Meguiar's #20 Polymer Sealant Review - by Kenneth T Pittman.

A Meguiar's representative was at the NIFE Club meeting on April 15, 2000, presenting the manufacturer's product as well as answering questions regarding their car care line. One of the products that was discussed was the #20 Polymer Sealant, at which point I displayed some reserve as to the longevity of such "sealants." Pointing out that I had pretty much run the complete gamut with such products, too include calling up the toll-free numbers and readily giving my credit card number to the celebrities on the various infomercials so prevalent on night-time TV. At this point I must point out that my initial expectations of this type of product has been slightly askew, largely in-part to the intentional mis-direction of infomercials such as the one where a completely oxidized 60's Mustang is shined to a "Showroom" gloss in a matter of minutes.

After doing some research based on a statement made during the demonstration at the meeting - for those that were present, Rick Nobregas stated that "You don't get a showroom shine from the wax. The wax only protects and enhances the shine that the polish provides." I found that this is a very TRUE statement, since, as was pointed out at the meeting, the polish enriches, as well as returns, much needed moisture to the paint and finish of the car. However, I did not discover this nor did I perform the research until after I used this product.

I will first qualify the following review by stating that I personally feel that, dollar for dollar, Meguiar's manufacturers and distributes the absolute BEST car care product available on the market today. I have to admit that initially I was extremely impressed with the #20 Polymer Sealant. As compared to other products that I've tried, Meguiar's sealant was easier to apply, even in the sun, and on a hot surface. This product required very little effort to remove something that has proven to be nothing short of a bad mistake gone worse with other products. Also, this product did return some color and gloss to a badly oxidized surface. The primary failing point of the Meguiar's #20 Polymer Sealant was pretty much the same as its competitors. It simply didn't last long; as a matter of fact after only approximately two months, its' effects started showing signs of fading.
Mind you this was applied on a car that does not see automated car washes, is hardly ever driven on bad weather days, is hand-washed with ONLY Meguiar's Car Wash solution, and then is hand-dried with a chamois (never a towel). Therefore in my mind, this polymer should have lasted forever!!! It was at this point I performed some research, talked with some old-timers, and came to the following conclusion.

First of all, hands-down Meguiar's offers the finest product on the market for the money spent (in my opinion). But the BEST investment I could have made in the care of my beloved car's respective exteriors was that of an orbital buffer. If you think that you've received good results out of the Meguiar's product line by-hand, try it with a buffer. Even the consumer grade product delivers a decidedly improved response. At one point I made the analogy to myself that the difference of utilizing the product by hand and using the buffer was if I had never polished and waxed at all.

In the case of heavy oxidation and badly neglected paint, I found that repeated applications of the Meguiar's "Medallion" Premium Paint Cleaner first, followed by repeated applications of the Meguiar's #9 Swirl Remover Deep Gloss Cleaner/Polish delivered better results than any/all of the Polymer product I previously applied (even better than NU-FINISH). Admittedly, the trick is with the repeated applications - which all of the manufacturers do clearly run disclaimers on the "Directions" of their respective products that for "heavily soiled/neglected areas, repeated applications may be necessary."

The Meguiar's products listed above clearly deliver better, more desired results than the #20 Polymer Sealant. After an acceptable gloss was received, I then applied several applications of the Meguiar's "Gold Class" Clear Coat Prep and Swirl Reducer. Although in each application the product was applied by hand, the removal was performed with an orbital buffer. The end result has been so phenomenal that people who have seen my '84 Coupe and '86 GT have immediately commented on the finish - not even noticing other enhancements to either car (auxiliary driving lights, etc…).

Owning 3 cars, each in a different stage of finish neglect (for lack of a better expression), gave me a prime scenario to test the Meguiar's product line. It was not always necessary to go the extreme described above, as a matter of fact only my GT required that much attention. And even the eventual wax chosen to really set off the gloss finish created is dictated by the level of neglect of the car. In the case of the badly neglected, oxidized surfaces, I found that the Meguiar's #26 "Yellow" Paste Wax (I'm really old-fashioned when it comes to waxes, and personally believe that it's not "WAX" if it comes pouring out of a bottle) is the product of choice. While on the average clear coat finish the Meguiar's "Gold Class" Clear Coat Paste Car Wax is definitely the way to go. Again, in each application removing the product with an orbital buffer delivers the absolute, optimal results.

I have to admit that, initially, I was more than just a little wary of using a buffer especially for the first time ever in my life. I have personally witnessed some of the horrors that can result from the improper use of these tools. The best piece of advice that someone gave me is that - the buffer should do ALL of the work, you are only there to guide it. With that in mind, I got the hang of it in next to no time. The real trick is to almost let the buffer float over the car, it should only be the natural action of the buffer itself that does the work. In other words, the buffers' OWN natural weight should be the ONLY DOWNWARD pressure applied.
So, in conclusion, the Polymer Sealant itself didn't live up to expectations. However, my disappointment was transformed into a truly enlightening and eventually rewarding experience by using other Meguiar's products. As far as which is better, high-speed buffer, orbital buffer, variable speed buffer, and/or the Meguiar's dual-action buffer? I really don't know, having only tried a 5" single-speed orbital buffer, and a 9" single-speed orbital buffer. Maybe the Meguiar's representative might be willing to offer one of the Meguiar's devices for comparison???

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