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10W30 vs 5W30: Decoding the Numbers and Letters of Oil Types

10W30 vs 5W30

You’re about half a quart low, so you look in your owner’s manual to pick the right grade of oil from your auto parts store.

You read that the manufacturer recommends 10W30 motor oil. But why? What’s the difference between, say, 10W30 vs 5W30? What do those letters and numbers mean?

This article will attempt to demystify these cryptic ratings so you will always feel comfortable topping up the oil in your car.

What Is Motor Oil?

When comparing 10W30 vs 5W30 motor oil it is beneficial to start with the most basic question of all: What is motor oil?

Oil Revealed

Oil is a substance whose origins began millions of years ago. Oil is a fossil fuel that originally was a lot of tiny plants and animals, like algae and zooplankton, respectively.

As these little critters died, they settled to the bottom of what was then an ocean and were covered over many years with mud and silt.

As subsequent layers of fossils and mud layered on top of those that came before, temperature and pressure increased.

The hotter the temperature, the lighter the oil, and if the temperature went even higher, then natural gas was formed. So oil and natural gas are cousins.

Oil Is Not Just Oil

When you grab a plastic bottle of motor oil off the shelf, you’re getting a lot more than just oil.

Motor oil contains many different substances, including anti-wear additives, dispersants, detergents, corrosion inhibitors, anti-foam substances and, for multi-grade oils, viscosity index improvers.

There are more types of additives, but these are the main ones.

How Much of Motor Oil Is Additives?

How Much of Motor Oil Is Additives

Engine oil additives make up between 10% and 30% of your oil by volume. This may seem high, but additives do break down over time. We’ll discuss that in the next section.

Where Do the Additives Go?

Motor oil additives get used up over time. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t need to change your motor oil as often as you do.

So stick to your manufacturer’s recommended oil change instructions to be on the safe side. There are three ways that oil additives get used up: decomposition, separation and adsorption.

Decomposition means that with heat, pressure and time, some oil additives break their chemical bonds and become simpler substances, removing their effectiveness.

Separation means that certain additives attach to other substances and settle out of the oil, or are filtered out.

Adsorption is a chemical term meaning some additives chemically attach themselves to the metal parts of the engine.

Current Motor Oils/Filters

using high-quality motor oils and filters

Having said all that, additives are getting better and are becoming longer-lasting. Also, today’s premium oil filters can last for 10,000 miles.

So if you miss your oil change by a few hundred miles, don’t panic – as long as you’re using high-quality motor oils and filters.

Anti-Wear Additives

The basic function of motor oil is to reduce friction between moving parts in your car. Anti-wear additives enhance oil’s ability to reduce that friction even further.

The greater the reduction in friction, the longer your car’s moving parts will last.

The anti-wear additives used in motor oil are designated ‘AW.’ Heavier-duty anti-wear additives are designated ‘EP’ (Extreme Pressure) and are meant for heavier-duty uses such as use in gear boxes. Your transmission fluid contains an EP additive.

The most common AW additive for motor oil is zincdialkyl dithio phosphate (ZDDP), in case you’re into chemistry.

Dispersants

When your automobile engine burns gasoline, one substance formed is solid carbon substance known as soot or sludge.

The job of dispersants is to grab that sludge and hold it in suspension until it can be removed from the oil by an oil filter.

Detergents

clean your engine by detergents

Detergents have two functions within your car’s engine. Their first function is what their name implies: to keep your engine clean.

Another byproduct of combustion are acids. Acids can damage your engine over time by wearing away the metal parts, particularly ones that are in constant motion, such as bearings and piston rings.

Detergents’ second function is to neutralize these acids so they can’t harm your car’s engine. They are usually chemical compounds consisting of magnesium and calcium.

Corrosion Inhibitors

As their name implies, corrosion inhibitors are there to protect your internal parts from oxidation (rust).

High temperatures and pressures make metals more prone to corrosion, so these substances are very necessary in today’s high-performance engines.

Anti-Foam Substances

Imagine your engine’s crankshaft spinning around just above your engine’s oil pan, splashing oil throughout the crankcase.

If that oil foams, then it can’t be picked up and distributed by the oil pump in the proper quantity needed to lubricate your engine.

Anti-foam additives help prevent your motor oil from foaming.

Viscosity Index Improvers

We’re going to discuss viscosity index improvers and reveal the secret of those numbers and letters in the next section.

But for now, think of viscosity as thickness. Honey has more viscosity than water, so honey flows more slowly and sticks to things more than water does.

Viscosity Index and Temperature 

Base Oil Viscosity Index

When oil comes into a refinery, it looks just one step above tar. In unrefined oil, called ‘crude,’ molecules of varying viscosity are all mixed together.

What a refinery does in very simplified terms is cook the oil, allowing the lighter components of the crude oil to evaporate out.

Those more volatile oil components are removed at various levels in the refinery tower. The resulting viscosity of the oil at each level is tested for its base viscosity index.

Why Change the Oil’s Viscosity?

In a word, temperature. The hotter an oil gets, the more its viscosity decreases, and vice versa.

If oil gets too hot, it becomes so thin that its lubrication capacity decreases, which can cause excessive wear and tear on your car’s engine.

If oil becomes too cold, then it can turn into a substance so thick that the oil pump can’t circulate it through the engine.

So in order to extend the base oil viscosity to account for changes in temperature, viscosity index improvers are necessary.

These viscosity improvers reduce the oil’s viscosity when it’s cold, and increase it when it’s hot.

The gauge of oil viscosity is found in the numbers and letters associated with the particular motor oil your manufacturer recommends for your car’s engine.

10W30 vs 5W30:

So let’s look at the numbers and letters in the comparison above. First, the letter ‘W.’ Many people assume that this stands for ‘Weight,’ but it does not.

The letter ‘W’ actually stands for ‘Winter.’ The reason the letter is there is to tell the consumer that the motor oil has been specifically blended to work in colder climates.

The numbers relate to the viscosity index of the additive-enhanced oil. With a 10W30 vs 5W30 oil, the 5W30has a lower viscosity when cold than a 10W30.

The number 30 on the end of the designation tells you that when the oil reaches full operating temperature, the viscosity is at 30.

Who Defined These Indices?

The body that defined 10W30 vs 5W30 motor oil viscosity and assigned the numbers and letters to them is the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

It was founded in 1905 and is both a professional society and a standards-defining organization for the automotive industry.

When you see the numbers and letters that define the viscosity of your motor oil, somewhere on the label will be the letters ‘SAE.’

This shows the viscosity index ratings shown are in accordance with SAE standards.

But What Do the Numbers Mean?

We’re getting a little technical here, but since you asked: the number shown on the label are based on an SAE test. In that test, engineers place the oil in a tube of a specific size.

The number relates to how many seconds it takes for the oil of a particular viscosity to flow through the tube. So now you know.

Is There a Need to Choose Between 10W30 vs 5W30 Oil Types?

Choose Between 10W30 vs 5W30 Oil

Yes. Most auto manufacturers provide an oil viscosity chart that tells what oil type you should use based on how severe the winters are in your area.

The manufacturers chart temperature versus viscosity rating of oil. You would be wise to follow these instructions if you want to maximize the life of your engine.

As the Engine Ages

In an earlier automotive era, as an engine aged the oil channels increased in size. So as your engine aged the oil pressure went down over time because the oil pump had to move a greater volume of oil to keep your engine lubricated.

So it helped if you increased the oil viscosity in an older engine from, say, 5W30 to 10W40. Fortunately, with today’s engines, such a viscosity increase is no longer needed.

Conclusion

So now we have decoded the cryptic meaning behind 10W30 vs 5W30 motor oil viscosity ratings! We hope this will help put your mind at ease when you have to deal with future oil changes.    

Wix Oil Filter Review: A Top Pick for Your Vehicle

Wix Oil Filter Review

A good oil filter is critically important. It removes contaminants from the oil that cycles through your car's engine.

A quality filter helps keep your engine clean and resists wear that shortens engine life. 

One popular oil filter is the Wix Spin-On Filter. We decided to launch a Wix oil filter review focusing on the Wix 57356XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter and comparing it side-by-side with three other popular Wix filters.

If oil is filtered poorly it can become saturated with contaminants. We believe our review will help you which Wix filter will adequately filter your oil and help protect your engine.

What Is the Wix Oil Filter: The 57356XP Spin-On Lube Filter

This Wix Oil Filter is a quality filter from a respected brand. Our Wix oil filter review revealed that the Wix company is known for quality oil filters as well as air and fuel filters.

Especially fashioned for light and mid-size trucks, the Wix 57356XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter stands out as a favorite among drivers.

A nitrile sealing gasket improves the filter's durability when temperatures get high. It also uses a steel baseplate with metal end caps and a center tube also made of metal.

For bypass material, Wix uses a coiled spring. The product also boasts a silicone anti-drain back valve.

The silicone has greater durability under a range of temperatures than rubber competitors.

The filtering media in the Wix 57356XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter performs at up to 99 percent proficiency against particles and debris.

The synthetic material covers more than 55 square inches of filtering area. The Wix 57356XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter is popular among vehicles with excessive idling time, such as in-the-city commutes to work and extended highway driving.

Product Specs

Our Wix oil filter review noted the Wix 57356XP oil filter weighed in at eight ounces. The dimensions of the filter are 3.7 x 2.9 x 2.6 inches. Burst pressure on the filter is 363 PSI with a bypass setting at 8-11.

The Class A filter has a flow rate of 9-11 gallons per minute (GPM) and includes an anti-drain back valve. It is considered a light duty filter made for small and regular trucks. The filter uses a synthetic media type.

Pricing

The Wix 57356XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter is sold individually for around $7 per filter. All the WIx filters we reviewed were priced similarly and ranged from just under $7 to just over $7.

We also looked at other popular oil filter brands, such as AC Delco, Bosch, Fram, and others. These brands ranged from as little as just under $4 per filter to around $9 per filter.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

Top 4 Wix Oil Filter Review:

1. Wix Oil Filter - 57356XP Spin-On Lube Filter

Ease of Use

While oil changes every 3,000 miles are recommended in usual settings, WIX promotes 7,000-mile intervals to drivers consistently using the Wix 57356XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter.

While the spin-on design of the filter is boasted in its name, it still requires a wrench. Because the filter has an uncommon shape, a special wrench is needed.

Performance

The Wix Oil Filter - 57060XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter is designed to give complete protection under your hood. The filter features a high-quality valve that promotes protective filtration performing at 99 percent efficiency against dust and debris.

Environmentally Friendly

Be reducing the number of oil changes needed by more than half compared to competitors that require changes every 3,000 miles, the used oil and filters are greatly reduced.

2. Wix Oil Filter - 57060XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter

The Wix 57060XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter is available for any common make of car, from a Dodge to a Hummer. It provides protection when using synthetic oils and is perfect for conditions involving extended idling or high mileage.

The oil change intervals for vehicles consistently using Wix 57060XP can range from 3,750 to 10,000 miles.

The Wix 57060XP filter can capture twice as much debris than many competitors and also resists plugging caused by oil breakdown. The filter media is synthetic and designed to function in extreme temperatures.

An HNBR gasket seals to help to start the car on extremely cold mornings and also resists hot-temperature hardening.

The silicone anti-drain back valve provides extra protection when you are past your scheduled oil change.

Ease of Use

Ease your budget and your calendar by extending your oil changes up to 10,000 miles. Although the spin-on design of the filter is a perk, it requires a special wrench due to the filter's uncommon shape.

Performance

The Wix 57060XP filter offers an increase of dirt and particles captured by the filtering system up to 100 percent.

The synthetic filter media performs in extreme temperatures. The filter also is designed to help your car on cold mornings. A silicone anti-drain back valve provides extra protection during extended driving.

Environmentally Friendly

A reduction of necessary oil changes goes hand-in-hand with an eco-friendly reduction in used oil and used filters.

3. Wix Oil Filter - 51348XP Xp Filter

The WIX 51348XP Xp Spin-On Filter filters unwanted dirt and debris through pleated paper. The filter is easy to install and requires very little maintenance.

The WIX 51348XP is especially useful in resisting dry starts. Dry starts happen when you attempt to start a car and turn the engine over and over without oil or lubrication.

Dry starts can damage your pistons and piston sleeves as well as bearings and other important parts of your car.

This filter combines stability and longevity during which time your car will start better than ever. The filter traps over 99 percent of contaminants while offering smooth filtering and better engine performance.

Ease of Use

This spin-on filter is easy to use, though like its counterparts, it requires a special wrench. The ease of use can also be seen when starting the car in adverse conditions.

Difficult starts and dry starts are greatly reduced with the WIX 51348XP Xp Spin-On Filter.

Performance

Reliable starts and engine protection are commonplace with this Wix filter. Trapping over 99 percent of unwanted contaminants, the filter promotes smooth filtering and quality engine performance.

Environmentally Friendly

Be reducing the number of oil changes needed compared to many competitors, used oil and filters are greatly reduced.

4. Wix Oil Filter - 51372XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter

The Wix Oil Filter - 51372XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter is Wix's offering for more extreme driving.

While it can be efficient and effective for everyday use, the 51372XP Xp is popular among off-road enthusiasts and others with versatile needs.

Abnormally high speeds and high RMP needs are also typical uses of the 51372XP Xp.

If you want to go a little wilder, the 51372XP Xp may be just what you need. Have fun with complete protection on the road.

Other harsh driving, such as mountain climbs, towing, and excessive idling are no problem for this Wix filter.

The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) suggests oil and filter changes every 3,750 to 10,000 miles.

Like some of its Wix counterpart, the 5137XP Xp can trap twice as many contaminants as many non-Wix competitors.

It resists premature plugging from oil breakdown and withstands extreme temperatures.

Ease of Use

Despite the specialty wrench needed to install and uninstall the filter, the product is largely maintenance free and can keep you from worrying about oil changes for up to 10,000 miles. Enjoy high-speed use, off-roading, and other wild rides with little concern for engine safety.

Performance

The 51372XP Xp performs in extreme conditions as well as everyday driving. It offers thorough protection on the road, whether you are a Sunday driver or off-road enthusiast. Oil changes are needed every 3,750 to 10,000 miles.

The product filters 100% more debris than many of its competitors while resisting oil-breakdown-related plugging. It also withstands extreme heat.

Environmentally Friendly

A reduction of necessary oil changes correlates to an eco-friendly reduction in used oil and used filters.

Wix Oil Filter Review: Conclusion

At the conclusion of our Wix oil filter review, we gave the Wix 57356XP Xp Spin-On Lube Filter four stars.

We loved their durable construction with metal baseplates for added strength along with the silicone anti-drain valve that encourages oil flow in a variety of extreme temperatures.

Our Wix oil filter review also calmed any anxiety we had over dry starts. Your car is likely to start safely, even on the coldest mornings.

An internal spring ensures that the filter's crucial parts are sealed properly. The pleated filter media is at the center of a filtration system that captures up to 100 percent more than the filter that may be in your car right now.

Whether you drive a car or a truck-whether you're a Sunday driver or extreme sports enthusiast-we believe a Wix oil filter will be appreciated by many drivers and their cars.

10 Best Brake Pads for a Smooth Stop (Updated in 2022)

Best Brake Pads for a Smooth Stop

When you are in your car and you roll up to a stop sign, what happens? Do you come to a quick, quiet stop or do you find yourself standing on the brake pedal and squealing up to the intersection?

Are you embarrassed in traffic when your brakes scream every time you step on the brakes? It could be time to change your brake pads, and since these are so essential, you do not want to make a mistake in selecting the best brake pads for your vehicle.

We understand that you may not want to take a lot of time researching the best brake pads because, well, they can be boring.

But we want you to be safe and get the best product for your budget, so we have taken the time to review some of the top brake pads available today.

It is worth a couple minutes of your time to read about our findings. If your attention span isn’t that long, you can skip to the end and discover our choice for the best brake pads.

How We Reviewed

We reviewed the top 10 brake pads in this article based on their compatibility, their effectiveness, the amount of dust they emit, and their price. 

We selected our top pick based on its universal compatibility, its resistance to fade, and its minimal impact on rotor life. The best brake pads also have minimal dusting and they are OE validated.

Overall Price Range

Pricing for the brake pads reviewed in this article range from $25 to $63. The less expensive pads are often engineered to be compatible with specific makes and models, while the best brake pads are universally compatible.

The higher end brake pads are usually designed with ceramic or carbon ceramic materials, have the friction material bonded to the backing plate for bond integrity, and comply to SAE J2784 specifications for braking effectiveness, Noise/Vibration/Harshness (NVH), and durability.

10 Best Brake Pads for a Smooth Stop

1. ACDelco 17D1367CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set

Features

The ACDelco Professional Ceramic Brake Pads are designed to resist corrosion and premature wear. They are premium replacement pads that are suitable for many vehicles.

They are designed with ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas that provide safety and reliability.

They are independently tested to SAE J2784 standards for braking effectiveness, Noise/Vibration/Harshness (NVH), and durability. They perform exceptionally with noise-dampening shims, slots, and chamfers that diminish noise and vibration.

The friction material is integrally molded to the backing plate for bond integrity. The stamped backing plate allows the pad to move properly within the caliper assembly to reduce noise and brake pulsation.

The ceramic formula uses less metal, resulting in quiet, low dust braking. The pads do not require curing and are ready to install out of the box.

2. Akebono ACT787 ProACT Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set

Features

The Akebono ACT787 Pro-ACT Ultra-Premium Ceramic Brake Pad Set virtually eliminates brake squealing, groaning, and vibration.

These pads wear significantly better than traditional brake pads in normal driving conditions, extending the time between pad replacement.

Materials in Pro-ACT Ultra-Premium brake pads are carefully selected to be compatible with open wheel aluminum designs and dramatically reduce brake dust. These pads provide consistent, smooth stopping, even during panic stops.

Akebono offers more than 400 pads compatible with virtually every domestic, European, and Japanese car and truck. These pads control noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels. They are rotor friendly and require no break-in period.

3. Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad

Features

The Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pads feature an advanced ceramic friction formula that draws on the same aluminum based alloy used in aerospace engineering. The pads are 2025 Copper Free Legislation compliant.

The life of the pad and rotor is extended by the chemical formula that forms a protective layer on the rotor and pad surface.

The rubber core shim is manufactured using techniques that result in lower noise, corrosion resistance, and increased strength.

The pad kit contains everything needed to install the pads, including hardware and synthetic lubricant.

4. Wagner ThermoQuiet QC465A Ceramic Disc Pad

Features

The Wagner ThermoQuiet is a one piece brake pad that provides superior stopping and quieter braking under any driving conditions.

The proprietary Integrated Molded Sound Insulator (IMI) dissipates vibration and heat while their exclusive friction formulations create less dust and provide superior stopping performance.

SevereDuty commercial friction surpasses testing and quality standards to meet the needs of vehicles driven in extreme conditions.

Friction material is integrally molded to the backing plate and post cured for strength and longevity.

These pads are compatible with Asian, European and American made vehicles with application specific shims to reduce vibration.

The chamfers and slots are engineered to reduce noise, resulting in quiet, dependable braking.

5. Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1324 Ceramic Disc Pad

Features

The Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1324 Ceramic Disc Pad Set features Wagner OE21 low copper technology that makes these pads 35% quieter and gives them 15% more stopping power than traditional brake pads.

They feature low dusting technology that keeps wheels cleaner. This pad set includes all the hardware needed to install the brake pads.

6. Akebono ACT914 Brake Pad Set

Features

The Akebono ACT914 Brake Pad Set provides improved pad wear compared to traditional brake pads under normal driving conditions.

The pads feature a variety of ceramic formulations that virtually eliminate brake squealing and vibration.

The materials in these pads are compatible with open wheel designs and they minimize dust and support smooth, consistent stopping.

Akebono originated ceramic pad technology and they have over 75 years of braking expertise so you can be confident your pads are formulated to meet OE quality, fit and performance.

7. StopTech 309.10780 Street Performance Front Brake Pad

Features

The StopTech Street Performance Front Brake Pads are ideal for light track day use and autocross. They provide substantial brake performance improvements by using factory calipers and pre-matched, direct replacement OEM components. The pads feature a high maximum operating temperature to eliminate fade.

They have superior actuation, release, and modulation. Linear response is aided by para-aramid composites.

This model includes StopTech sport rotors, sport pads, and stainless steel lines. The pads arrive with shims bonded to the pads and attached wear indicators.

8. ACDelco 17D785CH Professional Ceramic Disc Brake Pad

Features

This ACDelco Professional Ceramic Disc Brake Set is manufactured by the true GM original equipment parts brand with a century of experience manufacturing 90,000 GM OE parts that are installed in over 2 million GM vehicles every year.

They are manufactured for superior fit, form, and function for a competitively priced alternative to unbranded aftermarket parts.

These pads are tested for braking effectiveness and durability. They feature ceramic, semi-metallic, and organic formulas that offer safety and reliability.

The shims, chamfers, and slots are made of premium materials and feature a stamped backing plate that diminishes noise, vibration, and braking harshness.

These pads are engineered for enhanced performance for exceptional applications such as police vehicle use.

9. Centric 105.0436 Posi-Quiet Ceramic Brake Pad

Features

The Centric Posi-Quiet Ceramic Brake Pads feature application specific, mechanically attached shims that provide superior noise abatement over drift lock style shims.

The backing plates are precision cut or shaved to reduce vibration and noise because they fit properly in the caliper, resulting in even pad wear and consistent braking power over the life of the pad.

The pads provide stable friction performance across a wide range of temperatures.

These pads are constructed using the most advanced process available, using extreme pressure to compress the friction material and create a consistent material density to ensure better braking performance with minimal noise.

10. Bosch BP976 QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Pad

Features

The Bosch QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Pad Set is engineered with premium platform specific materials to ensure quiet operation, low dust, and exceptional stopping power.

Strength and insulation against noise is ensured by the rubber core multilayer shim.

The patented copper free ceramic and semi metallic friction formula utilizes an advanced aerospace alloy that is compliant with 2025 Copper Free Legislation.

Pad and rotor life is extended by the protective transfer layer. This set includes a hardware kit and synthetic lubricant that allow you to do a complete brake job.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is a Brake Pad?

Brake pads are part of the disc brakes that are used in automobiles. They are constructed of steel backing plates with a ceramic, rubber, or other friction material that is affixed to the side of the plate that faces the rotor.

When the brake pedal is pressed the brake pads come into contact with the rotor and slow the vehicle.

The best brake pads will be long lasting and perform equally well in stop and go traffic, up and down steep hills, and at highway speeds.

2. What Features Should I Look for in the Best Brake Pads?

The best brake pads will be made of ceramic, carbon-ceramic, or other low-dusting material. They will have their friction material bonded to the backing plate for increased durability.

The best brake pads are SAE J2784 compliant to braking effectiveness, durability, and Noise/Vibration/Harshness (NVH) specifications.

Look for brake pads that include all the hardware and lubrication necessary to install them.

3. How Often Should I Change My Brake Pads?

Brake pad wear depends on a variety of factors, including your driving habits, the environment, the hardness of the pads, and the materials they are made of.

Brake pads generally need to be replaced after about 50,000 miles. Some pads may need to be replaced after 25,000 miles while others may last 70,000 miles or more.

4. What Are the Signs I Need to Replace My Brake Pads?

If your brakes are squealing, it means they are about to run out of their gripping ability and the pads need to be replaced.

If you feel your vehicle wobbling and shimmying when you come to a stop, it may mean that your rotors are warped and you should replace both your brake pads and rotors.

Have your mechanic check your brake pads when you have the oil changed. If the pads are less than 20% they should be replaced.

5. Where Can I Purchase the Best Brake Pads?

A high-quality brake pads can be purchased at auto supply stores, discount retailers such as Walmart, and auto repair shops. The brake pads reviewed in this article are all available online. 

If you would like to purchase one of we have reviewed, you can click on the associated link to purchase the product.

The Verdict

Based on our research we believe the best brake pads are the Akebono ACT787 ProACT Ultra-Premium Brake Pads.

The pads offer substantially quieter braking, enhanced initial effectiveness, a high resistance to fade, consistent brake pedal pressure, and extremely low dusting for cleaner wheels.

The ceramic technology incorporated in these pads causes minimal wear on your rotors. They are the only OE validated, application specific friction formulations on the aftermarket.

Whether you spend your time behind the wheel cruising along the interstate, creeping through rush hour traffic, or navigating through your neighborhood, you will not be disappointed with the Akebono ProACT Ultra Premium Ceramic Brake Pads.

Top 10 Best Car Scratch Remover Reviews in 2022

Best Car Scratch Remover

A trip to the body shop for some new paint due to a small scratch in your paint is expensive and can leave you without a car for the entire day.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to fix small scratches in your paint a high-quality scratch remover will make your life easier.

We reviewed the best car scratch removers on the market to find which one is the best choice.

Editor's Choice:

How We Reviewed

We reviewed the top 10 car scratch remover products based on the features and price. Some features we found that they are quick and easy to use, come with necessary tools to remove scratches, protect from water and future damage, and are effective even on a variety of paint blemishes.

Overall Price Range

The overall price range of the products included on our list of car scratch removers was $5 to around $30. The most basic car scratch removers are a single bottle solution.

You will need a buffer or microfiber cloth to use these products. More expensive products are highly involved and include resin pens, cloths, applicators, and sandpaper.

These products will usually get better results for larger scratches but require more work.

10 Best Car Scratch Remover Reviews

1. Meguiar’s G17216 16 oz Ultimate Compound

Features

Meguiar’s is a trusted and well-known brand that has been in the car care business since 1901. Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is a safe and easy solution to scratches, blemishes, water spots, and oxidization. The compound can be applied manually or using an automatic buffer.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound leaves your automobile with a glossy and like-new finish thanks to micro-abrasives. The micro-abrasives cut deep into the surface of the finish to fill in scratches at the paint level.

This may seem like a negative, but Meguiar’s uses a high-tech formula that is less abrasive than most scratch removers.

Meguiar’s is a handy tool in any car owner’s toolbox to clear up small areas of paint damage and wear. When using Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound a small amount goes a long way.

It only takes a short time to repair small spots of damage and saves money and trips to the professional.

2. Mothers 08408 California Gold Scratch Remover

Features

Mothers is known for wax and other car care products which you can find in just about any auto parts store. Mothers California Gold is a scratch remover that works well on light and even deep scratches.

Mothers California Gold is easy to use straight out of the bottle. It can be used manually or with an automatic buffer.

Mothers recommends using wax after applying California Gold to protect the area where the scratches were repaired. Mothers can be used regularly to treat spots of damage to the paint.

Mothers California Gold is best used in areas of wear on the vehicle such as door handles and near keyholes.

Smalls scratches from the vehicle interacting with other surfaces are easily cleared up by California Gold. Mothers can be used as a polish and is not as abrasive as other scratch removers.

3. Turtle Wax 50734 Complete 6-Piece Compound

Features

Turtle Wax Complete 6-Piece Compound is a two-step product that does much more than your average scratch repair product. Turtle Wax Complete 6-Piece Compound includes two foam applicators and two microfiber towels.

The rubbing compound and polishing compound serve different purposes to remove every scratch and blemish from your vehicle.

The Turtle Wax rubbing compound is for medium to heavy scratches. The compound works well to remove stains, oxidization, scratches, and other blemishes that are heavily embedded in the paint.

The polishing compound is a lighter touch used for light and medium swirl marks, scratches, and oxidization.

Turtle Wax Complete 6-Piece Compound is an excellent choice for those who are just starting out with scratch removal. The set includes two large bottles of compounds for every level of paint damage, two applicators, and microfiber cloths.

The set may be all you need to add scratch repair to your vehicle maintenance.

4. Meguiars G10307 7 Oz ScratchX

Features

Meguiar’s ScratchX is a great solution for small paint issues like blemishes, swirls, light stains, scratches, and oxidization. ScratchX uses high-tech micro-abrasives to cut deep into the finish of the car and remove paint level blemishes.

Meguiar’s ScratchX is safe for clear coats, all finishes, and paint. ScratchX leaves the vehicle’s surface with a restored and clear finish. ScratchX includes instructions to evaluate the best use for your vehicle’s damage.

The formula can be used by hand or an automatic buffer. Meguiar’s ScratchX is affordable and comes in a small bottle making it a convenient addition to your vehicle care.

5. Quixx 00070-US Paint Scratch Remover Kit

Features

Quixx Paint Scratch Remover Kit is a two-step process that yields professional level scratch repair results. The kit is a small and quick solution to many types of scratches and paint blemishes. Quixx is manufactured in Germany for a quality product.

Quixx Paint Scratch Remover Kit includes sandpaper, two microfiber cloths, a scratch repair solution, and a finish solution. Quixx is a permanent repair for scratches and leaves the car’s finish looking like new.

Quixx Paint Scratch Remover Kit is safe to use on all paint and finishes. The formula will not damage surfaces and even works well to repair metallic surfaces.

Quixx is a great addition to your scratch removal toolbox for professional results and includes everything you need to use the product.

6. 3M 39087 Scratch and Scuff Removal Kit

Features

3M is a company in the adhesive and compound space. 3M Scratch and Scuff Removal Kit is an all-in-one solution for light scratches and scuffs.

The kit includes two compounds, a 3000 grit sandpaper square, and a foam applicator pad.

The first compound included is a rubbing compound, and the second is a scratch remover compound.

3M Scratch and Scuff Removal Kit will remove surface scratches and scuffs and leave your vehicle looking like new.

The kit is a fast and easy way to remove scratches around door handles and keyholes.

7. Formula 1 Scratch Out

Features

Formula 1 Scratch Out is an affordable solution that tackles scratches as well as other paint issues. Scratch out can be used to remove bird droppings and tree sap that eat away at your paint and clear coat.

Scratch Out is a simple and easy-to-use scratch remover that can fit into your vehicle maintenance or cleaning schedule.

Formula 1 Scratch Out is like a polish and scratch remover in one. It works well for hoods, roofs, and doors of your vehicle and can remove blemishes like haze and swirls.

The compound is non-abrasive and can be used to remove yellowing from headlights as well.

The wax included in Scratch Out prevents future damage from water beading and dirt. Scratch Out can renew your vehicle’s paint and finish.

Scratch Out can be applied manually using a circular motion or using an automatic buffer and requires no additional waxing.

8. Turtle Wax T-234KT Premium Grade Scratch Repair Kit

Features

Turtle Wax Premium Grade Scratch Repair Kit is an all-in-one solution. The kit works on scratches, scuffs, and even chips in the paint. The kit includes a pen to fill in chips and scratches.

Apply the pen to a clean dry surface in need of repair. The kit has restoration pads to blend in the pen resin solution and fill in chips. Apply the clarifying compound and hand buff or automatic buff the area for a minute.

Turtle Wax Premium Grade Scratch Repair Kit includes everything you need to fill a wide range of scratches and chips.

The kit provides professional results, and the resin in the pen fills in scratches much larger than most of the other solutions on the market.

9. Chemical Guys COM_129_16 Scratch and Swirl Remover

Features

Chemical Guys Scratch and Swirl Remover is a powerful scratch and swirl remover in a single bottle.

The solution works well to remove surface-level scratches and swirls in the finish or paint of a vehicle. Chemical Guys is applied by hand in a circular motion or using an automatic buffer.

Chemical Guys Scratch and Swirl Remover is simple to use, just apply the solution to a clean and dry surface where the paint is damaged.

The compound does not include any wax or silicone and leaves the surface clean and polished.

10. Nu Finish Scratch Doctor, Pack of 4

Features

Nu Finish Scratch Doctor is a versatile scratch remover. The compound can be used to remove scratches and polish boats, planes, automobiles, motorcycles, and even appliances. The scratch remover works to remove haze, swirls, and scratches quickly and easily.

Nu Finish Scratch Doctor is a one-step solution and can be applied using an automatic buffer or manually.

The tube is inverted so the solution always comes out easily. Only a small amount of the solution is needed to get results, and the product is made in the USA for quality control.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do You Need an Automatic Buffer to Use Scratch Remover?

The car scratch removers included in our list do not require an automatic buffer to work.

An automatic buffer is helpful because it will give you quicker and more professional results. Most products have instructions for manual and buffer applications.

2. Do Scratch Removers Work for Deep Scratches?

For deep scratch removal, some kits include sandpaper or resin to fill in the scratches. Results can vary and will require a more aggressive and involved solution.

For deep scratches, we recommend a kit that specifically states it can be used for heavy or deep scratches like Turtle Wax Complete 6-Piece Compound.

3. How Do I Prepare for Scratch Removal?

Most scratch removal products only require a clean and dry surface before use. You may also want to wear gloves and have something to catch any excess material. Read the included instructions for any additional preparation.

The Verdict

We found the high quality car scratch remover to be Formula 1 Scratch Out. Scratch Out is a convenient solution to scratches and requires no follow-up work to protect the treated area.

Scratch Out can be used repeatedly, so it is great to add to your cleaning or maintenance routine. We like that Scratch Out is affordable and is not an abrasive product.

You can even use Scratch Out to brighten up headlights that are yellow or milky. Scratch Out is the best car scratch remover for professionals and beginners to car care and only requires a microfiber cloth or buffer to get started.

What Does a Car Tune-Up Consist of? 10 Areas of the Car Your Mechanic Will Check

What Does a Tune-Up Consist of

Any person who owns a car has asked themselves the question, "what does a tune up consist of?"

Owner's manuals advise that you get a tune up when your car reaches a specific number of miles, but most manuals never mention what your car mechanic will check.

With the modern distrust of mechanics in general, it is an excellent idea to know what a tune up consists of, what 10 areas your car mechanic should check, and what exactly they are supposed to do.

Since a tune up keeps your car running at optimum efficiency, you should at least know what the standard tune up should cover.

Tune ups can cost anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on everything that your mechanic does.

If you do not know what you are getting, you open yourself up to paying way too much for way too little.

What Does a Tune Up Consist of?

two men looking at bottom part of car

So, what does a tune up consist of? This can vary. The standard tune up consists of testing all of your vehicle's vital systems, checking, refilling or flushing all fluids, and checking or replacing all filters.

It also consists of checking and / or adjusting the timing, idle, and ignition system of your vehicle. The exact procedures will depend on the age of your car, your car's make and model, and the individual mechanic.

Your mechanic may answer the question of what does a tune up consist of depending on what areas of the car you specifically want checked or how old your car is. The cost of a tune up will also vary.

Since a single engine service may include simply checking a fluid level, filling a low fluid, or flushing the system that fluid belongs to and refilling it, the cost of simply checking the level is less expensive than having to flush the system and replace the fluid.

Despite these variations, there are certain standard procedures that a tune up should have. These procedures usually include a complete systems check, a fluid check, and a check of your car's spark plugs and ignition system.

Your mechanic should then advise you on exactly what needs to be replaced and/or flushed. During a tune up, your mechanic will go over the 10 major areas or systems of your car at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles.

The 10 Areas of Your Car Your Mechanic Will Check

10 Areas of Your Car Your Mechanic Will Check

Although there are no completely separate systems of your car, the major systems can be broken down into 10 different areas. These areas are the most important things that your mechanic will check.

Many of the following systems overlap in some way or other. If you are doing the tune up yourself, you should check all of these systems and order the parts that you need to according to your car's manual or manufacturer.

1. Belts and Hoses

No matter what make, model or year your car is, your car contains many belts and hoses. A good mechanic will check to make sure that your belts are tight and are not worn or fraying and that each of the hoses is as soft or hard as it should be.

While they are doing this, they will also look at the clamps on the hoses and the pulleys on the belts to make sure they do not need repair.

If you are doing the tune up yourself, you might want to purchase a set of hose clamps. They are great for tune ups and minor hose repairs.

2. Brakes and The Braking System

The ability to brake or slow your car is vital to your safety. Your mechanic should check your brake pads, calipers, rotors, or drums to be sure they are still in good condition. If you are doing this yourself, make sure that you know what a worn pad, caliper, and rotor look like as well as which products are best for your car.

3. Electrical System

The electrical system is another vital component of your car. Without a reliable code reader, it is always better to have a mechanic check your electrical system. You can use a code reader like the Automotive Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Scan Tool if you want to be able to diagnose problems with any system of your car.

A mechanic will hook your car to a code reader to find out how the cars electrical system is functioning.

This will also alert the mechanic to any faults or sensors that are being tripped. It is possible for your car to have a code and not display it with the check engine light.

4. Engine Cooling System

One of the more important systems that a mechanic will check is the engine cooling system. Improper maintenance of the engine cooling system can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your car.

During a thorough tune-up, the mechanic might flush and refill your radiator. This needs to be done periodically to prevent build up that can cause the engine to overheat.

If it is not time to flush your engine cooling system, the mechanic will simply check that the thermostat is working properly. He or she may also check for leaks which are usually obvious by white residue or the smell of coolant.

5. Exterior Systems

check car exterior systems

The exterior systems of your car also need checking and maintenance. The mechanic should check that all of your lights are functioning properly, including your turn signals, and that your windshield wipers are functioning properly. They will probably also refill your wiper fluid.

6. Fuel System

When asking what does a tune up consist of, make sure that your mechanic is prepared to check your fuel system. This is one of the key components of a tune up. The mechanic should look at the:

  • Injectors
  • Fuel filter
  • Engine idle
  • Injector lines
  • Engine idle

Each of these fuel system components needs to be working properly in order for your car to run with ease. During many standard tune ups, the mechanic will clean or replace the fuel filter and clean the fuel injectors.

7. Fluids and Filters

During any standard tune up a mechanic will check all of the cars fluids including oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, and even windshield wiper fluid.

Most mechanics will top off each of these fluids unless they are performing a flush of the system it belongs to. Each time a mechanic flushes a system, they will usually replace the filter to that system as well.

8. Ignition System

Ignition System

The ignitions system is another vital system that needs to be inspected. When considering what does a tune up consist of, be absolutely sure it includes checking the ignition system and replacing at the very least the spark plugs. Like brake pads, spark plugs wear out over time.

Your mechanic may also replace the wires that connect the spark plugs. Usually, they will replace both at the same time when you have a car with high miles on it.

Each car is different, so you might want to consult your owner's manual in order to see if it is time to replace both or just the spark plugs.

The other parts of the ignition system that a mechanic will check for function are your starter and cylinoid. Although they might not need to be replaced, a good mechanic will check them for signs of wear.

9. Steering and Suspension

Another system that needs an inspection during a tune up is the steering and suspension. The mechanic will look at your power steering fluid, arms, shocks, and struts.

Each of these parts may be worn and looking during a tune up is a good way to make sure they are replaced when they need to be.

10. Transmission

The last full system that a mechanic will look at is your transmission. Although they might not look inside a transmission, they will look at the seals and fluid.

They might even flush your transmission. The fluid is a good indicator of the health and safety of your transmission. This is the very basic answer to what does a tune up consist of.

A tune up of your car is essentially an examination and check up on all of your cars systems plus replacing vital components such as spark plugs, filters, and other components that wear out over time.

Most tune ups include minor adjustments to the cars idle or timing if needed.

What Is Motor Oil?

If you need a tune up, it is extremely important that you ask your mechanic what does a tune up consist of before allowing them to perform the work.

To some mechanics, a tune up only consists of changing plugs and wires, while others will change these and perform system flushes on each component.

The cost of these two types is much different. If you think you need a tune up, it is always best to speak to your mechanic and consult your cars owner's manual before scheduling one.