A Sickening Sound

This week has been a very stressful week for me as my pride and joy has had to go and get some serious repairs. During this Covid lockdown like many of us we are finding things to do and pamper our cars. I have been no exception to that of course, with a LED upgrades going on, carb spacer swap out all of which I have to post about and will be coming soon. But this update jumps the queue. I said when I was restoring my car I would post about the good, bad and everything else. This is one of those gone wrong posts. Mustang Maniac may cover my story this weekend as well, to help each other out we have swapped some photos between us. 👍

Background is that I had a mini project to replace a carburetor spacer from the old metal 1″ style to the new phenolic spacer. This meant that I ‘had’ to test drive the car t make sure all was OK, while on my way to take some exercise of course. During the shortish journey of ten miles round trip or so the car started to make a whine noise, almost like a super charger. This annoying noise was coming from the gearbox area. The car started to make a significant thud when selecting reverse or drive gears from park or neutral. I called Adam at Mustang Maniac to explain what was going on. He listened to my explanation and said that he would open a slot for me at their yard.

I drove down on the Monday morning very gently I might add and the whine was getting worse. I knew something was wrong and hoped it was an adjustment somewhere. When I arrived and was greeted by Adam and Yogi, both said to put it straight onto ramps when they heard it. Within a couple of minutes Yogi had listened, diagnosed the problem and said gearbox was trashing itself, and probably the torque converter too. This was bad, real bad. The decision was made to drop the gearbox out to investigate after the dipstick for the gearbox was checked and was covered in foam.

The oil was drained out and the proper dark red colour was a foaming mess of pink slop.

While the “liquid gold” as Adam calls it, was draining out the prop was removed, the speedo cable, handbrake cables, and the exhaust split from the headers.

A conversation was had with Adam and I was given the option of what gearbox I would like and he went of to get it from his secret stock. The sound of expensive parts arriving in the trolley was sad sound to hear. Adam returning with the parts.

Yogi and Stuart jacked up the gearbox lift up to the gearbox to support the weight while it was lowered out.

These C4 gearboxes were clever for their time in the fact that they had cooling pipes that ran from the gearbox, up to the front of the car, which were then in turn connected to the bottom of the radiator. The pipes in the bottom section of the radiator shares the cooling with the engine block’s coolant. The cooled oil returns back to the gearbox ready to reapeat the process. The cooling pipes have their own entry and exit fittings to the radiator. It was here that the problem was caused; the internal loop of pipe within the radiator had failed somewhere. The water pressure from the radiator had forced water into the oil cooler channels because the gearbox oil is under less pressure than the engine’s coolant.

With the gearbox down on the floor the investigation could begin. Yogi had an airline on the cooling pipes which were still on the car, with a jet of air the water was expelled at a high pressure, confirmed water (and anti-freeze) was in the gearbox.

The bottom of the C4 gearbox has a removable pan that allows access to a serviceable filter to protect the delicate interior. The filter had done its job and stopped all sorts of debris and was getting near to clogged. The gearbox tension bands, seals metal on metal parts had indeed started to disintegrate. By feeling the gunge on the filter there was some swarf or tiny metal particles. Yogi was right, the gearbox was starting to eat itself, and it was very hungry.

The torque converter was removed and checked, draining the contents more swarf was found inside. With the oil pan emptied more traces of fine swarf were found at the bottom. The expense was starting to ramp up.

The water had in effect contaminated the oil and strated to break the oil’s properties down and failed to lubricate the gearbox along with the torque converter, thus unable to keep it all cool. The end result was the bands were slipping in the gearbox and the engine coolant had caused the gearbox to overheat. I was told I was a lucky boy as it could of just let go, dumping the contents of the gearbox on the side of the road leaving me stranded. The radiator was low and topping it up gave us an idea of how much water had got unto the gearbox. The top up was almost one liter.

The new gearbox was a genuine 1966 date coded C4 green dot fully rebuilt gearbox. This was a rare part, let alone to have a choice of them straight out of stock.

The new torque converter was screwed into the bell housing and the careful alignment to refit back into place. The gearbox was lifted up into place and little magic the gearbox was roughly in place.

With the gearbox now bolted into place, the finely tuned machine that is Mustang Maniac had a gearbox out and back in place within a day. Yogi was pleased with the day’s work, it was time for me to go home and leave my very poorly car on ramps for the night.

The next day I was back at the yard in the afternoon. Yogi had completed the rest of the refit and and all was back in place.

The next problem was the radiator the proximate cause of the problem. Again Adam asked me what style, cooling performance and look that I wanted. I went for the upgraded three row (which I already had) from the standard factory two row, with the OEM stock look. The expenses were ramping up even more.

Yogi pressure tested the old radiator and it had indeed failed in the oil cooler loop. A rare failure by all accounts that had catastrophic consequences on the gearbox. Why it failed we can’t be sure, perhaps a failed weld, or rusted out or crack? Without cutting the radiator open we won’t know.

The engine block had to be drained and flushed before the new radiator could be fitted and more fluids replaced.

The rest of the plumbing was reconnected and filled up. The car fired up and the gearbox whine was gone. Selecting a gear; there was no thud and the engine didn’t stall out.

The engine idle on the carb had to be reset and a road test. The was a little more dark art of carburettor fettling going on after the road test, the tuned ear of Yogi jumping from one screw adjustment to another and back again.

My drive home was a different car altogether, it was again effortless and a joy to drive. The joy of owning a classic car can be bitter sweet. I have had some wonderful sweet treats, and then this week the very bitter pill of a transmission failure. There you have it, a very big downer for me with things not going to plan. I was lucky that I got to Mustang Maniac how and when I did. Keeping it quiet is not what it’s about for me, this blog shows the good with the bad.

A huge “Thank You” to all at Mustang Maniac.

I have some mini projects coming up and detailing product reviews too, I will be posting them soon. But, first I have an excuse to clean the car engine bay again as it got a bit grubby after all the work being done on it. Many wouldn’t notice anything to be honest, as it was cleaned up pretty well. But I’m just pleased my little lady is back home and I again can pamper her and give her a nice clean up. I’m lucky to own a classic Mustang so I can’t complain. I don’t thrash my car so perhaps that helped me in getting down to the yard without a breakdown. If you own a classic car these things can happen, but not to often I hope!

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Big Name Wax vs Luxury Hand Blended Wax

During this lockdown I have been asked a number of questions about car detailing, which surprised me a little as everything I know is self taught, trial and error, research with an empty wallet as a result. I love detailing the Mustang so the questions are a pleasure if i know the answer. These questions are probably being asked because like me they can’t get to car shows, so they clean their cherished vehicles instead. I had been working on a little something a while ago and decided to finish it off for todays little article.

So what is the question that is often asked, but never really answered; is there a difference between big name brands and the much more expensive luxury hand poured waxes?

Just quickly before I answer the questions; a little while ago I had done a comparison test of ten products from the top manufacturers to find out what is the best. The results were not quite what I expected to be honest. You can read my comparison test here.

Top Branded Waxes Side by Side Showdown

Or watch the full video review here.

This article will not be a repeat of that testing, but more of an explanation why some waxes cost more than others due to their ingredients, performance, processes and of course that all important name on the tin, bottle, spray pot or what ever you bought. There’s even an amount of snobbery if should be so bold to say that.

I must state that trying to find out exactly what’s inside the products from anybody is a closely guarded secret, for obvious reasons. Although I will not be mentioning brand names, as in who has what in which product, the following information is from various sources that I have managed to find out about and collate myself with phone calls and research. I may not be 100% accurate, but it all makes perfect sense in a bigger picture.

Firstly a little about the main product used for car waxes; Carnauba.

Most car products contain some sort of carnauba percentage within their products, unless it’s fully synthetic of course.

Carnauba is also known as Brazilian wax and palm wax. Carnauba is a wax from the leaves of the palm Copernicia prunifera, a plant native to and only grown in the north eastern Brazilian states of Piauí, Ceará, Maranhão, Bahia, and Rio Grande do Norte.

Carnauba is also known as the “queen of waxes” when in its pure state it usually comes in the form of hard yellow-brown flakes.

See the source image

The wax is obtained from the leaves of the carnauba palm by collecting and drying them, beating them to loosen the wax, then refining and bleaching the wax. It’s also used as a food additive, its ‘E’ number is E903.

Fact 1: Did you know that raw Carnauba can be harder than concreate.

Fact 2: Carnauba is used in many other products such as; candy (yes you can eat it, but the body can’t digest it), medication coatings to aid swallowing, dental floss, hair crème, leather to aid in waterproofness and is also used in explosives like TNT. For the ladies carnauba is used in many cosmetics formulas where it is used in eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, foundation, deodorant, soap, to thicken lipstick, various skin care preparations, sun care preparations, etc. It is also used to make cutler’s resin and adhesive.

Fact 3: Carnauba wax is sold in several grades, labelled as; T1, T3, and T4, depending on the purity level. Purification is accomplished by filtration, centrifugation, and bleaching or not as the case may be.

Fact 4: It is practically insoluble in water, soluble by heating in ethyl acetate and in xylene, and practically insoluble in ethyl alcohol. (More on this as a percentage in the base carrier notes later.)

Fact 5: Carnauba’s Melting point is 82–86 °C (180–187 °F), among the highest of the natural waxes, considerably higher than beeswax which is 62–64 °C.

Fact 6: There is no synthetic equivalent for carnauba.

So to have a product based on say half carnauba, it would be incredibly hard to apply. Carnauba needs to be reapplied due to the natural product. The synthetic wax products have a longevity advantage and will adhere to the surface better, due to the chemicals designed just for that job. In fact it would be virtually impossible to have 100% carnauba product.

Big Brand Shop Wax.

Most of these products are price based and to keep the cost down there is one main ‘base’ ingredient. This carrier (base) is petroleum based usually Kerosene or paraffin or a combination of both. (I will just call it kerosene from now on). Other chemicals are added to the ‘base carrier’ in order to make it pliable, UV protecting agents, spreadable and even maintain a shelf life. Ever noticed that old wax tend to dry out and crack? The quickest way to tell the product is kerosene based is the smell. Some have that quite distinctive petroleum based smell, but most of the time that potent smell of paraffin, kerosene or aviation fuel or heating oils, an additive is used to disguise that base smell and make the fragrance much more appealing to the user, such as vanilla, apples, mint, roses, coffee or chocolate etc. What ever works best for various manufacturers. Often the fragrances are used to sell the product, but in actual fact the artificial fragrance is a disguise. How’s that for marketing?

Percentages of the product;

Most of the time base carrier tends to be around 70% (maybe more maybe less), and the rest made up with the actual performing ingredients for the product. For the majority of time the remaining 30% can be made up of Carnauba, beeswax, silicon, acrylic additives, cleaners etc. Now this is where things go a little bit fuzzy and grey areas appear should we say. The remaining 30% could be made up of 50% carnauba. Now that carnauba 50% is of the remaining 30% which will leave a remaining 15% for other additives which I will get to in a moment. The label stating that it has 50% or 54% Carnauba and so on for the carnauba content is not necessarily 50% of the total product by volume! In other words a 200g tin of product is not necessarily 100g of carnauba. But, this is open to interpretation should we say. What is the “50%” actually of within the product? Is that 50% of the total of waxes used with the other 50% being beeswax for example?

The remaining percentages can be beeswax, or silicon or microscopic aluminium particles for cleaner pastes, colourings, fragrances etc. Messing around with the mixture’s formula will obviously give different properties and products. The remaining percentage apart from the ‘base’ could then be made into a synthetic formula if no carnauba is used, replaced with the silicon content which could be increased, dyes for the wax, maybe fillers to hide minor swirl marks.

To make the liquid version of the product (see ‘Fact 4’ above), the base needs to be blended with other chemicals to make it pourable as you would expect. The original 70% may now be 40% / 30% mix of kerosene / ethyl acetate for example, or what ever the formula mixture requires. However, the carnauba content will still be the same as in the paste equivalent to keep the product performance the same. In fact Meguiar’s told me there is “no difference between their wax paste and liquid variation of the same product”. By pure definition there may not be a difference with the product ingredients formula as such, but the base carrier has to be different as one is a paste and the other is a liquid or crème as they prefer to call it.

Application;

The application from a tin is fine application to spread thinly. The main reason being the chance for the base to evaporate and leave the product behind on the paint to do its job. This evaporation is also known as the “flash point”. The flash point could be speeded up or slowed down depending on the requirements of the product. The haze or white misting of the product is what is left after the evaporation or flash point. In order to check the product has ‘cured’, or ready for buffing is the wipe of a finger across the product technique. If nothing is left behind then the product can be buffed to a shine removing the haze which in turn leaves the carnauba behind, which will leave behind the gloss shine you want.

Have you noticed that if you apply heavy layers of wax onto the paint it becomes a nightmare to remove it? This is due to the fact the base is unable to evaporate properly and you end up pushing around the base kerosene with the buffing cloth which will cause drag on the cloth. The principle is simple; the smoother and even layer the product can be applied, the better light will reflect from the paint surface, giving a better finish, impression of depth and overall clean look.

Synthetic blends.

These are predominantly more silicon based still using the carrier base which also gives a great shine and various additives to make the product bond to the paint. There is also a growing trend to use ceramic hybrids which provide exceptional hydrophobic properties and some nice gloss. The principles are the same for the base carrier, but obviously the formulas are heavily altered to make sure the ceramic, silicones and base carriers all stick together. Notice how you have to shake the product as they separate out when left standing?

Price;

The cost of the base carrier is much more affordable than the high end products (which I will get into later). The variations of the remaining product such as scent, carnauba content, colourings, fillers, cleaning agents, gloss enhancers, silicon etc. will all determine the cost of the raw materials. I am not including the marketing or the R & D in this, just the basic ingredient costs.

The better the quality of carnauba T1 or T3 etc. has the overall bearing on the costs.

Premium Waxes

These products can vary in costs wildly, from a reasonable £50 to £1,000 and more. The main difference here is that these products are naturally occurring oils base. The carrier base oil maybe something like melon oil or a coconut oil, maybe a mixture of both. Here is a view of natural Kalahari melon oil in the top picture and raw coconut oil in the picture below.

See the source image
Is Coconut Oil Good or Bad for You? - The New York Times

The remaining ingredients are then mixed into the base oil product for its desired results, gloss, filler, longevity etc. The most basic of base blend carrier of a premium ‘wax’ can be made from three base oils. The more complex blends having a formula of around twenty to thirty five ingredients.

To find out what’s in these products is very difficult due to the secrecy involved. However, I have it on good authority that these premium hand blended car waxes also have a lot in common with the beauty industry as well.

Carnauba has a naturally sweet smell, and it can be said that candy and carnauba smell similar.

Application:

You will notice immediately when you open these products that they feel very different. The wax feels greasy as you would expect from an oil and they smell very different. Very little fragrance is used unless a particular oil doesn’t smell to good, but could be great for reflection or a filler for example. Some oils when blended can thicken the formula and add shelf life or natural UV filters.

Again application is very much ‘little and often’, the more purest of waxes are almost clear on application and can only really be seen when the light catches the applied product on the surface of the panel. It’s sometimes recommended to use these waxes when they are warmed up slightly in the sun for a little while, which will allow softening of the wax and oils to aid in ease of application. These premium waxes can feel like spreading a soft butter with very little effort. The main difference between these natural products and petroleum based product is the ‘flash point’. The premium waxes and oils as such don’t tend to evaporate leaving the product behind in a haze. In fact the applied product is the majority of the product you buff to a shine. Again carnauba can be treated, reduced, added to or thinned out maybe, whatever the specification for the product needs to do in order to achieve the consistency and required formulas. I have been told (from my very reliable source), that there are better oil combinations for gloss than just carnauba alone. The down side is they are extremely difficult to harvest and cultivate and a single fluid ounce can be extremely expensive, much more than any precious metal comparison.

The flash point of the premium waxes could by design be a little carrier evaporation. So in theory, the longer these premium waxes are left on the car to ‘cure’ and bond to the paint, the more time they have to settle into the microscopic pits and troughs to form a smooth even barrier. It’s recommended to leave these premium waxes to cure for at least an hour. If you can apply in the morning and remove in the evening that would be ideal, or even overnight. However this may not be ideal depending on atmospheric conditions with dust and pollen flying around.

Percentages:

The carnauba used for the hand blended product tends to be the top percentage of the T1 classification for raw carnauba. filtering and decontamination is the highest priority as is the quality control. As I mentioned above the product you apply is the product that is applied to the paint, as there is very little if any flash point. So if for argument sake it is noted that the carnauba content is 30%, that is still potentially double that of the shop brands by volume in the example I gave above. Other ingredients could be added to make the oils last longer on the paintwork, hydrophobic properties, gloss, wetness, warmth of colour, or the other way around to make the exceptional gloss for car shows, but it may not last very long. So a balance is often dialled into the mix for the blend depending on the market it’s aimed at.

Some small fragrances like Jasmin can be used, just for the user’s experience or perhaps just to add a bespoke brand product fragrance.

For something extra during a hand blend there is the option to add some random ingredients such as gold or silver particles to give that glittery look. Some additives are used which can enhance the metallic fleck in paintwork.

Price:

The raw materials being a natural product, and only found or created in very small quantities drive the cost of these products. Some of the ingredients are very rare and sometimes unavailable for what ever reason maybe seasonal etc. The oils used tend to be super filtered and again the best of the best purest oils used.

Due to the availability and quantities of a number of the ingredients, some hand blenders make extremely limited batches or bespoke “pours” to order. In fact some of these top branded waxes are only made in a single 200g batch per year.

Additional points for waxes:

No mater what you choose the waxes are better when they are layered. This is especially true for the premium hand blended waxes, but the whole process of layering a premium wax and curing can take a long time for the reasons I mentioned above.

If you have a great quality paint job, and use the cheaper market brands the wax could in fact reduce the gloss refraction of your paint. Just as you can’t make rubbish paintwork glow with premium wax, but you will protect it.

So the fact of the matter is that most of the time, off the shelf or big name brand products are more than capable of doing their intended job. A great shine and longevity to protect the paint finish and there isn’t much to choose between them as I found out.

However, if you want to use the best of the best it’s all in the prep work. Cleaning, decontamination, correction, sealer and then the wax, then a couple more wax layers to get the very best results. Big name products tend to do most of the hard work for you, especially the cleaner waxes or the all in one products from multiple suppliers.

When paying big money for a top quality hand blended product, you may be disappointed if you don’t put in the prep work and blame the wax, it about the time and effort to get the rewards.

Is there a difference apart form the obvious price banding? Well yes, I have noticed the difference after a single application of a hand blend. The cost is the downside, but the results are visible and from my point of view, the money is worth it. I enjoy the whole car detailing thing so I want results from my products I use.

Conclusion:

For a daily run around, then big name products are perfectly acceptable. Even some hand blends made with predominantly silicon can be used for a daily. But if you have a show car, classic car or something you cherish, then perhaps treat yourself to some quality hand blended products. Work out what you want from your wax, gloss, beading, protection etc. before making your purchase.

I hope that answers some of the questions, and I learnt a bit from the research as well.

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Helmingham Hall Car Show 2019 (Part 1)

The weekend just gone was a busy one with one of my favourite car shows of the year, stunning cars and beautiful surroundings. The weather for Sunday was a sunny start with the promise of a nice day, all day. Helmingham Hall was built in 1510 and can boast Grade 1 listed gardens, in other words; significant historical importance, the same sort of historical status as Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge or The Houses of Parliament etc. Only 2.5% of all the listed buildings in the UK are Grade 1 listed in fact. Anyway, I met up with my mate David who has a S197 Mustang at a truck stop for a little breakfast before we set of with the few other Mustangs that had arrived. We were to depart in convoy and arrive at the halls around twenty minutes later, or so we thought.

Through the villages, we cruised through and the locals were out to give all the classic cars a wave as they passed by. Half a mile out we hit this little lot, with a complete standstill and the temperature rising there were a number of upset people, me included.

The temperature was rising in the car as well, not so much the water, but the fuel was being evaporated from the carb. The result was a car that was starting to run a bit rough on idle. I turned the engine off, as did many of the cars behind me. to stop boiling over and save fuel allowing them cool off a little. Many opened their bonnets (hood) to allow it cool quicker.

After forty-five minutes to an hour or so we eventually got in, starting the cars up and moving a few car lengths at a time. Repeating until we got in the main gates. Cars were boiling over and there really should be a better system. So sort it out Helmingham Hall – myself and fellow classic car owners were not impressed at all.

I parked up with the Simply Mustangs UK Facebook group who had a spare ticket for me to get in, so I was lucky I was on a stand.

Getting the car clean was a long job as the general public were being allowed in as we set up the club stand. I was almost on the end until a new Bullitt parked up next to me. Once we were all buffed and cleaned, I took a few pics of the cars from Simply Mustang UK stand proudly on display.

It was interesting to see the comparison of the old and new Mustangs in respect of the engineering.

As it was such a nice day the car parks got full pretty quickly and can be seen on the fields in the background of some of the pics. The venue was busy, very busy.

There was a variety of food tents cooking all day not more than twenty-five meters away from us that made me hungry all day. There was a dance floor surrounded by hay bales with dancers and even a bird show with owls and an old timer vulture.

But enough of all that, the cars, lots of cars! In no particular order, I just wandered around and took a few pics of what caught my eye.

Super cars were there as well.

Then onto more club stands.

The odd car was for sale!

At the front of the Halls there is a reserved area for some cars, I’m not sure how they get there each year, but they have a beautiful backdrop to their cars.

The next field over was for the private entries which will be in Part 2 towards the end of the week.

Watch this space 😀

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Double Wash Out (part 2)

Following on from the last post which was about the Fast & Loud show on the Saturday this is a post about the Sunday; Stonham Barns Spring Break. After cleaning the car from the stop home on Saturday I sat in the arm-chair slightly deflated and checked the weather app, OK I checked all three of my weather apps and one of which I even paid for. All of them said that the Sunday was going to be a better day with overcast conditions, only a thirty percent chance of rain at midday from just one app. I decided to take a chance for a second day, after all the odds were in my favour right?

So I got up next morning and the sky was clear, but a little breezy that’s all. I fired up the freshly cleaned beast and took a what is usually an enjoyable ride out to the show just a short half hour away. I jumped on the dual carriageway and started to relax and enjoy the drive. Then there it was, the first drop of rain. The air turned the colour of my car, the rain fell heavier and soon it was pouring, again. I had the choice to turn around in a few minutes at the next junction and go home or carry on hoping it would pass. I continued with my now somewhat ruined drive. The further I drove the less the rain fell, decision time. I continued on towards the clearer skies with a little hope. Some twenty minutes later I made the turn of to the show and I followed on behind the conga of classic cars waiting to get into the show. We can’t all be wrong can we? It was going to be OK. We were ushered in efficiently and I parked up, got out and the sun was starting to make a show itself.

A few tiny very fine spots of rain filled the air just a little damp, nothing to worry about. I dried the car and spoke to few familiar faces and we discussed the weather for a little while. Within the space of half an hour that thirty percent turned into one hundred percent rain. Within minutes the car was wet again and now so was I.

I was so miserable I even took a video of the rain sitting on my freshly waxed car! 🌧

Yet more of the same ol’ choices for the weekend to date, do I go home or stay and see if the shower passes. I decided to look around at the other cars as they all seemed to be staying too. I recognised a lot of the cars from yesterday at this show, many sitting inside them with a flask of coffee and steaming up windows.

There was a few Mustangs there too, including this distressed Mad Max look-alike, which has fake side up exhausts that were just plastic plumbing pipes just behind the real ones, even spotted a sweet wrapper a the bottom of one of them. But lots of time and effort spend on the car and fair play to them.

There was a strong showing of American classics at this show as there always seems to be.

There were some traders that had covered their tables with ground sheets to protect their stock, but the trouble is that you couldn’t see anything to buy. I didn’t even buy anything to cheer myself up.

After three hours of relentless rain I decided to go home. Which would involve a more thorough clean as the car was no going to stand until the next show. I used cloths to wipe inside the wheel arches to remove dirt and debris from the inner side bend of the wheel arch on each corner of the car. What a terrible start to the show season, it can only get better I guess.

Here’s the thing, I don’t need apps or Google as my wife said to me as I walked out the door; ‘you do know it’s going to rain?’ She was right, AGAIN!

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It’s All In The Details

It’s pretty much common knowledge that I am a bit OCD when it comes to my car and cleaning it. In fact I go a level above car cleaning and it’s called ‘detailing’. It means you go the extra mile to achieve excellence where ever you can. I am not at the ridiculous levels of Concours cleaning with cotton buds etc. But, I do have a selection of brushes to make sure I get in all the little places that I need to. I buy all my own products at retail prices and don’t get them given to me by anybody. If I did, I would say so and it certainly wouldn’t change my opinion when I get round to reviewing the product either. My reviews are always honest and unbiased. I mention all this because I get  a few questions now and again at car shows, along with the odd email asking me what I use to clean my car. I have one or two products in my stash to choose from. However, this little lot doesn’t include all the various types of micro fibre cloths, glass cloths, drying towels, application sponges, hand pads, brushes, sponge brushes, tyre applicators,  gloves, buckets with different types of dirt collectors, wash mits, snow foam lance, Karcher pressure washer or my Meguiar’s MT320 Dual Action polishing tool as I couldn’t get any more in the photo.

My favourite brands at the moment are Chemical Guys, Auto Finesse and Meguiar’s. I’m always open to using other brands as long as they work, an indeed tried some random brands with great results, such as Dat Wax.

I review my products and rate them on a score out of ten with two follow-up questions; ‘would I recommend it?’ and ‘would I buy it again?’ Both of these questions adding to the depth of the review when parting with my own money.

My reviews can be found on the main heading under ‘Car Detailing Reviews’. This is a section that gets added to regularly, even if I haven’t done a main post as such.

What I do have trouble with is giving a product a top score, then I get another similar product that I like even more and that gets a top score as well. That’s not to say I would go back and mark the score down for the other product. Indeed I would have no problems in going out to buy the top scoring products again. An example is that I love DoDo Juice Red Mist Tropical as a quick detailer, but it takes a couple of applications to remove any streaks if applied on top of Meguiar’s Ultimate Wax. (I did have a conversation with DoDo Juice themselves about this very issue, and they told me that they are aware of the problem). Auto Finesse Finale on the other hand doesn’t have that issue, but I don’t like their bottle spray mechanisms. Both are great products, but have their own quirks as it were.

There are numerous tutorials online and good ol’ YouTube on how to clean your car or detail your car properly, so I won’t bore you with that side of it all. However within my reviews I try to explain the price, the product’s sales pitch, product description, process, application, instructions, results, rating and conclusion all with photos. In fact I am still going through the process of working out what works for me and what doesn’t and in which combinations. I currently have got more than a dozen products that I need to create reviews for, but I just haven’t got round to doing them yet. It’s all a financial minefield and I would hate to think how much money has been spent on my car cleaning products, just one little pot of show wax I have costs £75 and it doesn’t look much different to Meguiar’s Ultimate after application, but I love the usability of that expensive wax, and that goes a long way to being in my preferred list of products as it were.

The other side to all these products is where to keep them, I have multiple bags of various types and sizes. In fact I have reviewed some of them, what they hold, how user-friendly and are they worth it etc. Some reviews will surprise you from the big names.

I hope my opinions help and save somebody some money on rubbish products out there, yes I have wasted my own hard-earned money on products reading other reviews that must have been written by the company employees. That’s the reason I started reviewing products, tools, equipment etc. My reviews are from a normal bloke that buys and uses them on his pride and joy. My goal is simple; to get a paint job that still looks wet and above all is protected. When you get to buy quality products, most of the time you get what you pay for, sometimes you don’t.

I get nothing for my reviews and I’m not on commission either, hopefully the reviews will help somebody one day.

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