What a year. 2011 came quickly and will be leaving us shortly, so I guess you could call this a tribute. If you’ve followed us this past year, you’ve seen first hand the outburst of innovation in the car care product industry. If you haven’t, well you’re missing out. As car care enthusiasts, we are reaping the benefits of a competitive industry that has churned out such creations as heat activated polishes and protection against bug splats. So without further ado, here are some of the years best and most useful products…
- Matte Car Care Products: At first glance you’re probably thinking what? Matte care care? What makes them so special – well it’s their paint. The unique “flat” appearance cannot be waxed, cannot be polished, and cannot be washed with traditional car wash soaps. Needless to say, owning one of these cars is tough due to the (once) inability to care for the paint. That ended in 2011, and now matte car owners world wide have a complete line of quality tested, handcrafted matte paint care products that can help them clean and protect their matte car without fillers, silicones, or waxes.
- Cyclo Polisher: When you care for your car at home, in your garage, being able to use a machine polisher successfully is what separates many of the pros from the amateurs. What Cyclo has done with their incredible machine is make professional level machine polishing available to the amateur enthusiast – the easy-to-use, safety oriented orbital has even been used by an 8 year old in one of our detailing workshops. The dual-head action has been in effect since the 1950s when Cyclo primarily marketed their machines as metal polishers, but in 2011 it’s a different story. If you’re the do-it-yourself car guy who won’t let another person touch their baby, trust me when I say there’s no better polisher on the market for you (or your car) than the Cyclo Polisher.
- The Morclean Inflatable Car Wash Pad: While you might need to be a serious car person to own one of these, it definitely serves its purpose. By trapping water in its inflatable basin, this eco-conscious product effectively eliminates dirty water runoff. This means no more dying grass, no sewer contamination, and no more driveway staining. Because the inflatable pad is perfectly sized for your driveway (if you don’t live in an urban environment) and is easily stored, it’s a tool that will actually be used and wont just sit on the shelf for a year.
- Formula 1201 Paint Sealant: In the world of car care, protection products are like bread and butter. Put it this way – if you’re just cleaning your car and not protecting it, something is seriously off. Anyway, 2011 marked the opportunity for car owners across the globe to experience protection unmatched by any other product. What makes Formula 1201 so special is its unique ability to bond at the molecular level when it interacts with water, enhancing the sealant’s durability and longevity when applied to a paint finish. This means that unlike a typical carnauba (2-4 mo.) or polymer paint sealant (6-8 mo.), 1201 can last you over a year (or 100 car washes). Better yet, you can easily put a carnauba over 1201′s base layer to deepen the shine. Did I mention that one bottle will last you in excess of 2 years?
- The Worlds 1st 100% VOC Free Glass Sealant: As you know, a big part of 2011 has been the increase of green initiatives. Glass Waxx, an industry first, allows you to seal and protect your car’s glass without using the volatile and environmentally harmful chemicals that those rain guys use. As a driver, you experience a clearer line of sight that isn’t interupted by the changing weather around you. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail, nor snow can keep your eyes off of the road when you’ve protected with Glass Waxx.
- Wheel Seal: While wheel protectants are plentiful, the industry has been lacking in one key aspect of wheel care; heat. Your average “wheel wax” isn’t going to be protecting your wheels when you’re cruising around next summer for one reason, and that is carnauba’s melting point. Any carnauba based wheel sealant will have a melting point of around 180 degrees, which is almost 80 degrees less than how hot your wheels can get on the road. Wheel Seal, on the other hand, doesn’t have a melting point. How, you ask? Oil. The synthetic formulation bonds to the wheel and doesn’t melt even at the highest of road temperatures. While on the road, braking in heat, your rotors can reach over 200 degrees and transfer that heat directly to your rims. Heat, combined with break dust and environmental contaminants is not good for your wheels at all and can lead to etching and pitting. Thankfully there’s Wheel Seal.
So there you have it… as a great year dwindles down to its final few weeks, all I can hope for is that your car is shining bright and not out in the cold. If you love your car as much as I think you do, this list should come in handy in 2012 as you get a step ahead of the pack when it comes to the appearance and health of your car. That said, if you’ve had (or do have) a success story this year relative to you and your car, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!