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6,626 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Had my four year old ride treated to Autoglym LifeShine at Clean Image in Chelmsford last month, this lot really do know how to do a good job. Travel from outside Essex and they even buy you a scrumptious steak lunch at the local by the river! If I hadn't had mine done already I'd suggest a group of us book them solid for a MkIV day during the summer [:D] Oh well I just did [:)] The aftercare pack is really nice as well, almost don't want to use it...

Here it is after applying Super Resin Polish and Extra Gloss Protection on top.





6,626 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. More pics when I do the rest of the car [;)] It was on special offer, ?195 for the full interior and exterior treatment. They say if you spend ?200 or more they'll buy you a steak lunch for two, and as I had a mate with me I gave them the extra fiver. Well worth it.

I have read one or two people saying it's a waste of money but what I will say is that these are specialist products, they need to be applied professionally, and that's exactly what Clean Image did. Some of the aforementioned consumer reports/rants complained of swirl marks, well that is only because it wasn't done right. I'm very pleased with the standard of work and service, and you can see the results.

Oh, and the aftercare kit is really sweet [Y] Quite literally, perhaps. I always used Extra Gloss Protection before anyway, and when you buff it off it smells like spiced rum [:p]

Check them out they always have good offers, and tell them I sent you [:)] Speak to Mark for bookings - he also did the treatment on my car.

One more thing: Autoglym LifeShine is in the official VW accessories catalogue as a dealer option (ditto Skoda, haven't checked others but several manufacturers approve it).

10,631 Posts
Nice man, but it does slightly sicken me to know that you can literally
buy these kind of kits (aftercare packs included) for about ?30-40 tops.

I could happily 'professionally valet' cars for ?200 a pop.

A car a day, 5 days a week.. Hmmm loadsa wonga :)

6,626 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Which kit is that and where? I'd be surprised if that was the equivalent in quality. The aftercare pack you get with LifeShine is the one in a canvas type bag that costs ?40-50 in most shops! The LifeShine treatment itself is not available to the public.

If you want easy money, I reckon coffee shops are the way to go [:D]

1,700 Posts
Great results...

Thing that bothers me with these type of products is you can never cut through your paint again - if you do you've thrown 200 quid down the toilet.

So claybarring etc is out of the question.....

3 Posts
Thank you for your kind words Shiuming,

I promise I'm not checking up on you, but I do keep a close eye on
where our web site is gettinng hits from, so I followed them back here
and thought I better respond to a couple of things mentioned.

Irish, it's very unlikely that you actually have a proper claybar as
used by professionals. The patent on clay bars is sewn up so tight that
most are made in the same factory by the same company... so with a few
very slight variations, there are only three kinds: Heavy Duty, Standard,
and Paint Erasor. In all likelyhood, if you got your clay bar from Megs or
another retail comapny, you would have the Paint Erasor... I'm not saying
there is anything wrong with this, but it is very soft and although it
removes tree sap and other stubbon grime, it is not strong enough to
remove metal fallout and the like.

Even so, I would be happy using the heavy duty over a paint sealant
such as Lifeshine. Claybars do not polish your car and are only as
abrasive as the crud that gets stuck to them.

From what I read on enthusiasts web sites, I feel people tend to
over-use claybars, once every 4-6 weeks is enough for any car, paint
sealed or not.

As for polishes, SRP is so mild it wont touch a sealant, so much
like a clay bar in removing grime... you shouldn't need to polish
sealed car. you should only polish when a car needs it, and having it
sealed should mean it won't need it.

If for any reason you should need to "cut through your paint", then it
isn't really a problem, at least not for single panels. Often our
customers have a prang and need a panel resprayed... we will re-apply
the sealant to a single panel for ?10. If for some strange reason you
needed the whole car re-done, we could probably come to an arrangement.

GTi Fly, The aftercare bag which comes with the Lifeshine has more in
it than the ones you buy in the shops, and I belive the RRP would be
about ?60-70 if it were available. This is how much it would cost to

If you see kits for ?30, don't touch them with a bargepoll.
Detailers/valeters do come and go, and we occasionally get them come to
us and offer us their gear because they are going out of business. We
also know that contract valeters are often paid to apply paint sealants
to 20 or more cars at a dealership, and somehow these kits end up on
ebay rather than on the car... this means two things, firstly these
kits are stolen, and secondly there is somebody out there saying "I had
a sealant fitted to my car and I can't tell the difference, it's not worth the money!".

Worse still, some of these contract valeters are re-filling the empty
packaging with normal wax and selling it on as the real thing. In many
ways, this is hardly suprising. Contract valeters are sometimes paid as
little as ?1 extra to apply a sealant kit as opposed to normal
products, and they know that the dealership is charging anything up to
?400. Everybody gets a cut except the guy who does the work, no wonder
they are tempted to try and get a slice of the action.

And there are professional criminals at it too. Sealants are a high
vlaue item and easy to counterfiet (easier than faking a Rolex!). I
know that large numbers of fake copies of a well known international brand have turned
up in the far east recently, and in the south east and midlands, there have been
a number of scams involving fake chemicals. With the price of oil going
up, and the price of chemicals doing the same, I would expect to see
more of this over the next few years.

But it isn't just the product... even if you do manage to get a real
sealant kit, it is best not to try and apply it yourself, things do go
wrong. Sometimes we are asked to correct poor applications carried out
by other dealers... and one occasion we had to correct a poor
application that we got wrong (even we get things wrong from time to
time) and once it goes on, it is a bugger to get off and usually
requires buffing off with coarse compounds. Meaning you could end up
paying more to have it removed than to have it professionally applied.

I hope this answers some of your doubts about sealants, if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Danny Argent

689 Posts
Some good points there Danny, good to see that you track your website etc and you obviously know your stuff.

On your point about counterfiet sealants, is this Diamond Brite by any chance? theres loads of that on ebay.

How does the DB compare with the autoglym lifeshine in terms of finish and durability and ease of applicaiton.

I have DB on my car thanks to a group buy on here organised by GTI Fly, i have to say i'm well pleased with it and it was so easy to apply, i doubt if it could go wrong!

3 Posts
I couldn't possibly comment about which particular brands are being
counterfiet on a large scale. Although I can say that sometimes these
products are rebranded for different countries, and I have heard that
there has been some large scale organized crime type counterfieting of
one particular brand going on in the far east... however as that brand
is sold under a different name here, it's not worth mentioning anyway.
But it is only a matter of time before it arrives here, and this is one
of the many reasons that the sealant companies are moving to stamp this

In all likelyhood, the stuff you bought was the real deal. Some
contract valeters get many cars to do, and in each kit is enough
product to do more than one car, so although a dealership gives them
one kit per car, if they don't open a new kit until they run out, they
can end up with several kits left over, which they often take as a perk
of the job. This is actually a very bad thing as obviously, the more
sparingly they apply the kits, the bigger the perks! This has always
happened and contract valeters would apply the kits to their mates
cars. But eBay has made it easier for this stuff to be sold.

So anyway, you have managed to get a kit, and as you are still alive,
you have obviously managed to pass the first hurdle which was applying
the fabric sealant without sealing your lungs. Did you use a resporator
or were you just lucky? :)

If you inhaled a lot of this stuff without breathing difficulties, then
it is possible that you were actually just sold some soapy water in a
Diamondbrite bottle. This kind of scam happens all the time in the
valeting industry. Many valeters are seasonal workers, and often, so
are the suppliers. So there are people who will turn up and supply free
samples which are very good (probably because they are actually giving
you a sample of a brand name product with their own lable on), and a
week later they turn up with gallons of the stuff which they offer you
for cash... you can bet your life it's not the same stuff. So we only
buy from reputable dealers or manufacturers.

i doubt if it could go wrong!
Car wax is a protective coating, and unless you completely remove it,
it will protect your car from Diamondbrite. If you have a thick coat of
wax on your car and you apply the Diamondbrite over the top, then the
diamondbrite is unable to bond with the paintwork. As the wax breaks
down and evaporates over the course of a few months, the polymer
sealant will fall off too. This is actually a good thing as the
alternative is very nasty!

Diamondbrite smells a bit like terpentine... and off the top of my head
I can't remeber exactly what sort of solvent it contains, and what
effect it has on normal car wax. But wax is melted by solvents, this is
how they are able to disolve it so that it can be applied to your car. you have wax on your car, and you apply a sealant on top, and
that sealant contains slovents which melt the wax layer underneath.

What then happens is that the wax resins mix with the polymer resins,
but unless you spend hours rubbing your car down with sealant, they
won't mix evenly. In some places it will be mostly wax, the polymer
chains won't bond together and won't bond with the paintwork. In other
places they will bond. Polymers bond in a sort of 3 dimentional way,
while wax resins bond in a sort of two dimentional way, polymer
resins will bond to wax resins but in a 2 dimentioal way, making them
no stonger than wax resins.

Over time, the waxy areas will break down, peel off, and evaporate as
they usually do, and the polymer patches will remain, leaving your car
with a camoflage effect pattern! I have seen this and it is not a
pretty sight!

There are other problems too, most waxes contain 'fillers', which you
may know as silicone, this fills scratches and lesens the effect of
micro-scratches, swirl marks, holograms, spider webs, or whatever you
want to call them. so if you normally wax your car, you might not know
how bad your paintwork actually is. Sealants don't have the same effect
and are not so good at hiding micro scratches, they aren't supposed
too! They are designed to seal in 'good' paintwork. So you might find
the results of a sealant disapointing. You may find that now you have
sealed your car, all those little imprfections show up in the sunlight,
and the problem is that now you have sealed them in!

In short, Sealants are easy to use if you follow the corect procedure,
but I have seen some horrible things go wrong with sealants, even when
they have been applied by professionals.

Lifeshine is very similar to Diamondbrite, the difference is that
Diamondbrite has the wash addative, while Lifeshine isn't topped up,
instead it has Super Resin Polish applied over the top.

SRP, isn't stricktly speaking a polish, it is a chemical cleaner rather
than an abrasive, in fact, it was told the other day that it isn't
actually a resin either in scientific terms (?). SRP is wonderful stuff
and gives Lifeshine extra depth and gloss. But don't despare if you
bought Diamondbrite, because they have a product which is similar to
SRP, which they don't officially recommend you use over diamondbrite,
but I am told it works a treat. The only problem is, I can't remember
the name of the stuff!

I'll get back to you with the name as soon as my mental block clears!

3 Posts
PS. This stuff that I can't remember the name of is a trade product,
but I have had a couple of customers who have contacted Jewelultra and
been sold it when they ask for it by name, even though it is not
advertized on their web site. (JewelUltra make fantastic trade products
for the preparation ofpaintwork prior to Diamondbrite treatment, this
is the stuff they don't sell you on eBay!).

The big drawback is that using it over Diamondbrite will probably invalidate your 7 year guarantee.

689 Posts
Thanks Clean image, i did survive the fabric tratment, but it is in an aerosol, and the stages 1&2 are in plastic bottles.

In prepping my car for diamond brite, i washed, de-tarred, clay barred, and polished with poorboys SSR, the SSR is a polish with no waxes or silicones, so hopefully i removed all the old wax.

I have seen on a jewelultra product calle dquick clay or something similar, looks like a aerosol chemical that does the same job as a claybar.

942 Posts
I used the lifeshine on my CTR and very pleased with the results of it.
I just followed the procedure of Gloss Guard then SRP on top and buff
off. I put some Gloss Guard on top of that too.

Posted Image

6,626 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yikes, that's the wrong order. SRP goes on first, then the Extra Gloss Protection, whether you have LifeShine or not. I would use a clay bar before the SRP as well.

Looks good - where did you have it done?

942 Posts
LOL the Gloss Guard is part of the Life Shine kit, which I did myself.
I polished it, and then put on the Gloss Guard, left to dry for 15 mins
and then put on the SRP again, and then buffed it up. I then put the
Extra Gloss Protection on top of that.

I've now used Klasse all-in-one and P21S wax, which I think shines rather well now, and looks much much deeper.
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