Beware--ArmorAll Tire Shine Extreme

Joined
May 12, 2004
Messages
726
Location
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
OK, I've never had an issue like this with a car-care product before. I've had some products worse than others, but none of those ever drove me to complain to the manufacturer. . . I simply moved on to better products.

That being said, I've used ArmorAll products off and on for most of my adult life. They've worked adequately, were in my price range and are readily available at most auto parts stores. A few months ago I purchased the title product, and didn't get around to using it until recently. Per usual for me, I washed both vehicles, moved them into the garage where they were both allowed to dry. I then detailed the exterior, which included using ArmorAll Tire Shine Extreme on the tires per the instructions (which really haven't changed much in 30 or so years). Initially, the tires looked very nice, with the usual black sheen that I was accustomed to seeing. A few hours later (before driving), the black sheen began to give way to brownish splotches on the sidewalls, which worsened as time went on.

Over the next several days, I tried re-cleaning the tires and reapplying the ArmorAll with no improvement. In fact, the brown areas were getting bigger and were impossible to remove by cleaning. I was beginning to get concerned that my tires had been cosmetically damaged somehow, so I contacted ArmorAll's customer service department.

Now, I'm not a complainer by nature. I'm old enough to know that "stuff" happens. I reached out to them mostly to seek their advice on fixing my issue and to let them know that they may have a bad batch of product. I prefaced my phone contact with them by saying I was a long-time customer and generally had good experiences with their products. Whether this is relevant or not, it should be noted that the customer service rep(s) I spoke to spoke with a non-English accent and the phone connection s seemed, uh. . . .distant.

Anyway, I was told to put my complaint in an email and to send it to a specific address with a complaint number in the subject header, which I accomplished twice, both times resulting in an error code basically stating that the email address was invalid. Two more phone calls and new email addresses resulted in more failed emails. I then told them that I just wanted a phone call from someone at ArmorAll, to which I was told I was already talking to "customer service" and that they'd help me if I could get an email through. At that point I was done with them.

I then left a critical review of their customer service department and their tire product on the ArmorAll FB page, along with with pics of my tires. . . .which was summarily pulled down. I was then contacted directly by their "customer service" department through FB where they gave me generic information about how to use their products and thanking me for being a customer.

The rest of the story: I'm done using ArmorAll (anything). It took me hours of scrubbing and the application of a competing product to get my tires looking decent again. ArmorAll used to be OK, but I can't recommend it. FYI
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
29,195
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
May years ago I read the brown stuff on the surface of the tires is not dirt it is actually waxes/anti-ozonant in the compound to prevent cracking. I never cleaned tires with anything more than car wash soap and water and a brush, no so called protectants and never had an issue with tire cracking. Tires are not supposed to be shiny.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2012
Messages
7,302
Location
Caldwell Idaho
I used Armor All on my 1974 Hondo Sprint in 1974 and it did the brown thing on the vinyl seats . That is the last time I used ArmorAll.
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2018
Messages
2,554
Location
south dakota
If there is one thing at a car show that I just cannot comprehend is a vehicle that is totally coated with excessive, fresh shiny applicant applied over everything. I mean really, does a person need to just bomb the entire car with shiny, greasy, dust collecting products? I believe there is a place for the product however one application is good for a year or more on a dash, door panels and things that might get a little chalky looking. There is no need to bucket wash everything with greasy products. They need to look like they came out of the factory brand new and not overly shiny and wet looking. Plus, body shops cringe at these shiny products because you have to be very carefull when doing paint touch ups because if you get it on a panel its like oil and will ruin a refinish job. The stuff spreads in a body shop like a live virus.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2003
Messages
1,846
Location
9200' Colorado
If there is one thing at a car show that I just cannot comprehend is a vehicle that is totally coated with excessive, fresh shiny applicant applied over everything. I mean really, does a person need to just bomb the entire car with shiny, greasy, dust collecting products? I believe there is a place for the product however one application is good for a year or more on a dash, door panels and things that might get a little chalky looking. There is no need to bucket wash everything with greasy products. They need to look like they came out of the factory brand new and not overly shiny and wet looking. Plus, body shops cringe at these shiny products because you have to be very carefull when doing paint touch ups because if you get it on a panel its like oil and will ruin a refinish job. The stuff spreads in a body shop like a live virus.
I work a lot of automotive trade shows. I spend a lot of time shouting at people to not lean against the slimy tires, especially since they are almost all wearing tan khakis, that the show crews just coated.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2013
Messages
159
Location
Georgia
If there is one thing at a car show that I just cannot comprehend is a vehicle that is totally coated with excessive, fresh shiny applicant applied over everything. I mean really, does a person need to just bomb the entire car with shiny, greasy, dust collecting products? I believe there is a place for the product however one application is good for a year or more on a dash, door panels and things that might get a little chalky looking. There is no need to bucket wash everything with greasy products. They need to look like they came out of the factory brand new and not overly shiny and wet looking. Plus, body shops cringe at these shiny products because you have to be very carefull when doing paint touch ups because if you get it on a panel its like oil and will ruin a refinish job. The stuff spreads in a body shop like a live virus.

Dealerships too. They sprayed down the entire engine bay of my wife's car with armor all or something similar. All it does is hold an impressive amount of dust and grime on every surface in there. Two years later I still haven't gotten it all off.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2020
Messages
1,127
Location
SW Missouri
My absolute favorite tire dressing. It doesn’t attract dust too bad either. I use it on my dump truck for shows and they will get a slight brown tint from the dust in the quarry but washes off easily with the pressure washer.
F68E4295-884C-4F4B-BE6F-FF81F0A53EE2.jpeg
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2017
Messages
3,313
Location
near Cincinnati, OH
Dealerships too. They sprayed down the entire engine bay of my wife's car with armor all or something similar. All it does is hold an impressive amount of dust and grime on every surface in there. Two years later I still haven't gotten it all off.
Look on the bright side, at least it is likely to help preserve the rubber. I've seen used car lots take a rattle can of clearcoat paint to an engine bay... indiscriminately, clearcoat EVERYTHING.

I don't use tire dressings. I've never had my tires turn the slightest bit brown, except dirt from off road use.
 

Robster

Thread starter
Joined
May 12, 2004
Messages
726
Location
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
May years ago I read the brown stuff on the surface of the tires is not dirt it is actually waxes/anti-ozonant in the compound to prevent cracking. I never cleaned tires with anything more than car wash soap and water and a brush, no so called protectants and never had an issue with tire cracking. Tires are not supposed to be shiny.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
265
A sure sign to me to run away from a used car purchase is shiny hoses and wires under the hood. It's a strong indicator that someone's hiding a major issue.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
9,978
Location
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Had the same experience years ago. Had to use Wesley's Bleche White to get the brown stuff off of the tires. I have not used Armor All products in years and always caution my friends about them.
That is the key. I use Armor All Extreme Tire Shine regularly. The trick is you have to use Wesley's Bleach White religiously BEFORE you apply the Extreme Tire Shine.

This removes all of the UV oxidized rubber from the sidewall. Which can be considerable. That is what is causing the brown spots, not the Armor All Extreme Tire Shine. And you have to use plenty of elbow grease, with a stiff scrub brush, along with heavily spraying on the Bleach White. Just spraying and rinsing won't cut it.

Once you have completely scrubbed off and removed all of the oxidized rubber from the sidewall, and rinsed and dried it thoroughly, the Extreme Tire Shine will leave a beautiful, gloss black shine, that will last weeks longer than any other tire shine product.

The key is to properly prep the tire before applying it. Armor All should make that clear. Or even sell the product packaged with an appropriate cleaner, (like Bleach White), to do the job properly.
 
Top