quality as with the road.

Thickness of paint is not the sole issue. Quality of adhesion and hardness is. Paint that is too thick can chip even worse, leaving larger craters.

If you do a lot of high speed motoring on busy motorways then stone chippng is to be expected. If you just drive around town then it is not. You will just have to compare the chipping rate that you had with your previous cars to that of the MINI to get a fair comparison.

If you really think the paint isn't upto scratch, then you could ask the dealer to inspect the paint by checking the paint thickness with a meter. Paint thickness must be within certain thickness tolerances set by BMW.

As far as repair is concerned, I would give places like Chips Away or similar a try. I think they charge about £50 a panel to bring it back to new. You could go the DIY route with a touch up kit if you are good at it, but its hard enough to get a good result with non-metallic. Best bet is to ask your dealer. He may even do the job for you for free or at a reduced cost. Like everything else in Life, if you have the time, then it pays to shop around.
 

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Man in the know!
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply Apial.

I will go over to the dealers tomorrow and ask them to have a look at it.
Compared to my last car (Fiesta Si) the Coopers paint does appear to be thinner.

If the dealer doesnt want to know, i will buy the touch up pens whilst i'm there. I am fairly good on paint touch ups, a skill learnt after my Fiesta was 'keyed' down the passenger side.

I will let you know how i get on.

S
 

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The chip has not necessarily gone through to the
undercoat, or even the base colour layer.

All MINIS, including the solid colours are clear coated
(laquered). This clear top coat, when grazed will appear to be white, much the same effect if you were to scrach some clear perspex, or etch you registration number onto your windows. As Apial said, a profesional will be able to repair this quite easily.
 

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Addicted to Speed!!
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The dark blue Mondeo ST24 I had before the MINI looked like it had been shot with a shotgun after 13000 miles on the front skirting! I took it back to the dealers but Ford wouldn't do anything, saying the paint was OK. They told me to slow down on the motorways! I had it re-painted and the re-paint was twice as thick as the original. Only one or two chips when I sold it after 32000 miles. This experience put me off buying a dark blue car again. I do like the colour but it shows scratches to easily, especially when they use a white base coat???. Thats why my MINI's silver! (I've also got a couple of marks on my bonnet but you can hardly see them).
The MINI's paint seems twice as thick as the Fords!
Also the water based paints they have to use these days (because of emissions when spraying) is no where near as hard wearing as the old two-pack or cellulose paints used to be! (I used to work in the automotive trade).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well the paint/bodyshop specialist didn't want to know. He said the lacquer used on the MINI is pretty tough, so it must have been a large stone that hit it. As Apial pointed out, this is probably true as it damaged the screen aswell.

I have put a call into ChipsAway, I will let you know how good the job is!

I didn't fancy going the touch up pen route, as i have not long had the car, i dont want it to look bodged for the next few years of ownership.

S
 
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