Why is it brown?
One thing that I have been asked about this morning is about the rather intrusive brown colour. The issue is not as problematic as you might think. I understand that to you guys, aesthetics and appearance are key, but in a few hundred miles, it loses its bright look and gets covered in road film and grime anyway. When we initially developed it, Dynax was specified by trawlermen who wanted a decent quality wax and who weren't overly fussed about the colour. We engineered into it, an obvious brown dye so that it would be apparent by the user, what areas had been covered and what hadn't, so although transparent is cool, it isn't as important when you want substance and efficiency over style. If you go to boating marinas, you'll see it being used all the time once vessels are prepped for winter. Dynax is the real deal, it is light years ahead of anything else in technical terms.
Is it thick?
Dynax S50 has a high solids content - over 50%, it's this content that forms the anti-corrosion coating, and whilst other high solids materials don't penetrate sufficiently Dynax-S50 creeps by capillary action deeply into seams, flanges and folded edges, in side-by-side trials Dynax S50 has been proven to creep significantly further than other cavity waxes, some with solids contents as low as 25%.
From left: Acclaimed Swedish Cavity Wax, UK's leading selling anti corrosion wax, Dynax S50
So.. yup, it dries thick, although when applied, you may need to protect the surface that your car stands on because it is designed to creep into every flange and weld seem. We minimize on solvents which are used to carry other waxes into seams, and instead rely on something called capilliary osmosis. Dynax has next to no solvents so yes - it is thick, and we make no apologies for it. We pack only the very finest corrosion inhibitors and waxes into each can instead (which is why its so heavy) to go on places where they won't ever be seen! You think that some of the waxes you put on the top are expensive - you would weep when you see the specs if some of the waxes we put into Dynax, and which will never be seen! Why do we minimize on solvents? Because solvents cause carrying waxes to evaporate quicker, and in some cases, carry the product away from the areas that it is supposed to treat and preserve. Not good.
What can I do before winter sets in?
Well, I don't say this as a Bilt Hamber sales thing - there are waxes available which you can pick up for less money that Bilt Hamber, but genuinely, they're not as good, nowhere near as good and if for you, beauty is skin deep only, you can nip to the High Street and pick up a product that has been around for years, for a couple of quid less. Job done. You will save a few quid when you buy them, but that's all you will save.
More tips for you. First - take active steps while the weather is still with us. Set aside an afternoon to prepare your car. First, hose the underside to remove debris and mud. Next, apply a degreaser, such as Surfex, with a stiff brush. Then, inspect the sills and arches of the car for rust. Our Hydrate 80 neutralises existing rust and passivates clean steel - massively increasing corrosion resistance. If you think your car might have rust, make sure you have a product like that.
Then, apply a water displacer to nuts and bolts, door hinges, seals and electrical contacts. Ferrosol displaces moisture, keeps water at bay and will lubricate until Spring gets here. Finally, use the Dynax S50 cavity wax as Neil has done into box sections and other vulnerable areas such as the arches. Simple, quick and easy measures, but ones which will keep your car rust free and looking good. Keep polishing too, Auto-Balm gives a high gloss shine and keeps corrosion at bay. Its also one of the hardest and toughest sealants around.
To do the job properly, allow 30 minutes for each arch, 45-50 minutes if you're removing the liners and about the same for each sill. All in all, rustproofing and prepping the car for winter can be done in an afternoon. Its not a tough job, or a particularly dirty one.
Where can I use Dynax?
In the garage, on the drive (arf arf). Seriously though, and primarily, Dynax is a cavity wax but its good for other areas too. I wouldn't use it on high risk areas where direct mechanical damage from the road is likely, such as the exposed underpan of the car. We have a new product under development for that. But for arches, its fine. If you do notice that a stone or rock, or whatever, has impacted the wax and breached it, you can quickly apply a quick squirt to heal it again, and don't forget behind the arch liners!
What if Dynax gets damaged?
No sweat. The capillary nature of Dynax though, means that it does heal itself and even if unnoticed, the breached area will reseal, so a quick visual inspection once a week is a good idea. With regards to power washing, if you aimed the lance at it directly, at close range, then you will get some displacement. However, you don't need to do that because the whole point of using a power washer is to try and displace safecoat and roadsalt and everyone I know who uses it, diffuses the jet of water and saturates the area safely. A coating of Dynax in wheel arches should easily see you through Autumn and well into Spring and in concealed sections, should last 5 years.
Why is it better than products that have been around for decades?
Dynax is a New Technology product that is flexible and stretches and one that can creep into weld seams, screw threads etc. Also, if your car experiences massive swings of humidity (such as being driven outside during the day, and going into a warm garage at night) you need to make sure that it doesn't peel off, as some older more traditional products are prone to do. ASTM 117 only tests for resistance to corrosion, many manufacturers don't bother with testing for humidity as well. Some products are formulated specifically to pass 117 (or ISO9227), and as a result, are rigid in a molecular sense and aren't too flexible. Dynax is 3-4 times more effective than other waxes, and I can say that hand on heart.
What if my car is new?
If you have a new car and you polish the paintwork, then you should treat the underside too. And here's why. If I had a decent new car, I'd still use Dynax on it because the car will have been stored for months and it will have been treated with something cheap at the factory, and I'd certainly use it on a bog standard car that's just a few years old.
The Swedish Corrosion Institute conducted a thorough investigation into vehicle corrosion by sawing open the bodies of 845 collision-damaged cars manufactured between 1994 and 1997, the corrosion observed in the flanges and seams resulted in the recommendation that even on cars with reasonably good cavity fluid treatment applied at the factory a complementary treatment be used within 3-4 years of manufacture. This investigation also proves, despite popular belief, that modern cars just like classic and vintage ones require after market rust proofing.
The most important factors to achieve a good corrosion resistance of the car body fresh from the factory are: Good design (that prevents direct splash of road mud into spot-welded joints and hem flanges). That doesn't cost anything does it, just switched on engineers at the CAD. Nowadays, people change their cars quickly. If a company can save say, £30 per unit on baffles and shields, then they will. Bean counters rule . Similarly, why should they bother with effective anti corrosion wax which costs money too? They know that steel sheet with a metallic surface coating, a thicker coating giving a longer corrosion protection factor will allow them to give a 7 year anti perforation warranty, but thats not to say that rust won't set in, by say, year 3 or 4 when a car will be on its second owner.
If your Alfa is like mine, it'll have crap application of adhesives in hem flanges which should prevent the penetration of moisture and road mud into the crevices. My neighbour's Golf is the same. Its the tiny details which count. A mass produced car which is baked quickly will have tiny sub surface topcoat ripples, and those ripples will cure and dry hard. But its those ripples which will retain moisture and which will break down first. Again though.. what's in it for the makers, when they know that they have to churn them out by the ton and that most of them will be trashed by year 9 or 10 anyway? Cars are just disposable and they know that most owners don't care about what their cars look like underneath. Owners are happy to go onto the High Street, spend a few quid on something to make their cars look shiny on the drive, but they know that folk won't care if thir cars are rusting from within. Because they don't see it.
The amount of serious enthusiasts who want to improve and prolong the corrosion protection of their car (which might lack cavity fluid treatment from the manufacturer) are few and far between. They know too, that people are put off by the thought of working on their own cars, so nothing happens. On cars with a reasonably good cavity fluid treatment from the manufacturer, a complementary treatment within 3-4 years should be done, while for cars with a good treatment from the manufacturer, it shouldn't be necessary to perform a complementary treatment during the first 6-7 years. Thankfully, Dynax is a doddle to use and in terms of cost benefit.. priceless.
I have an Alfa 2.4 that I love. I look after it, but it certainly puts the miles up. It shattered a crank pulley the other month, and the belt and an idler tensioner or 3 as well. Still, I take solace in what Clarkson said about Alfas the other night and the fact too, that it makes me smile constantly. I hadn't inspected it underneath last year, and road salt had hit it hard. I got a shock when I saw how much rust had taken a hold. I left it exposed for a week or so to allow some surface corrosion to take hold (which I'll clobber with Deox gel) for demonstration purposes elsewhere.