For car owners and lovers, the looks of the car is a very crucial feature that must be maintained all the time. It is not enough that the engine and the other parts are in mint condition, the exterior should do its job of looking fine and attractive as well. That way your car looks great whether you are just driving it around or trying to sell it.
Of all the exterior parts of the car, the tires are the ones that get dirty the most since they are in contact with the ground all the time. They get dirty whether you drive your car or not. But while cleaning the tires is essential in maintaining its good looks, making it look like brand new is even better. The trick to that is to give your car tires a nice shine just like when you first got it.
What Can You Use?
There is more than one way to achieve that brand-new shine look on your car tires. It is just a matter of what suits your taste and preference (and your budget as well).
One of the most popular tire shine products available are the spray-on kinds. The solution is in a bottle with a sprayer and nozzle on top. Many prefer to use it because it is very easy to apply on the tires. You can just spray it directly on the tires and wipe it after a couple of minutes. To make an even distribution over the whole tire, do not spray too close to the tire. Also, spray with a sweeping motion to cover a bigger area of the tire and not just spray on one spot at a time. When applied correctly, you can achieve a nice wet look gloss off your car tires. However, some brands of spray-on tire shine leave stains when it gets on your side panels. You should wipe it off immediately. It would help if you apply it inside the garage so the breeze will not scatter the mist. If you keep getting it on your side panels and rims, apply it on a sponge or piece of cloth first and use it to apply the solution on your tires.
In terms of long-lasting effect, many gel products do better than spray-ons. They last for more than a week even through the rain and even through carwash. They are not as easy to apply and may take longer since you need to use an applicator, a sponge or terry cloth but others prefer it that way since it gives them control on how much of the gel is used. The gel gives a nice black color to the tires without a very glossy effect. However, if you do want more gloss, you can apply a second coating after a few minutes. Do not drive your car right after applying the gel. Many formulas are silicone-based and can attract dust and dirt when still wet. Gel tire shine products are usually more expensive than other similar products.
Foam tire shine products also come with a spray nozzle. It is also very easy to apply, perhaps easier than the other spray-on kinds. It even helps clean your tires off from the dirt that your pre-wash was not able to remove. Just wipe the foam after a couple of minutes and your tires are clean and shiny. However, be careful with some products that may turn your tires brown or yellow. Some tires really do not agree with certain tire shine products so you may have to try a new product.
How To Do It
Most tire shine products have their own application procedures printed somewhere on the container, but in general, here are the steps in achieving that fine shine you want your car tires to have. Clean your tires first before the rest of the car. Even if you spray dirty suds or water on your side panels, it is fine since you will clean them next. Pay attention to the wells and grooves that your tires have. They collect a lot of dirt so they might need some extra scrubbing.
Wait till the tire is dry or at least not too wet from the washing. Spray your chosen tire shine product evenly on the side of the tires. Leave it on for a minute or two and then wipe it using a sponge or a terry-cloth, distributing it evenly across the tire wall and removing any overspray.
Making your tires look shiny is a very easy thing to achieve. But before trying on any product on your tires, ask your friends who might have used them, or look for some reviews online. If you cannot find any, do not be afraid to start the topic yourself. Many car maintenance forums are eager to help and answer your questions with regard to tire shine products. Your product choice depends on how long it keeps your tire look good without any build up of residue, or formation of slings on your rims or side panels; the affordability of the product; and how shiny you want your tire to look.
Other Car Tips
Your car tires or body are not the only parts that need protectant. Some little unnoticed parts like the weatherstripping need it too to keep the rubber in good condition and make it last longer. That way you are safe from the elements. Apply rubber protectant once in a while to keep your weatherstripping from cracking or tearing.