When it comes to tyres it’s important to dress to impress!
In order to get the best out of a tyre dressing the rubber it’s going to be coming into contact with has to be thoroughly cleaned first and while I did give these tyres what I generally consider to be an acceptable level of clean with a diluted all purpose cleaner from Autosmart and stiff bristled brush from Tuf Shine, if you do happen see any unsightly dirt transfer during the dressing then that’s because there was some but don’t hold a lack of in-depth decontamination against me, as this was a relatively impromptu video. Perhaps I could do a dedicated tyre cleaning one at some point showing the level of grime that can sometimes be extracted from tyres, as it’s not something I often bother filming.
Once cleaned you then want to ensure the now naked tyres are bone dry. I prefer to sponge on tyre dressings and currently favour the orange Tuf Shine applicators but with mine being well past it and no fresh one’s in stock at the time, I decided to use some Dodo Juice finger mitt wax applicators instead as I just feel most other dedicated tyre dressing sponges are either too firm or too bulky. Granted, the soft foam these are made from wouldn’t last long on tyres but for a single use I thought they could work well.
First up for the front offside tyre then was some Auto Finesse Satin Tyre Creme and as the name suggests its creamy consistency is intended to impart a nice satin sheen. Once a liberal amount had been applied onto to my finger mitt it was dabbed onto the surface of the tyre wall before being thoroughly worked into it. It certainly isn’t the quickest product to apply as it really has to be massaged in to ensure even coverage but I am a fan of the finish it gives so I’m usually happy to invest a good 5 to 10 minutes per tyre in order to achieve it.
Once worked in the tyre was then buffed over with a dry microfibre towel to remove any excess product and leave a nice dry-to-the-touch finish which was a significant improvement over the unrejuvenated rubber. The remaining side was then dressed in the same manner to finish things off as heading out in public half dressed obviously wouldn’t be wise!
Next up on the rear was CarPro PERL, a well respected and versatile water-based silicone oxide coating that can also be used on plastics, trim and even leather.
It can be applied neat to things like tyres but if you want to achieve a more natural look it’s probably worth diluting down a bit. I’d previously decanted half the bottle and topped it up with water to give a simple 1:1 dilution ratio.
The milky looking product is quite the opposite of the creme used earlier and while it doesn’t immediately bring about a finished result, once thoroughly worked over the surface and left to soak in it leaves tyres looking rich and replenished.
If you’ve never used this product to dress tyres before I’d advise going with the 1:1 dilution ratio however you can always try one tyre neat first and then go from there if you’d prefer.
After quickly flipping the car around it was then time to treat the front nearside tyre with some Gtechniq T1. This product has a runny gel-like consistency which is designed to give a satin sheen with a single coat and a glossier appearance with multiple ones.
It goes on really nicely with minimal re-application needed and works its way into the texture of the tyre wall without making a mess, which is always nice.
It did leave a considerably shinier appearance than the two previous products, even after being buffed, and while it’s a lot more durable that it’s water-based sister product T2, you might want to give that a go if this looks a tad too glossy for your tyre finishing tastes.
Last but by no means least was Gyeon Q2 Tire, another silicon oxide based coating formulated to give at least a month’s durability even in poor conditions.
It has a similar consistency to the T1 applied previously so application isn’t usually an issue, it smells pretty sweet and if the ‘bumf’ is to be believed, molecularly bonds with your rubber as opposed to just temporarily sitting on the surface of it.
Again it looked quite shiny on my tyres in the direct sun but if you want decent durability sometimes a bit of gloss is unavoidable.
Once all the dressing was complete a quick spritz helped to illustrate the level of water repellency on each tyre and while this doesn’t really prove anything, it’s still satisfying to see.
So to quickly conclude then, Auto Finesse Satin, while a bit of a faff to fully apply does give a superb satin finish once properly worked in and buffed over. CarPro PERL is my go-to product if I feel I need to save some time but achieve a similar finish and of course you have the added bonus of being able to dilute to suit. Gtechniq T1 has a nice gel-like consistency which allows you to dress most types of tyre with ease and gives a clearly defined, durable finish. And finally, the silicon dioxide-based Gyeon Q2 Tire offers a lot more than your standard silicone-based dressings and is definitely worthy of consideration.
Before signing off, it’s probably worth me stating that every tyre dresses slightly differently. The side wall design, tread pattern and rubber compound all contribute to a dressing’s look and durability, so if you see the results achieved here and don’t particularly like them that doesn’t necessarily mean it would be the same for you, so don’t completely write any particular product off without first giving it a go.