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December 4, 2009

8

Product Review: Carplan Eco Car range

by Kenneth Tang

As the world becomes more environmentally conscious and individuals and organizations start going green, how will detailing become a part of it? Are we still able to keep our cars clean with minimal carbon footprint?

As people realise the world’s natural resources are becoming scarce and pollution is going to be a constant battle, people start to become more environmentally conscious and responsible. Going green has put a foothold in many aspects of our present lifestyle. Individuals and organizations try to minimize their carbon footprint by changing their way of living, organizational objectives, manufacturing techniques and creating a new product segment altogether. For example, Samsung recently released their Eco TV, which boasts clean and efficient manufacturing techniques, minimizing waste and saving on packing.

So where does detailing fit into all this? To answer this, we first have to ask ourselves what are the benefits of detailing. Sure it increases your car’s resale value and helps to maintain the condition of different surfaces. For example, car polishes and waxes help to prolong the life of the clearcoat to prevent the need for a respray. Similarly, leather cleaners and conditioners prevent leather seats from cracking and drying out. Detailing also creates a stronger sense of pride for car owners.

Now let’s look at detailing from an ethical perspective, does it contribute anything to humanity? No. Detailing is not beneficial to human existence, unlike fields such as medicine or engineering, which contributes towards humanity. Therefore, from a humanistic approach, one might argue that detailing is a total waste of time, effort and resources. A very ethical car lover might want to keep their car looking good but at the lowest cost possible. A bottle of all purpose cleaner, shampoo and cleaner wax is enough in most cases. However, many products contain solvents and surfactants that might be harmful to the environment. An ethical and environmentally conscious car lover would then want to keep their cars looking good with the minimum cost and minimum impact to the environment.

There have been many products created to satisfy this (niche?)market. An example is Optimum No Rinse Wash and Shine, designed to wash a car without a hose saves water and the chemical itself is also environmentally friendly. Other eco products include waterless spray and wipe products that claim to clean, polish and protect in one step.

What if a person prefers the conventional method of washing with a hose and bucket, giving the paint a good rub down with a polish and deep cleaning interior surfaces with a specialist cleaner?

This is where carplan’s eco car range come into the picture. Four products to be reviewed will be the car shampoo, polish, wheel cleaner and dash cleaner. The test mule is an ’08 metallic silver Toyota Vios.

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First up is cleaning the wheel wells and tires with Osren Multi Clean

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The wheel face and barrel was cleaned with the Eco Car Wheel Cleaner.

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It cleaned the wheel face pretty well, but the wheel barrel not so much. As you can see in the picture below, a second cleaning using Osren Multi Clean still removed alot of brake dust as the foam turns brown.

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Conclusion, it is okay for frequently cleaned wheels but lack the cleaning power for very dirty wheels.

Next up is the Car Wash. Firstly, the lower panels were sprayed with Osren Multi Clean,

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Then the whole car is washed with the car wash diluted at one ounce per gallon ratio.

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It does not create much(or any) suds, washing the car feels like washing with water.

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It also requires a bit more agitation on an unwaxed car, which could indicate the lack of cleaning power, but it also proves that it is gentle and diminishes any wax on the surface at a slower rate.

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Conclusion, does not sud much, (too?) gentle on the surface, relatively costly as only sold in 500ml quantities.

Next product is the car polish. Applied using a Lake Country CCS DA white pad via Random Orbital Buffer(ROB), it cleaned off ingrained dirt pretty well, turning the white pad to dark brown and grey after the whole car.

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Only little amounts were used.

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However, the lack of chemical solvents made it unable to remove sticky residues such as tar spots. It also dried up very fast, after applying it over three panels, the first panel was already dried up and cannot be buffed off with a dry cloth. After polishing the whole car, polish residue removed using some Meguiar’s Last Touch, a damp cloth would be fine too.

The finish it left was clean, glossy and slick to touch.

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It should be noted that it is also very low in abrasives, so do not expect it to remove scratches. Conclusion, cleans well(except for tar spots), removal can be difficult as polish dries up quick, unabrasive and will not scratch or scour clearcoat. Protection will be improved if topped up with a non cleaning wax.

Final product is the dash cleaner, directions state to just spray and wipe, but when tested on a glass surface, it leaves some residue, so I think some form of rinsing would be better. Method of cleaning was to slightly wet the surface first, spray on Dash Cleaner, agitate and rinse with Autoglym Hi Tech Interior Cleaning Pad and wipe off with a dry microfiber cloth.

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Before cleaning,

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During,

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After,

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Before,

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After,

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Carpets vacuumed and pedals cleaned,

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It cleans off oily stains and dirt well, turning the water in the rinse bucket from clear to murky grey after cleaning all interior plastics(forgot to take a picture, D’OH!). One thing I noticed while vacuuming, a few red insects were flying in the cabin, somehow it was attracted to the scent. Conclusion, good cleaning power, may discolor some surfaces if it’s not wetted before application, fragrance may be unappealing to some and is an insect attractant?

In conclusion, Carplan’s Eco Car range is excellent in concept, but only moderate in execution. Cleaning power does not match ordinary detailing products. So if you want to use this range, have your car fully detailed with normal products and then only maintain your ride with this range.

Would I recommend it for the average Joe? No, the lack of cleaning power and average user-friendliness puts it off for me. If you are ethical and very environmentally conscious and dont mind the disadvantages, this product range is okay at best.

The whole range is also relatively cheap compared to other brands.

I then applied 2 coats of Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax over the next 12 hours for more protection and dress tires and wheel wells with Osren Tire Shine. Here are some ‘after’ pictures.

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As mentioned, it won’t do much to reduce swirls.

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As always, thanks for looking and any comments are highly appreciated.

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P.S. I’m not paid to do this review and these are solely my opinion and should not be treated as an absolute when deciding on purchasing a product. Products in the range not reviewed are the glass cleaner and windshield cleaning fluid.

P.P.S. What’s next in store?

A How-To on detailing your wheel wells, wheels and tires, this includes a pictorial and a video demonstration.

Future product reviews include Carmate SIV wheel coat, G3 glass coat and Surluster Crystal shield.

Upcoming details are only quick spruce ups of some families cars and unconfirmed full correction details.

Stay tuned! You can subscribe via e-mail for notification on new posts, don’t worry, your e-mail will remain totally anonymous to me or anybody else.

^^V

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8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Izso
    Dec 4 2009

    Wow.. your blog has morphed into something fantastic.

    I'm quite impressed with the whole thing!

    How do I subscribe via email? Very useful info here! And the level of detail you go into here is quite impressive. I've never removed the tar at the bottom of my car – get too tired by then.

    Reply
  2. k1+
    Dec 4 2009

    more and more pro eh, just look at the shot on the product oredi feels good… ^_^ and when are you going to swing the Zaino test, looking forward to it… bua tah han liao….lolz

    Reply
  3. Dec 4 2009

    Wah sifu fish. I like the shot of you squeezing the Autoglym towel. Like so kau kau….

    Nice review bro. Keep it up. Always look forward to you new posts.

    Reply
  4. Thanks everyone for your kind words, they are greatly appreciated!

    @izso,
    Thanks bro! Thinking of ways to improve it further. To remove tar, if they are quite fresh and not too big, can just clay them away…or spray on tar remover on the lower parts of the car, wait about 2-3 minutes for it to dissolve the tar, and wipe off with an old cloth that you plan to dispose off soon. Shouldn't take more than 10-15 minutes for the whole process. About E-mail subscription, click on the 'Subscribe' menu right below the blog banner image, then fill in your e-mail, click subscribe and enter the image verification code and DONE! Oh I saw your msg on my other blog, will reply to it soon, thanks for caring as always. 🙂

    @K1+,
    Haha I also bua tah han to do a Zaino review, since the product quite hot among enthusiast detailers. Hehe.

    @seech,
    Thanks sifu seech. Lol the picture must look like I'm squeezing kao kao because of my popping veins? haha, I need more flesh, LOL. Thanks again.

    Reply
  5. Matias
    Dec 7 2009

    Good work, greetings from Argentina!

    Reply
  6. Dec 8 2009

    Good job!! Seeing your work makes me rajin again to detail my car hehe… Need to buy more products for the wheels and dash now 😉

    Reply
  7. @Matias,
    Mucho gracias amigo! Was that correct? lol

    @Kent L,
    Haha! Thanks and good luck in making your ride spic and span! hehe

    Reply
  8. Tan
    Jan 21 2013

    Where can i buy this product?

    Reply

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