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Old 13-12-2009, 03:44 PM   #1
OCD Sufferer (Obsessive Car Detailer)
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Autoglym HD Wax

The Product:
Autoglym High Definition Wax

Image Source:

From the Autoglym website:
A perfect combination of elements (Carnauba + microcrystallines, waxes + saturated hydrocarbons and oils) and many years of development in the laboratory gives a super quality finish with exceptional durability

Offers the most lasting protection against all environmental contaminants such as salt, detergents, UV light, acid rain and industrial fallout. High Definition Wax is free of all abrasives, water & emulsifiers. The complete kit contains the ideal components for perfect results every time.

Price and Availability:
£39.99 RRP - 150g of wax supplied
As part of Autoglym's Retail Range, this product will be available from the usual outletters.

Used on:
1992 SAAB 900 Convertible - single stage black paint.

From the back of the box:
Vehicle should be clean and dry. If required, pre-clean with Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo and Conditioner. For best results use High Definition Wax in the shade on a cool surface.

Apply wax sparingly with a light circular motion using the supplied red applicator sponge which must be pre-dampened before use. Spread High Definition Wax uniformly over the entire surface.

Leave wax film to dry on the surface for ten to fifteen minutes. Buff the dry wax film to a high gloss, using the supplied Hi-Tech Finishing Cloth, tirning the cloth frequently.
From the plastic bag containing the pads:
Sponge must be damp before use. If it has dried out, immerse in water until the sponge has softened.
The product is supplied in a high quality printed box of an intriguing design with an outer sleeve and an inner box which folds open to reveal two sides - one containing the wax held in place by a supporting platform and the other containing 2x HD Wax Applicators and 1x Hi-Tech Finishing Cloth.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture.

In summary, the box set is of a very high standard with all the information you would need written onto the box itself as well as on the packaging of each item internally.

Product & Fragrance:
The wax is slightly yellowy off-white in appearance and with a fruity scent, gentle enough to be present but not overpowering.

The wax is solid and can be made to melt when a warm finger is run around the surface of the wax. The wax is not soft or balm-like, but soft enough to be brought out of a solid state in this way.

The included Hi-Tech Finishing Cloth is simply a red microfibre towel and the two High Definition Applicators are a very dense, almost rubbery foam. The applicators are supplied in a sealed plastic bag, already moistened and then in a further zip lock bag allowing the owner to keep them moistened and protected.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture.

Ease of use:
Very easy indeed to use.

The car was washed with Autoglym Body Shampoo and Conditioner and pre-cleanser with a "generous amount" of HD Cleanser.

Application is exactly as expected - very easy to transfer a small amount of wax to the applicator and spread it on the paintwork. The wax seems to bond very rapidly and so has a slightly crusty feeling when the applicator is run back over a bonded area. The applicator is easy to use. I worried it might be a little small for an adult, but the slightly rubbery consistency of the applicator provided a sound grip for use.

Putting down a thin layer is not at all difficult.

Once bonded, the wax can clearly be seen to pass the "swipe test", indicating that it is time for removal:

Buffing? Oh my ...

... what an absolute doddle! Gently wipe a folded cloth over the hazed film and it removes effortlessly - for this alone, the wax should be awarded some kind of special merit. My only comment here is that one Hi-Tech Finishing Cloth is not enough, even for a car without a roof.

There was no evidence of hologramming or secondary hazing, making this a quite fool-proof wax, suitable for a seasoned veteran and newcomer alike and certainly raising an eyebrow of approval with someone who has tried a lot of waxes.

Deep, glossy and shimmering.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture.

Furthermore, I believe there to be some filling capability in the wax - not necessary "containing fillers", but engineered to remove very light glints that would detract from the look.

Moving left to right, the first picture shows the panel after washing and drying - very light swirling on this Prima Donna paintwork. Without the sun and without looking closely, this would not be noticeable. Next, after one application of HD Cleanser and then the wax layer applied. Finally, the buffed panel revealing a swirl-free finish.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger picture.

I do not think that this is a swirl-filling wax by any means - the lessening of the appearance of swirls is no doubt intentional, but incidental in this wax. Similar behaviour can be found in Chemical Guys Pete's 53 and Pinnacle Souveran.

Not always apparent when photographed, in reality there was a distinct difference in the look of the cleansed and waxed paint (on the panel in front of the door - to the left in the picture) against the older preparation (on the door - to the right in the picture):

Simply a pleasure to look at

I intend to maintain this wax with a simple weekly wash through the winter and re-visit this review after the following intervals:
1 week
1 month
2 months
3 months

Beading shots will also be added, but at this stage I felt the important thing was to allow the product to cure and not possibly compromise the durability by spraying fresh water over for the purposes of a beading shot.

Durability - First Wash
I had intended to consider the condition of the surface after one week, the normal interval between washing our cars but the the mid/late-December snow put a stop to that. Two weeks on and on a bright, crisp day with some reasonable warmth from the sun and the air moisture quite low, I washed the car with Autoglym Bodywork Shampoo & Conditioner and was met with a finish that I had hoped for but not necessarily expected after all the snow, ice, slush and salt.

The clinging water droplets can be seen quite clearly in the next picture which shows a treated area on the left-hand side of the picture against an untreated door panel on the right-hand side. The droplets could be made to wick away with incredible ease using an open ended hose and a gentle trickle of water. Larger droplets could be made to race off top surfaces by gently rocking the car.

I have to say that I was put off this wax by the price. While the RRP is not uncommon for waxes of this calibre, the price is a double-edged sword for Autoglym. On the one hand, brand perception: "it's just Autoglym" ... "I can spend £40 and get Zymöl", yet on the other hand, once you have actually used the wax the price becomes irrelevant.

This wax is certainly a step up from the basic end of the market and put abstractly, for such a mid-range wax £40 for 150ml is steep - compare that to Chemical Guys or even Dodo Juice which ship in 250ml and 200ml quantities, respectively.

"But how good is it?" ... you mean, where would it sit on shelf from worst to best? What are its immediate peers? I found it very much akin to Chemical Guys Pete's 53 or 50/50. Definitely a mark up from Chemical Guys XXX Hardcore Paste Wax, but not quite up to something like Pinnacle Souveran.

Overall DW Rating:
It is certainly a good wax: 75%

I think the inclusion of two Hi-Tech Finishing Cloths would be welcome since one cloth to buff a whole car, especially one with a roof, would be stretching it a little thin.

I found the wax to be very good and blew away my expectations, especially when used in conjunction with HD Cleanser. I think the pot is a little small for the price, which is perhaps more readily justified by the excellent packaging.

If you like the sound of this product, do look out for it in the usual outlets.

Last edited by Orca; 28-12-2009 at 03:50 PM. Reason: Adding comments after the first wash.
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