Is there anything more satisfying in life than improving the paint finish of your car?
There is something exhilarating about removing scratches and imperfections from your car – especially if you are the kind of person who takes pride in their vehicle.
Hopefully I’m not alone in thinking this (let me know in the comment section below)
If you know anything about car detailing, then you’ll know that there are “levels” to this blend of art and science.
Some people are happy to never clean their car. Others stretch as far as a gas station machine wash once or twice a year. On the other end of the spectrum, you have professional detailers and enthusiasts who will stop at nothing to get their car looking as good as new (or even better than new, for that matter).
I’m the kind of guy who sits in a “happy medium”, perhaps slightly more towards the fussy end.
I want my car to look good. I don’t like my car being covered in scratches and imperfections and all of the other nasty things that happen to the paintwork over time.
However, I don’t have the time, inclination or tools to spend my entire weekend detailing my car. What I want to do with every detailing product I buy or procedure I undertake is to find the “sweet spot” where I’m getting the best possible outcome relative to effort and cost.
My car cleaning product collection is full of products that aren’t necessarily the best thing on the market (but also aren’t the worst) and are more about providing a solid trade-off for people looking to improve the look and finish of their car than those who are truly obsessional about detailing … and I do take my hat off to those people.
Recently, I wrote about my results using CRC’s Headlight Doctor product on my wife’s car. Those who have read that review will know I ‘liberated’ my supply of Headlight Doctor from my dad’s garage.
Today’s product review is much the same.
My Volkswagen Touareg (read more here about my ownership experience, or check out our buyer’s guide and model history here) has a pretty average paint finish, to be brutally honest.
Years of the previous owner using it to tow a caravan to campsites across New Zealand – plus my deployment of it as a vehicle to take my mountain bike and dog out – have left it looking a bit tired. Furthermore, because of its relatively gargantuan size compared to the average New Zealand car parking space, it’s a bit prone to other people opening their doors into it or otherwise scratching it when trying to navigate around them.
That’s why I wanted to find a simple, affordable product for removing minor scratches and imperfections from my Touareg.
As luck would have it, when I was raiding dad’s garage I also came across an unopened bottle of Turtle Wax’s “Scratch Repair & Renew” – a product that claims to be a one-step solution to removing scratches and other unsightly paint issues.
In this Turtle Wax Scratch Repair & Renew review, I cover my “real world” experience with using this product to let you know whether or not I think it is worth buying.
Disclosure: I am not a professional car detailer. I’m a regular guy who likes cars, and who knows the basics of detailing. A professional – or even very experienced amateur/hobbyist – could probably get better results than me using this product. I also hand-applied only rather than using any kind of orbital or DA. However, I hope that this review of Turtle Wax Scratch Repair & Renew gives you a good understanding of what an “average” result might look like.
Table of Contents
About The Product
What Is It?
Turtle Wax Scratch Repair & Renew is a car detailing product that is designed to help you remove scratches, swirls, water spots and other paint imperfection from your car. It’s a “one step” (excluding buffing) product that has a paste-like consistency.
Here’s what the manufacturer has to say:
- Repairs light to heavy scratches, swirls, water spots and paint contamination with precision platelet technology
- Restores and seals paint in one easy step for long-lasting protection
- Results won’t wash away like other brands
It comes in a 7oz (~200ml) bottle with a flip cap as opposed to a screw cap.
How Much Does It Cost? Where Can You Buy It?
Scratch Repair & Renew by Turtle Wax isn’t particularly expensive.
Here in New Zealand, you can purchase a bottle from any big auto store or department store with an automotive section for around $15-20 NZD (depending on whether there’s a special on). This equates to around $10-15 USD.
On Amazon, the product is unfortunately out of stock – but it should be back in stock soon so you can check out their listing here.
Turtle Wax’s own website has it listed for $12 USD.
So, long story short, it’s an affordable product. You won’t need to remortgage the house to buy this.
Testing Scratch Repair & Renew
To test this product, I decided to try and fix a few obvious areas of damaged paint on my Volkswagen Touareg (make sure you read our Volkswagen Touareg buyer’s guide and model history here for more information on this somewhat-risky choice of used European luxury SUV).
The application process I followed was simple:
- Apply the product to the problem area, using a microfibre cloth
- Rub back and forward for 60 seconds (as per instructions)
- Buff off with another cloth
I didn’t use any extra tool – and I only did one “pass” on each area.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have my good camera to hand (Ben, the other editor of this website, is using it for some projects he is working on). Instead, I took photos using my Samsung Note 10 phone. This phone is now the best part of three years old, so the camera quality isn’t fantastic. I’m also not a particularly good photographer. Also bear in mind that in the process of uploading these photos to the website, there is some compression applied in order to keep the site running fast – this also has the effect of reducing quality.
However, hopefully you can see some clear improvements in these before-and-after shots. If you want to see anything more detailed, then let me know and I’ll get Ben to capture some photos on the better camera.
What I found was that this product did a good job of removing minor scratches, swirls and other imperfections. Even on a more substantial scratch (see the example above) it did a solid job at minimising the appearance of it. In real life you can still see this scratch on the passenger side rear door … but it is nowhere near as visible as it was.
Deeper scratches wont’ be removed by this, however – so it’s important to temper your expectations as to what you can expect. You aren’t going to be able to make your paint “as good as new” with this product, but you can substantially improve the finish.
Review Conclusion – Turtle Wax Scratch Repair & Renew
Overall, I’m pleased with the results I got from this product – at least in the quick initial testing I did.
On the areas I tested on my 2006 VW Touareg, the paint finish was noticeably improved, especially with regards to removing minor scratches.
For deep scratches you’d probably need something more aggressive – or you’d need to look at using an orbital/DA with this product, or perhaps an even stronger cutting compound.
However, for “day to day” scratch and swirl removal, this product does a good job at a fair price, and it is very usable in the hands of an Average Joe like me.
Remember I got my bottle for free. However, even if I had paid for it, I would still be more than satisfied with the outcome. It’s less than $20 NZD for a bottle (and we get ripped off on car detailing products here versus the United States) and so value for money is strong. This isn’t something you’d use every week either, compared to say a wash & wax product, so it should last a long time.
Although Turtle Wax is not the most desirable brand in terms of car detailing products, I’ve generally found their range more than adequate for an occasional hobbyist like me.
If you are after an affordable, easy-to-use scratch removal product that generates good results with minimal effort, then I’d recommend giving this Turtle Wax product a closer look.