Testing the latest tyre dressing

A good friend has been running a chauffeur business for the past few years and I had always presumed that keeping his cars clean would have been a constant struggle. Surprisingly, he informed me that I was wrong and imparted a little secret; provided the glazing and tyres are all clean, the rest of the car will still look presentable, even after a drive in a torrential downpour.

Naturally, his cars are washed, prior to each booking, and the bodywork is polished to an almost mirror finish but battling against the elements is an inevitable part of British life. Although the paintwork on his fleet may be protected by regular waxing, it is true that grubby tyres let down an otherwise immaculate car, which spurred me into carrying out a little test.
Meguiar’s, the North-American firm (with a UK base in Daventry), is one of the world’s best-known suppliers of car-care products and is well-established within the various car enthusiast scenes. As the company had recently announced a new tyre-dressing spray product, I thought it appropriate to pitch it against one of the finest products that I have tried so far, Autoglym Foaming Tyre Dressing, with the aim of establishing which of the products is the better.

The premise was simple. I applied Meguiar’s Endurance Tyre Dressing Spray to one wheel, Meguiar’s Endurance Tyre Gel to another, Autoglym Foaming Tyre Dressing to the third tyre and left the last one untreated. To ensure a fair test, each product was applied to three different cars (equipped with both aluminium and steel rims), over a three months period.

THE RESULT

All products did exactly as they described. Each one left the rubber with a glossy black sheen, which did not deteriorate to a scruffy brown hue, as some rival products have done so in the past. Interestingly, all finishes lasted for approximately two-to-three weeks and resisted rain and even car shampoo over that period. In terms of performance, there was hardly any difference. However, this ‘real-world’ test did not highlight any protection the products gave to the rubber, such as against ultra-violet light degradation.

In this case, the method of application has to be the determining factor. All of these products admit to staining driveways temporarily and, in my test, I noticed that the residue can mark alloy wheel rims for a short time and this must be taken into account. With its over-wide spray nozzle, Meguiar’s Endurance Tyre Dressing Spray proved to be the hardest product to control in this respect and it was not very user-friendly, unless the product was applied to a cloth first. The Autoglym Foaming Tyre Dressing was easier but overshooting the tyre was still too easy.

In my judgement, Meguiar’s Endurance Tyre Gel was the best to handle. The product is simply applied to a cloth and wiped over the tyre. It does require a little more elbow-grease than the other pair do but it is less messy to handle and you do not need to use large amounts of the product to gain the best effects, something that my chauffeuring friend has found very useful and, since my own tests were completed, he now uses it regularly and gives it his own thumbs-up.

About 

Rob Marshall has served as GEM Motoring Assists’ technical advisor, since 2009, and has provided many hundreds of members with impartial and free one-to-one advice, in their hours of need. He started working on cars from the age of ten years-old and has bought, repaired, traded and sold them ever since. While he holds a variety of mechanical and bodywork repair skills and experience, having worked within the motor sales and repair businesses, he is also involved actively within the motoring media, since supplying BBC Top Gear with a car in 1997. Today, Rob contributes to a wide range of motoring publications, from Car Mechanics to Classic and Sports Car magazine.