2012 Jeep Wrangler Long Term Road Test

2012 Jeep Wrangler: I Dislike Tire Shine Products

March 26, 2013

2012 Jeep Wrangler

It was 9:00 am when I rolled into the parking lot to meet my friends to start our recent Arizona off-road camping trip. Our 2012 Jeep Wrangler was clean. Too clean.

The person that drove it before me took it to the car wash. It was spotless, and for that I am grateful. But the thing that had my buddies pointing and snickering was the liquid black tire shine goo the car wash had lathered onto my BFG rubber.

"That's not going to last," was the kindest thing they said.

They were right, of course. My wet licorice BFGs did look more than a little ridiculous in the face of 300 miles of dirt and rocks. It's a lot like putting on makeup before heading into a coal mine.

Or so I'm told.

A Jeep can and should be a little bit dirty. Dusty, at the very least. Extra points for mud, but not too much.

2012 Jeep Wrangler

As for the tire goo, it captures silt like flypaper attracts bugs. My spare BFG was soon red/orange like the surrounding landscape. But only to the first rib of tread, mind you, exactly as far as the car wash guy's tire shine rag goes as he wipes the stuff on.

Meanwhile, Richard's untreated rear-mounted spare retained its appropriate flat black non-luster.

Late in the trip the Jeep's four rolling sidewalls were black too, of course, because they'd been rubbing on rocks and brush the whole way. Even tire shine junk doesn't stand a chance against that kind of friction. But the unmolested spare, well, it just got oranger and oranger.

When I wash this thing I'm going to ask them to lay off the tire shine this time. I hate that stuff even when something other than a Jeep is the victim.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 29,189 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Jeep Wrangler in VA is:

$139 per month*
* Explanation