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|24-04-2010, 12:24 PM||#1|
OCD Sufferer (Obsessive Car Detailer)
Join Date: Apr 2007
Thanked 560 Times in 266 Posts
ValetPro Achilles Prep
Price & Availability:
500ml - £8.00 (£9.40 incl VAT)
5L - £40.00 (£47.00 incl VAT)
Available direct from ValetPro and a number of other online retailers.
1989 SAAB 900 Turbo - Cirrus White single stage
Manufacturer's Product Information & Instructions:
Image source: http://www.valetpro.co.uk/Products/Wax-and-Polish
Two sizes to suit different needs presented in quality containers.
The smaller bottle is rigid, but with enough flex to squeeze product out where necessary with a top that seals well. The instructions on the bottle are clear and sufficient.
Appearance & Fragrance:
Opaque off-white free flowing viscous liquid with a chemical scent.
Cutting & Cleaning Power:
ValetPro Achilles Prep is an AIO and as such will draw immediate comparisons with Autoglym Super Resin Polish. The polish has light abrasives to remove light marring and when combined with the filling agents, will deal with light swirling and scratches.
Using the strong low winter sun the boot of the car can clearly be seen to have some swirling:
... after one hit of ValetPro Achilles Prep:
... and a second hit:
By hand, that is very good and everything I would have expected from its immediate rival: Autoglym Super Resin Polish. That's one of the three boxes for an AIO ticked: Polishing/Filling
More impressive is the cleansing action, which I consider to be much more effective than Autoglym Super Resin Polish and along the lines of Car-Lack68 NSC/Klasse AIO.
Before ... clean looking:
... with gentle effort applied over the whole car:
Superb! That's now two of the three boxes for an AIO ticked: Polishing/Filling AND Cleansing
Ease Of Use:
More than easy to use ... a pleasure to use!
The instructions on the bottle are clear and sufficient, although largely unnecessary since the polish works as one would expect it to.
Apply a small amount to a microfibre or terry pad and work into the paintwork for maximum cleansing power and to work any abrasives. The abrasives work down very quickly, in fact there is no hint of having to work down abrasives which might be heard as scratchiness, felt on the paintwork or seen as marring which removes with effort meaning the product can be used with a simple wipe over and even up the product applied for a quick filling fix.
I did not use this product by machine since I do not own a DA or a low speed rotary. The lowest speed that my rotary goes down to is 900 RPM and while I might have been able to make that work, I did not try it out. That is a key pitfall for a product aimed at the professional, or certainly the professionally inspired enthusiast. If you have a DA ... fine, but unless you have been quite serious about your choice of rotary you are going to be left with this as a hand product.
By comparison, Autoglym Radiant Wax (the trade name for Autoglym Super Resin Polish) carries the instructions to apply using a soft wool bonnet at 1800RPM. Autosmart Platinum and Mirror Image can be applied and worked at speeds around 1200-1500RPM, at a speed present and capable of practically all rotary polishers.
By hand there was no hint of dustiness when cleaning up, the haze simply wiped off and I would imagine the same when applied at a low speed by machine.
Bright, glossy and the cleansers bring out the structure of the paintwork to shine out as depth. Beading is immediately apparent and when dried straight off, the surface remains glassy and without swirling which shows the polishing and filling agents have been locked in there by a sealant.
That's a hat-trick! Three of the three boxes for an AIO ticked: Polishing/Filling, Cleansing AND Sealing.
I used this product to prepare for further LSPs, but left one top panel unprotected (the boot), protected with ValetPro Orion's Shield on the roof and ValetPro Artemis Wax Seal on the bonnet.
ValetPro Orion's Shield Mini-Review
Easy to apply pure sealant, but at over £13 RRP for 200ml, expensive.
Produced in a smaller square sided bottle with a pump head, the product is actually so thick that in cold weather the pump has to be pulled back up by hand. On a personal note, I would have preferred a conventional cylindrical bottle with a flip top head.The product kind of soaks into the paint, meaning clean-up is especially easy but it's the look that is not that special, nor is beading and once washed with Poseidon's Carnauba Wash the surface is left flat and lifeless.
More suited to use as an extra layer of protection underneath a further LSP, it could easily be compared to products like Chemical Guys Jetseal 109.
ValetPro Orions Shield Rating 55%
ValetPro Artemis Wax Seal Mini-Review
Novel hybrid wax sealant, apparently expensive at over £17 RRP for 100ml although quite fair when comparing price with amount of product with Autoglym HD Wax or Autosmart WAX, for example.
Interesting texture, not quite a wax ... more of a balm. Easy to apply and easy to over-apply, although there is plenty of play time to even up the thickness of the applied product which should be removed within only a few minutes of application. While the application does take a little getting used to being unlike many other waxes, you are not punished for getting it wrong - it's just more difficult to remove than when you get the technique just right. Like Orion's Shield, Artemis Wax Seal does not wipe off the fillers in the underlying product offering further protection to panels prepared with Achilles Prep. Beading and longevity of looks is substantially better than Orion's Shield and very much holds its own amongst its peers.
Perfect for rapid application without the need for a long cure time and leaves a finish that is utterly stunning; the paintwork seemingly alive, like flowing water! An effect that I managed to capture the previous summer on a black car:
Most recommended ... and most recommended for use on panels prepared with Achilles Prep.
ValetPro Artemis Wax Seal Rating 75%
The areas where ValetPro Achilles Prep were not topped with a further product showed resistance to re-swirling for about three weeks even with the car blathered in winter road filth, salt, snow and slush. Given the time of year and the conditions, I call that impressive!
Swirl-free paintwork was enjoyed under the areas that were topped with Orion's Shield and Artemis Wax Seal for longer. The car was fully refinished long before the sealing strength of either LSPs had given out.
Great product for a good price!
Pitched just under a tenner for a regular sized bottle makes this cheaper than its immediate rival, Autoglym Super Resin Polish. It is also cheaper than Car-Lack68 NSC/Klasse AIO for the same amount, delivering equally strong cleansing with the additional benefit of filling lingering swirls.
Overall DW Rating: 85%
ValetPro Achilles Prep is a very good AIO. Moreover, as a prep product for an LSP, especially Artemis Wax Seal it is perfect ... by hand. Compatibility with machine polishers is perhaps its downfall, when considering the apparent target market. It provides a strong market alternative to Autoglym Super Resin Polish.
On a personal note, this is my preference for an AIO with fillers.
Thankyou to ValetPro for supplying this product for reviewing. If you are interested in purchasing this, please visit: http://www.valetpro.co.uk/
Last edited by Orca; 05-05-2010 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Correcting "Achilles Wax Seal" with "Artemis Wax Seal"
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