Auto Finesse Radiance: Our Real World Test And Review
Auto Finesse Radiance is a liquid wax, containing natural grade T1 carnauba. It offers users gloss and protection that come close to traditional paste waxes but is easier to apply. While the initial gloss and protection looked promising, testing showed the durability of this product was not as good as advertised.
Prepmycar Rating: 6.9 / 10
My Real World Test Process
I applied this product to the bonnet of a car so that I could monitor performance over time. I first washed and dried the vehicle before wiping the bonnet down with a panel wipe to ensure the surface was clean to allow the product to bond. I then applied a small amount of Radiance to a foam applicator pad and used circular motions to rub it into the paint. I allowed it to cure for around 10 minutes before buffing off the residue with a plush microfibre.
Ease of application 8.0/10
One of the marketed benefits of Radiance is that it is easier to apply than traditional paste wax. I definitely found this to be the case. The product spread very easily across the paint, leaving an even layer of wax. The curing time was between 5 and 10 minutes. When I used Radiance, it was a cool, cloudy day. I wiped the residue after 10 minutes which was very easy to do.
The paint on my test car was in good condition, with only a few minor marks. After buffing Radiance off, I noticed an improvement in gloss, with some smaller marks filled in by the wax. It does not fill in swirl marks as well as paste wax would, however.
The wax initially displayed reasonable hydrophobic qualities and sheeted water effectively. When fresh, the beads formed were tight and uniform. As the car got dirty, the beading deteriorated, as is to be expected. Hydrophobicity quickly deteriorated after one wash, which was disappointing. It is worth noting that Radiance is not as hydrophobic as the Autofinesse paste waxes that I have used.
The stated durability for Radiance is up to three months, regular updates are provided below:
1st Wash, 10 days after application:
After a pre-wash with mild snow foam, I used Dodo Juice Born to be Mild shampoo to wash the vehicle. I was very disappointed to see the water was sheeting extremely slowly, with water taking almost a minute to sheet off the bonnet. When water was misted onto the bonnet, it did bead up, but it did not take much for the wax to wet out.
2nd wash, 3 weeks after application: Having used Auto Finesse Avalanche as well as a maintenance contact wash, the water was still beading and sheeting reasonably well.
4th wash, 6 weeks after application: Following the same wash process using gentle chemicals, the water behaviour had significantly worsened, with water taking a considerable amount of time to sheet off the panel.
Value for money 7.0/10
This product is best used sparingly, reducing waste and making the product easier to use. I used about 2 ml of product for every 40 cm x 40 cm area, but this is only an estimation.
Depending on the car, there could be around 30 sections this size on the car, so only 40 ml of product would be needed.
Radiance is sold in 500 ml bottles, which retail at £22.95 ($24.77 USD). This is quite expensive for a bottle this size, but if used correctly, 12 cars could be protected with a 500 ml bottle at a cost of £1.80 ($1.94 USD) per car.
Product presentation 8.5/10
Radiance comes in the signature Autofinesse bottle with a squeeze top to aid application. Radiance is teal colour and smells like watermelon, making it very pleasant to use.
Auto finesse is a British brand that started as a mobile valeting operation in 1999 before moving into product production. They are now one of the most recognisable brands in detailing, with most auto parts stores stocking their products.
My Final thoughts
This is a respectable product from Autofinesse, which is easy to apply, performs reasonably well and, on a cost-per-use basis, is not outrageously expensive. However, like with many Autofinesse products, it just does not compete with competitors.
The biggest disappointment is the durability. I did not expect it to last a full three months but seeing how it fared after just one wash 10 days after application left a lot to be desired. It’s not that a carnauba cream cannot have good durability. I think Bilt Hamber Hydra-wax is a great product in this category.
Is a liquid wax better than a paste wax?
Not really, it is quicker and easier to apply, but a paste wax will usually outperform a liquid wax in other areas.
Is Radiance a polish?
No, it does not have any abrasives, it is a purely protective product.
How is Radiance best applied?
Using a foam applicator is the best way to apply Radiance, however a microfibre applicator could also be used.
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- Durable for up to 3 months
- Easy on, easy off application
- Non abrasive formula