CarPro PERL – In Depth Product Review
What is CarPro PERL?
CarPro PERL is a water-based silicone-oxide all-purpose dressing from CarPro. The name PERL is an acronym meaning Plastic, Engine, Rubber and Leather and it’s capable of dressing all of these surfaces, with minimal shine whilst providing UV protection.
The great thing about CarPro PERL is that you’re able to dilute it with water for its specific use case, after all, you wouldn’t want to use the product that you use on your tires at the same strength on your interior plastics or leather.
What Can CarPro PERL be Used For?
As mentioned above, PERL stands for Plastic, Engine, Rubber and Leather and as you would expect, it can be used on any of these surfaces on your car.
I use it slightly diluted (1:3) for my exterior trim and windshield cowl, as it was starting to fade. The hydrophobic-ness is now amazing, and restorative effects were fantastic.
I’ve also used PERL at straight dilutions on my tires for a deepening of the blacks, as well as a slight sheen, but not glossy. You can also use a microfibre towel to remove the excess if it’s too shiny for you. The product didn’t sling all over my freshly cleaned paint, which was most welcome, and even after the sheen had faded, the tires were still noticeably black rather than grey or even brown.
I’ve also used PERL on some of my interior plastics, after a good cleaning it didn’t add any unwanted shine, but the colour was darker and definitely improved the presentation, which is certainly welcome when you’ve had a day at work and you’re getting into your pride and joy for the trip home.
How to Dilute CarPro PERL for Different Applications
As mentioned above, CarPro PERL is a dilutable formula, dilutable for various tasks and areas on your car, from your tires to your trim and even leather.
Below are the dilution ratios given by CarPro.
- PERL Dilution For Tires: Undiluted. CarPro recommends 2 thin coats with 20 minutes between applications.
- PERL Dilution for Engine Bay: 1(PERL):1~3(water)
- PERL Dilution for External Plastics and trim: 1 (PERL): 1~3 (water)
- PERL Dilution for Interior Vinyl and Leather: 1 (PERL): 5 (water)
These are also just CarPro’s guidelines, I would recommend playing with the dilutions if you want more or less shine.
How to Use CarPro PERL
How you apply PERL depends on what you’re dressing or protecting, however, the answer will almost always be, with a sponge or trim applicator.
When using on tires, I normally put a small amount directly on to the applicator, spread it over the tires and then go back to make sure the coat is smooth and even.
If this is too glossy, you could always give it a wipe with a cloth once dried and that will tone down the glossiness, without losing the deep black colour.
When dressing external trim, such as around windows, I spray some diluted PERL onto the applicator and then work into the area.
For the windscreen cowl, I may just spray some over (the same dilution as external trim) and then work in with an applicator sponge to spread it evenly.
Below is a picture before and after of PERL used as a tire dressing.
This is just one coat, evenly applied.
Using PERL on Interior Plastics
PERL can also be used to dress interior plastics, in the case below, I used it in the 1:3 dilution ratio that I also use for exterior trim.
Below is a before of the plastic interior trim panel of my boot.
You can also see the bottle of PERL in a small spray trigger bottle and a small collection of microfibre cloths…
Below you can see I spray some CarPro PERL onto the panel, holding the cloth to make sure the silicone-based formula doesn’t get onto the other cloths, or inside the boot carpet.
I then use the pink cloths, the ones I’ve dedicated to the interior, to remove any excess once spread with a sponge applicator.
Below you can see a 50/50 of the treated surface vs the untreated surface. It’s not a massive difference, but the right side has a deeper colour and just a hint more sheen than the side on the left. Admittedly, the photos don’t do it full justice.
Using PERL on On Engine Bay
My first experience with PERL was on my engine bay, it was after this I knew that this product was going to be brilliant and I had no doubt I would be buying more.
Below you can see my engine before the coat of CarPro PERL was applied.
In this situation, before applying any dressings, I strongly recommend a good clean.
As this was only the engine plastics, I took off what I needed to, gave everything a good clean with an APC and some brushes, and then removed the cleaner with some microfibre cloths before applying the coat of PERL, which I had diluted in a trigger spray bottle.
Here you can see the CarPro PERL, now watered down applied to the engine plastics.
Something I would recommend to anyone looking to restore their windscreen cowl is to remove the windscreen wipers, to gain full access. On the Fiesta, the wipers tuck away when not in use, covering a lot of the cowl and making it not easily reachable by applicators, cloths or hands.
Once complete, the engine bay looked good as new.
I also took the opportunity to use some PERL on any rubber hoses or rubber trim, such as the ones between my bonnet and bumper, just so they didn’t let the side down in terms of the overall finish.
How Long Does CarPro PERL Last?
The lifespan of CarPro PERL varies by the type of weather it is exposed to, how much you use the car and various other factors.
Being a water-based formula, the sheen it adds to high wear items, such as tires, is never going to last very long, but even after the initial gloss has worn off, you will still have a good deep blackening or darkening of the plastics.
My coat of PERL lasted for 2 weeks between washes, and on one of those weekends, I had driven on a mountain pass, during a storm, so it held up very well.
My trim has been darkened and I haven’t seen any major signs of fade, the restorative effects of PERL are more than skin deep, even if the initial deep darkening isn’t there after you’ve washed your car, the areas certainly don’t go directly back to grey or heavily faded and a quick top-up coat, like you might top up paint protection with spray wax, does the trick to bring it back to a better than new condition.
Conclusion – Is CarPro PERL Worth It?
CarPro PERL is a multi-use, versatile, dilutable and well-made product, and it goes further than that.
CarPro is highly usable, from exterior trim, tires, leather and even plastics in your car, it’s dilutable, which aids to a positive review as it will inevitably go further than you think, which is always a winner, and, from my experience, buying a bottle is not expensive.
Sure, there are other cheaper options in the market, but if you want a quality product, that’s able to reliably deliver good results consistently, then CarPro PERL is what you’ll want to pick up from your local reseller.
On the “…go further than you think..” quote above. I’ve had a bottle of PERL (500ml) for just over 2 months now, I’ve poured some out and diluted it, dressed trim and other bits after every wash (approx 6 washes with our current pandemic), and have dressed the tires with neat PERL after each of those washes and I haven’t even used 20% of the bottle yet.
So despite being a product which can be used on so many things, you certainly won’t need to be buying bottles every month.
CarPro PERL – Where to Buy?
If you want to try CarPro PERL- please consider purchasing it through the DriveDetailed Amazon Link HERE
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About the Author – Shaun H
Shaun is an IT Specialist and car enthusiast who currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa. His loves for cars started at a young age, and despite cars in his past having personal touches (read: modifications), his love has mostly been to keep then clean, neat and in as good a condition as possible while still enjoying them on a road-trip, a mountain pass or even the drive to work.
His current car is a blue Fiesta ST, named Blue, which he takes care of meticulously.
This is also the car which, after purchasing, caused him to get back into the detailing game in order to get the ST dialled in.
You can follow Shaun on Instagram @ shaun_st180
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