Trying a new-fangled car wax

Posted on October 22nd, 2006 in Opinion,Reviews by Julian Edgar

Every so often we at AutoSpeed get sent some free items. Recently, book publisher Veloce has been sending books, and a few months ago Valvoline sent a sample of a new car wax called Eagle One Nanowax.

Most media have a ‘news’ or ‘new products’ page where stuff like this can be displayed but we don’t have either of those – all our articles are full length. So while the books have been reviewed either singly or in pairs as articles, I’ve been a bit unsure of what to do with the wax. After all, who is going to read a 1000 word feature article where some wax is applied to a car? Not me, that’s for sure.

Click for larger image So the wax sat on the shelf, unused. In fact, I didn’t even open the accompanying letter which later proved to contain flattering stuff like “You have been identified as a respected opinion leader in the automotive industry…” and information that the wax contained “carnauba wax particles as small as one nanometre, which means they are small enough to fill hairline scratches and swirl marks to deeply penetrate automotive paint surfaces, enhancing colour, shine and protection”. The blurb also said it wouldn’t leave streaks or a white residue and the pack came complete with a “micro fibre towelette” for application.

But one day I had a need for the freebie – I’d bought a new (secondhand) car and decided to give it a wash and wax. So I opened the presentation box to find that the plastic bottle had leaked a little (hmm, how good is the screw-on child-proof lid?) but that most of the liquid contents were still intact. I followed the instructions (dampen the provided cloth and then apply, let dry and then buff) and all seemed to be going well.

But when I reached the roof and the bonnet (the two surfaces most likely to have more weathered paint – though they both looked fine to the eye) the Eagle One Nanowax simply didn’t go on properly. In a way that’s hard to describe, it seemed to not form a complete coating, sitting on the surface of the paint and making, yep, swirls. Thinking that perhaps a second dose was needed I went through the whole process again – application, drying, buffing with a soft cloth. But the results were unchanged.

These panels looked terrible – far worse than before the wax had been applied!

Click for larger image At this point I went into the workshop and looked at what other waxes I had. And there, covered in dust, was an old Turtle Wax bottle. I think it came from the shop at the local tip (cost: a few cents for a bottle that was only about one-quarter full) and looked to be at least a decade old. (The date on the rear is 1989, but that’s just the copyright of the label.) The superlatives on the front were scarcely less effusive than the Nanowax, with the Turtle Wax blurb including “easier to use… longer lasting shine” and “super hard shell shine”. However, clearly this wax is from a different technological era to the Nanowax.

I applied the Turtle Wax in just the same way (with damp soft cloth, let dry, buff off with soft dry cloth) and stood back to assess the results.

And you know what? The ancient Turtle Wax just killed the latest, high tech, super nano-particle wax. The effort to put it on was the same but the result of the Turtle Wax was even, smooth and glossy. No swirls, no marks – the roof and bonnet looked superb! So much for hi-tech waxes….

You can still buy Turtle Wax – although the bottle looks more modern and the manufacturer appears to have changed. And while this experience is in no way a full product test, I think I’ll be sticking with tried and proven traditional waxes and not spending money on new-fangled stuff that simply doesn’t perform anywhere near as well…

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