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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dust2Glory's Avatar
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    Silicone or Water Based Tire Dressing: What's better and Why?

    Ok here's the deal. D & D questioned why I was using a silicone based dressing on tires. Because that's what was sold to me. Now I know silicone on paint can ruin clear... no agrument there. However I have been using silicone based dressing on my tires and they have yet to brown... on the other hand, they are cracking on the sides. Now if I were to use a water based dressing, would this still happen?

    Now I'm no dummy, when I put the dressing on, I wipe the excess off so it won't sling. And I have seen it with my own eyes that silicone based dressing is a water-repellant. I have read a few thing on the internet, but who's to say what is true. I have ordered some PB dressing and I got a sample of DP tire gel. The DP TG was good stuff, very sticky. It didn't last as long as I thought it would. About as long as my RL exterior tire and trim, none the less good stuff. So if you have some good info and or good opinion let me know. As well to educate other people.

  2. #2
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    I think you may mean solvent based dressings vs water based. Most dressing use silicone although there are some speciality dressing for body shops that are silicone free. Water based is generally milky looking where solvents tend to be clear or blue but sometimes other colors are used. As I recall solvent dressing work by expanding the pores of the rubber and allowing the silicone to penetrate the surface. The tend to last longer and be more water resistant. Over time some may discolor the tire and or change the composition of the rubber. I've not experienced this very often. Water based dressing sit on the top surfaces more and tend to not last as long. They are however considered more safe. The level of shine comes from the quality and amount of silicone used.
    Personally I use both from time to time. Some solvent dressing I think are too greasy and build a sludge on the tire. They may last a long time but they are messy. A few dealers use some horrible dressing around here. When a customer gets the free carwash and I have to remove that dressing it's a pain. It blackens my brush and is super hard to remove. It sure does last but looks like crap after dirt and dust has collected on it for a week. Other solvent dressing work just fine though. Quality water based dressing work great and clean up of the tire is much easier.

  3. #3
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    Personally, I like my tires with a satin look, or just a nice clean natural look
    On my own car, I use Wesley's Wite-Bleache cleaner at least once a year, and dress with PB NL
    Silicone based dressing may nourish the tires, and keep them from premature aging, but I believe cleaning thoroughly before dressing is just as important
    -Goose
    2007 Audi RS4

  4. #4
    Senior Member Thejoyofdriving's Avatar
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    Some solvent dressings can damage tires so wtch out! I like water based because i feel it attracts less dust, however most solvent based dressing last longer. Also most tire dressings containing silicone give a very shinny look. I dont like silicones in my dressing because of the dust thing, they seem to build up a layer of gunk after like a day. 303 protectant is a great water based dressing, along with pinnacle black onyx.

  5. #5
    Senior Member wytstang's Avatar
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    My tires browned with........................PB BnB which is why I stoped using. I loved the way it looked though. I now use WG tire gel and I'm very happy with the results it give. It holds up to rain a lot better as well. Very easy to remove as well, I use PB APC and it comes right off. PB BNB has worked well on my wifes car, no problems there. weird...


  6. #6
    Senior Member klumzypinoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wytstang
    My tires browned with........................PB BnB which is why I stoped using. I loved the way it looked though. I now use WG tire gel and I'm very happy with the results it give. It holds up to rain a lot better as well. Very easy to remove as well, I use PB APC and it comes right off. PB BNB has worked well on my wifes car, no problems there. weird...
    I think there's different reactions to the ingredients of the rubber on the tires...I read about it somewhere..

  7. #7
    Senior Member ltoman's Avatar
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    Yah, on our older green van I sprayed the tires once with AA foam, and poof, they have been brown ever since. Yes, really once!

    But my son has used it on his Honda - both have tires less than 1 full year old - and his are fine. Explain that to me; neither has cheap tires.

    I hate sling; I rarely use any of the stuff anymore. This time, I used a baster brush - like a paint brush- to put on the AA tire gel. Now that didn't sling...got that idea from someone here....but they really don't look shiney anymore, and it's only 2 days later....
    ~Lulu~


  8. #8
    Senior Member Thejoyofdriving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by klumzypinoy
    I think there's different reactions to the ingredients of the rubber on the tires...I read about it somewhere..
    It could be that the solvents in that tire gel are leaching out the carbon black in the tires, some tire dressings can brown tires or worse.....lead to tire failure, companys check for the presence of ingredients in some tire shines which could have lead to the tire failure. . I dont know if that is whats going on but its a guess.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ltoman's Avatar
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    Sometimes, I think adding tire shine of any sort is just a waste of time and money....
    ~Lulu~


  10. #10
    Senior Member supercharged's Avatar
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    After trying many tire dressings, I will tell you that I prefer water based tire gels. DP, Wolfgang, and Pinnacle work the best with an average 2 weeks durability.
    2007 Infiniti G35 dark grey (daily driver)
    2009 BMW E70 X5 4.8i jet black (garage queen)
    2013 BMW F25 X3 2.8 jet black (wife's car)

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