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Tire Dressing

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Trying to find a tire dressing that (a) you can't see your reflection in, (b) doesn't sling black goo all over the side of the car, and (c) lasts longer than a week has been a challenge.

My current favorite tire dressing is Eagle One Tire Shine, which you can find at Schuck's, Pep Boys, and similar places. This lasts at least a couple weeks, even when it's raining, which it does a lot in Seattle, and I like the level of sheen it puts on the tires--not high gloss, but a little shiny and very black.

Before I was using Eagle One, I was using good old Armour All. Armour All actually worked pretty well and produced a nice sheen (not too shiny, in case you haven't tried Armour All lately). Its big drawback was lack of durability.

Before that, I was using Meguiar's Endurance Tire Gel. It is a little different from most other tire dressings in that it is a gel rather than a liquid. I found that it worked as advertised in that it lasted the longest of any tire dressing I've tried. Unfortunately, I found the gooey gel impossible to put on thinly enough so that it didn't sling goo on the body panels behind the tires, and I eventually concluded that it was easier to put on tire gel more often than it was to wipe off the goo.

I tried Zaino's Z-16 Perfect Tire Gloss. It produces a nice shine, but it doesn't last any longer than anything else, and it's expensive and harder to get than the stuff I can get at a local store.

I also tried Griot's Garage Long Lasting Tire Dressing. I didn't find that it was as long lasting as the Meguiar's Endurance, but, like the Meguiar's product, it's a gooey gel and slings even worse than Meguiar's does.

Application Tips

Tire dressing tends to be slippery and hard to wash off the hands. Meguiar's provides a foam applicator, which got me used to using those. When I switched to Armour All and then Eagle one, I bought some foam applicators to help in putting the stuff on. I spray the dressing on the applicator and then wipe it on the tire. This is less messy than spraying directly onto the tires.

After a couple uses, the applicators get pretty gooey. So now I'm wearing a disposable latex glove on the hand that holds the applicator, so I don't have to wash my hands afterward. 

Unless you're more patient than I am, despite trying not to wipe the tire dressing on the wheel rims you'll end up getting some on the wheel rims anyway. So I apply the tire dressing right before I wash my car. When I wash my wheels, I wash off the excess tire dressing.

Email me at stevemcc@construx.com.