This 2004 BMW 3 Series Coupe from the E46 era sat for about four years collecting dust before getting a much-needed rejuvenation from a professional detailer. Although it’s not an M3, we’d argue this is still a desirable car since we’re dealing with a 325Ci with an inline-six engine hooked up to a six-speed manual gearbox. It has seen better days, but nothing a full detail and polish can’t fix.
The first order of business was to thoroughly clean the wheels and tires before working on the body and the nasty wheel wells. Having sat for so many years, the rear-wheel-drive sports coupe had accumulated a lot of dirt. The engine bay where the naturally aspirated “M54” calls home also received the attention it desperately deserved after being dormant for an extended amount of time.
Using a paint thickness gauge, the pro detailer was pleased to find out the car still had its original paint and proceeded to identify the defects. Being a 3er manufactured nearly three decades ago, this right-hand-drive 325Ci had its fair share of imperfections that had to be ironed out. Swirl marks and scratches in the lower half of the body were quite an issue and required a lengthy two-stage polish to buff out.
Most body panels were polished, except for the roof because the paint thickness gauge revealed the paint coat was thin in that area. In addition, rust in the rear pillar on the driver’s side prevented the detailer from freshening up the paint. The foggy headlights were also polished and they now look nearly as good as new.
The last step was to apply a sealant to protect the freshly cleaned and polished body from the elements. It took about two weeks to finish the project, but only because the detailer had to work on other cars during this time. Even though the E46 Coupe is still not in perfect condition, it looks significantly better after Sam’s Detailing worked its magic on the neglected 325Ci.
Source: Sams Detailing UK / YouTube