Tire Shine (aka Tire Care) is a product that most people overlook. Tires get dirty the minute you drive, so why even bother?
If the appearance of your car is important to you, you may already be putting a lot of time and effort into maintaining its appearance.
Do you spend 2-3 hours washing, waxing and polishing your car every month? What's another few minutes and dollars spent to keep the tires looking brand new?
After spending all that time detailing your car, leaving your tires in a worn state will only spoil the overall look of the car.
Tire shine products can make the difference between your car looking clean and your car looking show-ready.
These products are designed to darken the tire sidewall to keep it looking brand new while providing an increased gloss level.
Most people go for the "wet look," but you can achieve a more natural satin look if you so desire.
Continue reading this article to learn more about tire shine products.
I'll share the benefits of truing your tires, what type of product to buy, and list 10 no-sling tire truing products I recommend trying.
Table of contents
Benefits of tire shine
- Makes your tires shine and look like new.This is by far the biggest benefit. Sure, it's vain, but who doesn't enjoy when their car looks good and draws everyone's attention?
- Protects tires from sun damage.Tire shine and care products have a similar effect to wax and sealants. They improve the appearance of the tire while protecting it from UV rays, meaning the color will not fade and they are less likely to crack over time.
- Easier to clean in the future.Admittedly, this is a small advantage, in some cases you might not even notice it. If you wash your car often, you may find that less dirt builds up and it's easier to wash your tires after applying tire shine.
If you neglect your tires and don't wash them often, the product will likely wear off before you next wash the car.
Considering the benefits and the fact that it is a relatively inexpensive product, Tire Shine is certainly good value for money.
The price depends on how much product you buy. A good tire shine can cost you anywhere from $5 to $20. That being said, many of the products listed below can last for several years even with frequent use.
Types of tire treatments
There are two main types of tire dressings that you will find on the market. You must choose between water-based or petroleum/solvent-based products.
Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages. You will certainly have a preference, but you should probably own both as the results they offer can vary greatly.
Water-based tire care productsis considered the better attire by most detailers. They're super easy to apply, often give a more natural look, and are mostly smudge-free.
Although usually preferred, most water-based tire treatments don't last very long. They offer additional protection, but it is limited and most of the time you will find that they are not as shiny.
If you feel that water based tire dressings are for you I would recommendChemical Guys VRPorCarfidant Ultimate tire shine.
Prefer something that's long lasting and full of shine? maybe a solvent based tire polish is better for you.
Petroleum/solvent based tire care productsare considered by some to be detrimental to the tire over a long period of time. Some products are rumored to dry out tires, making tires more likely to brown and crack.
While no manufacturer has come out and admitted this,Detail experts have written an article on products to avoid and the various reasons why the products can be harmful.
Because I drive a lot, sets of tires come through all the time, so longevity isn't an issue for me.
If you have a weekend car, or one that gets very few miles in a year, it may be best to use water-based dressings as a precaution.
Aside from potential long-term problems, petroleum dressings last much longer, often provide a much deeper shine, and give you that "wet look" you desire.
I don't think manufacturers would intentionally create products that would harm your car.
That being said, you came here not to spin tire shine, and solvent-based solutions are far more likely to spin.
It's probably best that you research the product before you buy it, and then experiment with it yourself.
Sio2 tire dressingsare a new innovation that is gaining popularity very quickly. Sio2 products are made with Silicon Dioxide (aka Silica) and are known to give a very deep, glossy shine.
Another area where Sio2 dressings excel is the water repellency they offer. Sio2 is what a lotSealing and ceramic coatingsuse to increase water pearls.
As a result, they last a lot longer, but since it's a relatively new technology, they also cost a lot more.
The best silica-based (Sio2) tires shineGYEON Quartz Q2 tires&Adam's tire shine.
The best tire dressings that don't "slip off".
Below is a list of the best tire care products money can buy.
My personal favorite is theChemical Guys VRP. It is a non-greasy, water-based formula that offers an amazing non-slip wet look at a very fair price.
Depending on the type of look you want to achieve, some products will work better for you than others.
Learning more about each product will help you make an informed decision about which product is best for you.
You only know if a product meets your needs when you use it and experiment with it yourself.
Chemical Guys Vinyl, Rubber & Plastic Protectant (VRP)
For use on:Vinyl, rubber trim and tires
Size:4 oz / 16 oz / 1 gal
Typ:Creme / Gel
Buy on Amazon
I like maintaining sleek detailing, so I've found Chemical Guys Vinyl, Rubber, and Plastic Protectant to be very useful.
Rather than opting for a specific tire shine, I opt for either VRP orMeguiars Hyper-Dressing. Since water-based tire shine offers short-term benefits and costs a similar price, I'd much rather buy a versatile, all-in-one product.
VRP promises to restore, condition and protect your car's vinyl, rubber and plastic surfaces. This is safe to use indoors or out, whether it's dashboards, door panels, trim or tires.
Most importantly, it's a water-based product that leaves a non-greasy, dry finish. That means you don't have to worry about tire skids getting on your paintwork minutes after your next ride.
As for the finish, it's as glossy as any water-based product. However, it's a more natural finish than the greasy wet look you can achieve with solvent-based products.
I'm always critical of how long detailing products really bring benefits, especially water-based tire shine.
Chemical Guys VRP seems to last 2-4 weeks on tires. If you're using it as trim for moldings and interior trim, expect to pay at least double that.
Applying this cream to your car will also protect it from possible sun damage. VRP has special UV blockers that work like sunscreen to protect your tires, plastics and fairings from fading and cracking over time.
When compared to Meguiar's Hyper Dressing, its closest competitor, Chemical Guys VRP, you'll get similar results for less.
That being said, if you're looking for a longer-lasting wet-look tire shine, you might want to read on.
Meguiar's endurance tire gel
For use on:tires only
Buy on Amazon
Meguiars is a company that comes highly recommended by almost everyone you speak to.
There's a reason for that, their products are outstanding and the Endurance Tire Gel is possibly the best tire polish on this list.
Using a special blend of polymers, Endurance Tire Gel is designed to protect your tires while providing that rich, wet look that all car types are crazy about!
Meguiars doesn't tell us exactly if it's solvent, silicone or water based. However, I can guarantee it's not the latter.
The way this gel encourages your tire to shine over long periods of time is by no means water based.
If a product is solvent or SiO2 based you need to be a little more careful, especially if you don't want it to sling. Make sure you apply it evenly and wipe off any residue before you ride.
Most of the time, a thin coat on a dry tire will help you achieve the wet look. Keeping the fur thin will also help prevent shedding. If you find that the tire isn't "wetting" enough after the first coat, I would recommend adding a second one.
The main disadvantage of this product compared to VRP is that it is not suitable for use on other surfaces. If you find it on another surface, you should wash it off as soon as possible to avoid possible stains.
As for the price, it is priced very similarly to its direct competitors. Most of the leading detailing brands will charge you between $15 and $25 for a 16 ounce bottle. Meguiars is no different.
Gtechniq T1 Reifen n Trim
For use on:tires & fairing
Buy on Amazon
Depending on how familiar you are with the world of detailing, you may not have heard of GTechniq.
GTechniq is best known for their Crystal Serum ceramic coating, which is absolutely amazing. The question is, does their product even come close to "T1 Tire and Trim"?
Of course I think so, otherwise it wouldn't be on this list. The “CarCleaningGuru” on youtube is also a big fan.
T1 Tire & Trim is based on chemical nanotechnology commonly used in ceramic coatings. If you are in the market for a product that will actually protect and extend the life of your tires or trim then this is for you.
As well as the added hydrophobic properties, when you purchase T1 Tire & Trim you are also purchasing a very easy to use product to restore tire shine and trim.
If you want a natural matte or satin finish, simply apply a coat of the product to your tires or trim.
Looking for that super wet "wet look"? Apply another layer and be amazed.
GTechniq recommends applying lots of layers to achieve the wet look, but you will see diminishing results very quickly.
You don't want to waste T1 Tire & Trim. It's not a cheap product.
Once you apply the product you should get 2 weeks of protection and shine. Of course, the more you drive or the more it rains, the less you get of the product.
The main problem with this has to be the price. Not only is it one of the more expensive products, you get a lot less product.
GTechniq comes in a 250ml bottle, while most of its competitors give you twice as much for the same money.
I definitely like this product. It's great for rejuvenating your tires and fairings, but I'm a person who overrates the value for money.
It's one of those products that I would recommend as a treat or gift. I probably wouldn't use it regularly.
GYEON Q2 tire shine
For use on:Tires
Buy on Amazon
GYEON was the first detailing brand to launch Sio2-based tire coatings. Q2 Tire guarantees increased durability and a natural satin finish.
What sets Q2 Tire apart from the others is the application process. Yes, you can take an applicator and apply, but GYEON recommends preheating the tires with a heat gun.
Their theory: By heating the tire sidewall beforehand, the micropores of the rubber open up. This then allows the product to pull in, making it last longer and preventing the formation of loops.
While it is difficult to predict how long tire shine products will actually last, GYEON recommends that the product last at least 5 washes. Of course, this depends on how long you go between washes and how often your tires get wet.
In terms of product usage, look at 10-15ml of product to dress a set of 4 hoops. If you have low profile tires you should probably count on 10ml, a large off-roader might need 15-20.
There is absolutely no doubt about the quality of this product. The main issue for most will be price. Can you justify paying more money for less product?
For use on:Vinyl, Rubber, Tires & Fairing
Buy on Amazon
CarPro PERL is a water-based silicon oxide coating that promises protection for up to three months. Granted, it probably won't last that long on your tires.
Like Chemical Guys VRP, CarPro Perl can be used to revitalize faded rubber, plastic, vinyl, trim and tires.
It's a lot more expensive than the Chemical Guys product, but it claims to have a much longer lifespan.
The only thing that struck me about CarPro PERL is how black it looks on a tire.
Many dressings are too shiny and greasy, making the tire look cheap and sticky. CarPro PERL is one of the best tire gloss paints for those who want a simple but satisfying satin finish.
For the best finish, use a 1:1 dilution ratio and apply 1-3 coats. 3 Layers uses up quite a bit of product, but it also makes your tires darker than the day you bought them.
While CarPro Perl promises up to 3 months of protection, I'm pretty sure you won't last that long, after all it's a water-based tire shine.
You can benefit 1-2 months from each application when used in a 1:1 ratio. Of course it depends on the season, how much rain hits the tires and so on.
When buying CarPro PERL if you would buy the 500ml bottle it is much more expensive than the competition. However, if you buy the 1 liter bottle, it's one of the cheaper products on this list (in terms of price per litre).
It's a great multipurpose product that excels on tires. Perfect for any detailer who wants to make their plastics, tires and fairings pop!
Griots Garage Durable Tire Dressing
For use on:Tires
Buy on Amazon
Griot's Garage Long-Lasting Tire Dressing is the final gel or cream-like product on this list. Using this product will help you care for your tires while enjoying a long lasting finish.
I like to think of Griots Garage as a more traditional company with simple branding and effective products. Their tire shine is no different, offering a natural black satin finish.
If you're looking for a shinier wet look, you can achieve it with griots, but it might take a lot of coats.
Buying a product like Meguiar's Endurance Gel is probably better if you're looking for a shiny wet look.
Applying more product also increases shelf life, but you'll work your way through the 16-ounce bottle quickly.
The product is generally not a sling, but overuse or misuse can cause snares.
The only grudge I really have for this product is the fact that it is labeled as "extra long lasting". This might lead some to believe it will be a long time coming. In fact, I have yet to see a tire shine that outlasts another by any significant amount of time.
As long as you have reasonable expectations and accept the fact that tire dressings wear off fairly quickly this can be a good product for those looking to achieve a darker tire with a natural look.
The best tire shine sprays
Adam's tire shine
For use on:Tires
Size:16 ounces / 1 gallon / 5 gal
Buy on Amazon
Adams Tire Shine is a Sio2 enriched formula that provides a non-slip, glossy shine that keeps your tires in top condition and looking their best.
The reason this silicone-based product is non-slip is because it uses the perfect amount of silicone. This makes it feel amazingly dry, not a sling solution.
Applying 1 coat of this product to your tires will give you a more natural finish, it is a dark matte finish. However, if you're after the wet look, applying multiple coats will give you an incredible shine that will make your car stand out from the rest.
Unfortunately, Adams Tire Shine is not as durable compared to other silicone-based products. You can expect 1-3 weeks of shine, but this will quickly fade with rain and frequent driving.
It's a reasonably priced product so applying it after each maintenance wash won't drain your bank account too much. That makes up for the fact that it doesn't last as long as the competition.
What I love most about this product is the application process. While yes, most tire polishes are applied the same way, this one just seems better and spreads evenly across the tires without much thought.
I'm sure most people reading this article will have a car with low profile tires, but the even distribution makes Adams Tire Shine great for larger tires with aggressive tread blocks.
If you don't mind having to clean your tires and reapply tire shine every 1-2 weeks, this is a great product for you. It's reasonably priced and will give you that "wet look" fix, even if it's only for a short time.
McKee’s 37 Tire Shine SiO2 Enhanced
For use on:Tires
Size:16 ounces / 128 ounces
Buy on Amazon
McKee's Tire Shine is a high gloss tire shine that comes with its own premium spongeTire shine applicator. As a result, the price is slightly higher than that of competing products.
Like many of the other products on this list, McKee's is fortified with silicone properties that provide long-lasting protection.
It's 100% solvent-free and dry to the touch, resulting in a non-slip solution that helps protect your tires from fading, cracking and browning over time.
I was really surprised by this product. All you have to do is spray it on, spread it evenly over the tire's surface and in minutes you have a deeply satin wet look that lasts for weeks.
However, it is a very watery product and can appear uneven during the drying process. You can worry about it, but once the solution dries, there's nothing more you can say.
McKee's Tire Shine is available in two different sizes, 16 oz and 128 oz. I have to admit that the 16oz bottle is very bad value for money, buying the 128oz bottle is a lot cheaper per litre.
I like value for money, so the price itself is enough to put me off.
If you don't detail cars every day, there's no need to buy 128 ounce product. You'll probably never use everything, which means it's not worth the huge upfront cost
McKees is good and worth trying, but it's not superior to any other product so I can't justify the price.
Carfidant Ultimate tire shine
For use on:Tires
Buy on Amazon
With this product, Carfidant claims to have created the ultimate tire shine solution.
Carfidant Ultimate Tire Shine is like McKees but without the expense.
When you buy this you are buying a unique nano polymer formula that is easy to apply and allows full control over the finish.
All you have to do is spray the product onto the tyres, wipe it off quickly with the applicator provided and your tires will look great.
The type of finish you achieve is based solely on the amount of product you apply.
Carfidant provides easy-to-follow instructions to help you control the type of surface treatment. Experimenting with the product is the best way to get the finish you want, but it's always nice when manufacturers provide directions based on their experience.
As with any other water-based formula, how durable Carfidants Ultimate Tire Shine actually is? I've seen people complain about having to reapply it within a week and others said they got 2-4 weeks off.
As long as you apply enough product I'm confident you'll make it to your next grooming wash. Just make sure it dries first and you get rid of any residue, it's a non-spin product but it can skid if applied incorrectly.
I really like this product, it's one I would consider taking on the go.
When I'm traveling or going to car meetings, I always want the car to look its best. Stopping and applying this spray will ensure my car gets noticed everywhere I go.
Autoglym Instant Tire Care
For use on:Tires
Buy on Amazon
The next spray dressing, AutoGlym Instant Tire Dressing, is a middle ground between McKees and Carfidant.
Depending on where you are located, this product can be good value for money or very bad value for money.
Being a UK based company, AutoGlym is understandably cheaper in the UK.
In the States you may have to pay twice as much. Despite this, it's still cheaper than McKees but more expensive than Carfidant.
Autoglym Instant Tire Dressing is a very milky, watery tire dressing that contains permanent silicone protectants. I've used it many times to fix my terrible budget tires.
The only thing I would suggest when using this product is to shake it well and apply it to a sponge before taking it to your tires. This will limit how much overspray gets on your tires and prevent possible skidding.
However, I cannot fault this product. It can be applied to wet or dry tires and you can control the type of finish you achieve by the amount of product used.
If you are looking for a deep shine and wet look finish, this product is not for you. Instead, you get a dark, natural satin finish that keeps your tires looking brand new, not fake.
Personally I would avoid this product if I were in America, I don't think it's value for money there. But in the UK it's excellent value for money at <£10 a bottle.