When it comes to detailing, a factor that some people miss out on is the tyres. However, this is a bit of a faux pas since they are (along with the wheels) by and large the dirtiest section on the car. There are numerous tyre dressings on the market, some of which are better than others.
In this review, we’ll be looking at the Instant Tyre Dressing from Autoglym. We’ve discussed other products from Autoglym, including their Bodywork Shampoo Conditioner.
Ease of Use/Application
One factor in car detailing that puts a lot of people off is the effort involved. It’s a common misconception that to get a great finish you need to spend a lot of time to work towards it. Whilst you can’t get a great finish in a ten minute burst on the car itself, this is not the case with the Instant Tyre Dressing.
There are several ways that you can apply it. The first option is to apply it directly to the sidewall of the tyre. Whilst this is a great option, it can result in a bit of overspray. This is particularly annoying if you’ve already detailed the wheel.
The other method that many others prefer is to actually apply it to a sponge instead. This is one of the few times that you’ll ever read that you can use a sponge on a car. It should never be used on a painted panel or glass. However, since you’re using it on rubber, this is perfectly acceptable. By applying the dressing to the sponge, it will allow you to get an even finish on the sidewall. This allows you to go left to right and also up and down on the tire meaning that no part of the sidewall is left untreated. It should be noted at this point that it is extremely important that no dressing is applied directly to the tread. This may seem self-explanatory, but it is still important for those new to detailing. Should it be the case that it was applied to the tread, it would result in a severe loss of grip.
Once applied, you’ve got two options. You can either let it dry to a high sheen (glossy finish), or you can take a microfibre cloth and remove any excess residue. If you choose the latter, it will leave a deep, matte finish.
To do 4 tyres, this can be done in under ten minutes so it’s extremely quick to use.
Because the dressing is water based, some may be concerned about how long it will retain its look for. For solvent based dressings, they do by and large last longer. However, they also sling extremely easily. Since Instant Tyre Dressing is water based, it will not sling. By slinging, we mean that over time the dressing will start to come off of the tyre at high speeds. When this occurs, the dressing literally slings itself against the paint on the car. Whilst this isn’t damaging to the paint, it doesn’t aesthetically pleasing.
For the Instant Tyre Dressing, you can on average to expect to get around 3 weeks before its appearance starts to fade. The fade is gradual and you could get away with not re-applying it right away.
Value for Money
Given the ease of use and also cost, this lower durability is easily cancelled out. It comes in a 500ml spray bottle and this should on average get you nearly a years’ worth of dressing the tyres on one car. All you really need is two squirts per tyre to achieve a great finish. At such a low price point (there are car shampoos that cost more than this); it really is a no brainer. However, if you’ve got larger tyres then you’re going to end up using a tad more product to dress them.
Further, you can also use it as a dressing for other plastics on the exterior of your car, including the engine bay after it’s been detailed. It is also a great way to dress the wheel wells/arches as well which routinely get overlooked.
When you’re buying Instant Tyre Dressing, you’re investing into a brand with a great reputation and stringent quality controls. There is always the worry that getting a dressing from a cheaper brand or a discount store can actually cause damage to the tyre. This is not the case with the Autoglym variant.