Thursday, 8 November 2012 3:58 PM
If your car’s black plastics and rubbers are looking more grey and drab than lustrous black, then you’ll be looking for a colour and shine restorer. I tried this one out; Protect & Shine Bumper & Tyre Gel from Turtle Wax, on our TotallyMotor Alfa Romeo 146, as her black bits were in desperate need of a pre-winter buff-up and elements-protect.
The TotallyMotor Alfa Romeo 146 is over 12-years old and as such her paintwork, leather interior and black rubber and vinyl trims need all the help they can get to stay young-looking, shiny and tempting.
She’s already had her pre-winter paintwork waxing – with a new Creme Wax product, again from Turtle Wax – but the shining paint immediately highlighted a distinct lack of black to the bumper trims and window surrounds.
Over the years the beating sun, wind and rain will begin to drain the black from a car’s exterior black bits, and the worst hit areas on the Alfa were the black plastic trims that dissect the front and rear bumpers. They were as grey as a pair of one-million-wash Y-fronts! Well, nearly.
The aim of products like Turtle Wax’s Protect & Shine Bumper & Tyre Gel is to put some black-depth and gloss back into these parts, with, amongst many ingredients, silicone to penetrate the surface and add the gloss and weather protection.
With clean bodywork before me I applied a reasonably generous coat of the Turtle Wax Bumper & Tyre Gel, which is milky-white in colour and thick and gooey so as to go on in a controlled fashion. I applied it, let it soak in for a couple of minutes and then buffed it off with clean kitchen towel. I used kitchen towel to apply it too as it’s easily folded and manipulated into a small and accurate shape for cleanest application to the bumper strips, which are only about 3cm wide and laid into the bumper.
The product went on well and the dirt on the towel confirmed that the Turtle’s gel cleaned the black plastic surface as it went on. And yes, as I hope you can see in my before and after pics, the Alfa’s bumper trims are now much blacker and glossier than before.
You can control the level of gloss by wiping the excess product off quickly for less gloss, or letting it ‘brew’ for more gloss. Another coat goes on for max gloss! I went for mid-gloss.
Currently on sale at £7.49 from Halfords for a 500ml bottle of Turtle Wax Protect & Shine Bumper & Tyre Gel, and you’ll gets plenty of applications out of that, so it looks like good value. And, after a couple of weeks on the car – in the wind and the rain – the black bits are still black.
However, be careful to clean off / out any excess product from any natural hiding places around the bodywork, as I wasn’t careful enough and ended up with dirty streaks down the bumpers from below the treated plastic trim lines, after the car got wet in the rain. That’s not the product’s fault and I'll be sure to buff properly on next application…
Before: dull as ditch water; grey as a grey day in London
After: gloss black and shining bright, but be careful to clean off the excess for best results
You can’t really miss it on the shelf!
By Daniel Anslow