For the first time since April when I first got my C-Max, I have finally been able to wash it and clean the tires. I just hit 1900 miles and it hadn't been cleaned since it left the showroom floor! Leasing a condo with a one car garage, and rain about every other day just made it too difficult until now.
I read about some tire shine product made by Turtle Wax, and decided to give it a try after reading excellent reviews about it. I have in the past tried the spray on and wipe on products, but they don't last long, and many of them sling off the tire and make a mess on the fenders.
Several years ago I found a product called Tuf-Shine, which is a very liquid dye type fluid. The tires had to be scrubbed almost immaculately, or the product wouldn't coat correctly. It may bleed brown, or it may crack. On my Edge I scrubbed each tire 6 times using their cleaner, and still had to use some mineral spirits in order to get the tire clean enough for the product. It was a bit expensive, I think around $40.00 for the kit. It worked well, but too expensive and not easy to use.
The Turtle Wax kit cost around $13.00 and was VERY easy to use. I washed the car, cleaned the tires once with my Bleche-Wite, and then once with the included Turtle Wax tire cleaner. I still had some brown showing on the tires which would have been a complete no-no if I was using Tuf-Shine. The Turtle Wax product didn't make a big deal about removing it all, so I tried it the way it was.
I then removed the tires in order to be able to apply the shine product in a uniform circle and not worry about having part of the tire on the ground. It takes about 120 minutes for each coat to dry, and I applied two coats.
You MUST use gloves with this product, as it is a very black dye type watery liquid. The kit includes one pair of plastic gloves, but get yourself some similar to what I have pictured. The pad that comes with the kit is nice, but tears apart quickly from the different textures on the tires. This one was used twice on a total of 8 tires, so 16 times around. Comments on some of the posts I have read suggest you get the foam type paint pads and try those.
I also put my pad in a ziplock bag, and it stayed moist since I had last used it two weeks ago. Others have said you can wash it, but I think the bag works well. I had to use a small drill bit to unclog the nozzle on the bottle since it had been last used two week ago. I used only two coats on each tire, and the shine dries to a nice matte finish. Others have done 5 or 6 coats to get as much of a shine as they can. The shine does not sling off, rub off, or wash off. It is suppsed to last 3-4 months before needing a touch up.
If you get any on the rims while applying like I did, you just use a rag with some of the tire cleaner on it. I found the Bleche-Wite to work very well at getting it off the wheels. Here are the results.
NOTE Turtle Wax makes a similar product, but it has received very poor reviews. Make sure if you try this you get the exact product and kit that I have shown. I think you will be very pleased.