Review: Turtle Wax removes crud and freshens up my paintwork

Disclosure: I received free samples of Turtle Wax products from Halfords for this article. I did not receive any payment and was not required to write a positive review.

For this second part of my Turtle Wax review, I turned to products designed to clean and protect the outside of the vehicle. I’ve already talked about my all-time favourite glass cleaner, but what about paintwork?

Turtle Wax paintwork products
Turtle Wax Bug & Tar Remover, Carnauba Car Wax and Renew Polish

Bug & Tar Remover (£6)

It’s summer, so unless you wash your car every day (and no-one does that), flies, tar spots and bird poo will become baked onto the paintwork. Even with a good quality car shampoo, removing these requires a lot of scrubbing. But there is another way.

Turtle Wax’s Bug & Tar Remover is one of those products that once used, you’ll be reluctant to do without. Spray it on to bug, bird and tar stains before you start washing the car and leave it to work its magic for a moment.

You should then find that the marks wipe off quite easily with a sponge. All you need to do then is rinse the paintwork off thoroughly and then either dry it or wash the car as normal. Rinsing is important — this product contains acid and oil-based chemicals and shouldn’t be left to dry onto your paintwork, as it could leave marks.

My verdict: 9/10 — Turtle Wax isn’t the only company offering this kind of product, but I’ve used several others and this was one of the most effective.

Carnauba Car Wax (£9.99)

Carnauba wax polishes are very popular with car detailing enthusiasts. They bring out the colour in your car’s paintwork, and provide a deep, glossy shine. A good wax job means that water will bead off your paintwork rather than settling. Wax polish will also help to prevent insects and bird mess sticking so strongly to your paint.

The downside of wax — as opposed to a synthetic polish — is that it doesn’t last as long. After 1-2 months, most experts seem to think a Carnauba wax polish will need redoing. In contrast, a synthetic polish will bond to the paintwork and last much longer before it needs renewing.

Interestingly, Turtle Wax says that its Carnauba Car Wax “is enhanced with nano-technology silicones” in order to bond the wax with the paintwork for a longer-lasting finish. I’ve no way of verifying this yet, as I’ve only just applied the Carnauba wax. However, it sounds promising.

What I can report is that the Turtle Wax Carnauba Car Wax was quick and easy to apply. Wipe on, allow to dry to a haze (almost instant in warm weather) and buff to a shine. Carnauba Car Wax gave a deep and glossy finish to my car’s paintwork. It also left the paint feeling silky smooth. Who doesn’t like that?

My verdict: 8.5/10 — a very nice wax polish. Quick and easy to apply with a deep, lustrous shine. The only question is whether it’s worth paying twice as much as for Turtle Wax’s Original wax polish. I’m not sure.

Damaged paintwork? It’s worth remembering that the Carnauba Car Wax isn’t a ‘clean and restore’ type of polish. It should help to remove minor swirl marks, but won’t restore more seriously fading or scratches. If you’re trying to restore damaged paintwork, you may have more luck with a product such as Turtle Wax Renew Polish (£7.99). This type of product contains extremely fine abrasive elements that help to remove oxidation and light marks from your paint. I’ve not yet had cause to try the Renew Polish, but I’ve had good experiences with similar products in the past.

Products mentioned (from halfords.com): Turtle Wax Bug & Tar Remover (500ml), Turtle Wax Carnauba Car Wax (500ml) and Turtle Wax Renew Polish (500ml). Prices taken from Halfords website on 18 August 2016.

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