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Friday, May 8, 2020

Tire "Dressing" and "do not use covers"! Where's the test data?

Been following a long thread on an RV Forum on the topic of "Tire Dressing" aka tire treatment or "Tire Shine".
The good news is that most posters knew to not use any product that contains Petroleum Distillate. Too bad some RV dealers don't follow the guidelines on this. I have seen a number of display coaches almost dripping with some slippery fluid. Might be Brake Fluid or even motor oil as the tires were shiny and I could scrape the coating off, leaving a "slimy" substance on my finger.

I saw a number of different products mentioned and many suggestions that a product called 303 was a good UV protectant.

I saw no one provide any actual direct comparison test data for any product that would support the claim of protection against UV damage. With a little work getting through the maze of retailers selling "303" I finally made contact with their customer service. I asked "Can you provide any test data on 303 vs other tire protection products. Also info on if 303 application removes any of the wax or oil or anti-ozone chemicals built into tires." The answer was that they would ask their chemists. This seems strange that a company making claims on the performance of their product would not have comparison data available that would back up and support the claim. Please note, I am not saying that 303 does not offer some "protection" against UV damage to tires. I am concerned that the actual application as seen on YouTube may be removing the special waxes and anti-ozinate chemicals tire companies put in our tires.

If I receive actual test data that compares 303 against other products that make similar claims I will post on this blog.

What was most concerning were a couple of posts where the writers claimed
"I got tired of reading all the opinions on tire dressing so went to the source, Michelin. They stated that washing tires with mild soap is the only thing they support on their tires, no dressing no covers, no nothing. You don't see shiny tires at a truck stop and these are the people who put on the miles."
Another said "Goodyear RV tire guide says. Just keep them clean, no dressings, no covers, zip. You can use the same stuff you wash your RV with perhaps use a medium brush on stubborn spots."

I responded:   Interesting comment on "no covers". Wonder what Goodyear RV guide you are looking at? 
I found in THIS Goodyear RV Tire Guide and under storage the advice to store tires "in sunless area" and "Don't store tires where they are subjected to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures".
Based on the above, how does telling us to not use tire covers make sense?
I have confirmed with actual test data that covering tires can reduce the tire temperature by about 40° F which could extent tire life by many months, depending on how long you protect them from artificial heat aging.

I checked and found just the opposite on the shielding from the Sun. In fact I even contacted an Engineer at Michelin and he said "Our position regarding tire dressing and protection has not changed. It is still recommended that tires are cleaned with a mild detergent and water, and they are protected from direct sunlight when the vehicle is parked for extended periods of time. This is usually accomplished with the use of some type of cover. "

So I don't know where the "no cover" info from either Goodyear or Michelin comes from and if you read my blog you know that this tire design engineer is a strong proponent of using White vinyl on Class-B & C tires and the flat mesh of any color on Class-A.

I have nothing against 303. I am wondering why, for the price they don't have any actual direct comparison performance data on UV protection.

PS. If you don't want to protect your tires from the heat aging due to sun exposure please don't ask me to explain why you don't get longer life from your tires. Also next time you run into someone selling an brand  "Tire Dressing" ask to see the test data and see what happens.


  1. So where do you find "flat mesh" covers?

  2. Have you seen the mesh type covers from Magneshade? They fit close to the tire, and the middle of the circle-shaped cover is open exposing the tire rim.


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