You’d have to virtually live under a rock to have not seen at least one late night infomercial about car care products that promise to do everything from ‘magically’ removing severe scratches to instantly restoring old headlights. The commercials all start in much of the same way with some loud person exclaiming ‘You won’t believe this!’ or some other catchy phrase about how one doesn’t need to invest thousands of dollars to get their car to look ‘showroom ready.’ And what’s more magical about these products is that the price that they come at is truly mindboggling! For only $19.95 or sometimes less you can fix those dents, remove longstanding scratches, stop leaks and so much more. But inevitably every consumer wants to know,
‘Do they actually work?’
Unfortunately the answer is usually an resounding ‘no’ and all sorts of investigative teams as well as Consumer Reports have spent countless hours and money testing such products. After all, we all want to have shiny, like new cars even when they are decades old. But in most cases, consumers who purchase these ‘amazing, unbelievable and miraculous’ products may as well take a match to their hard earned cash.
The infomercials claim that this wondrous microfiber tower which is only 16 inches and attached to a curved handle and also comes with a specialized kit that includes 2 fiber bonnets, storage pouch and a spray bottle claims to be the easiest and fastest way to clean windshields and leave no streaks. The biggest claim made by this product is that it can get into the cracks and crevices between the dashboard and shielded glass.
At least forty non-affiliates have tested this product since its release and although one gave it an A+, all of the others state that it is essentially a waste when you can get the same effect with an old rag and glass cleaners at a much cheaper cost overall.
Pop A Dent
This car care product states that any consumer can literally ‘dial’ out any sized dent on their car and restore it to looking like new simply by using what is essentially a small suction device. The oft heard quote, ‘It’s like dialing a dent away’ rang in the ears of listeners and was enough to prompt hundreds if not thousands into buying it.
Consumer magazines tested this product a lot and also compared it to like products. The success was also mixed with the dents being removed about 80% of time. The remaining 20% both the companies that tested it and consumers who had purchased it stated the results were not only disappointing, absolutely nothing happened other than money disappearing from their wallets.
Seemingly of the times it did work, the dents that were performed on were less than six inches in length or diameter and very shallow. Additionally, the product also comes with a finishing agent which many consumers reported damaged their exterior paint! The entire process takes more than a few hours to complete and usually several tries are needed to get even the subtlest results and in some cases the tool actually left other marks or indentations thereby complicating their issues.
At the end of the day the overall feeling is that this product simply wasn’t worth the hassle.
Of all the car care products this one is probably the simplest. It is an oxidizer which claims to restore headlights to their showroom shine, removing any cloudiness and also has the added benefit of a sealant which should protect the headlights for months following one cleaning session.
Of all that tested and used it every review claimed that while the product did remove some grime, the finished product resembled nothing like showroom glean and shine. Basically what consumers received for their $14.99 plus shipping and handling was a cleaner like any other which removed surface dirt and it takes many more swipes than the one highlighted in the commercial. Numerous swipes in fact just to get the normal, everyday dirt off.
The jury is once again in and unanimously it is found that consumers should save their money and try something else. And it’s basically the same stoty across the board for all of these “As Seen on TV” offerings.
At the end of the day protecting and improving the appearance of their vehicle is important to any driver, for sure. But there really are no shortcuts. If you need a dent removed from the vehicle, take it to a bodyshop. If you want clearer headlights, prevent damage from occurring in the first place by having an Invisibra Headlight Protection treatment applied. And as for those paint scratches? An Invisibra will prevent them from ever occurring for years. Saving money with DIY can be fine, just not when it comes to something as valuable and relied upon as your car.