Monday, October 26, 2020

Best Car Detailing Products: In-Depth 2020 Buyer’s Guide

polishing the car

Taking good care of your vehicle can keep it looking and smelling great and can help to protect the vehicle’s paint job for years to come. Regular washing with the best car detailing products will not only make your vehicle nicer to drive, but it also helps the vehicle to retain thousands of dollars in value. I’ve put together this buyer’s guide and included product recommendations for the car owner who wants to keep their car looking great, without the high cost or the hassle that comes with having it done by the pros.

Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that lists each of the products that made it onto my list, their top features, and how they rated.

Car Detailing Products Comparison Chart

Products Type Size For Rating
Chemical Guys Mr. Pink
Super Suds Car Wash Soap

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Soap Body
Car Guys Super Cleaner

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Interior Cleaner Interior
Malco Epic CR2 Hydro
Protect Ceramic Spray

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Ceramic Spray 16 Oz Paint Protector
MEGUIAR'S G200416 Hybrid
Ceramic Liquid Wax

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Wax 16 Oz Paint Protector
Chemical Guys Tire Cleaner

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Grease and Grime Remover Tire Cleaner
This Worx Car Vacuum

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Vacuum N/A Inerior Care
Adam’s Glass Cleaner

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Glass Cleaner 16 Oz Windows/Mirrors
Meguiar's Water Magnet
Microfiber Drying Towel

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Towel N/A Drying

Best Car Wash Soap-Chemical Guys Mr. Pink Super Suds Car Wash Soap

Our Rating: (5/5)

This top-selling car wash is perfect for once a week wash. It works specifically to remove dirt, built up grime, and debris, thanks to its super polymers that are suspended in the foaming bubbles. The soap features a gentle cleaning power that won’t damage clear coats or remove wax, so your vehicle will remain protected. The soap is easily removed with cold water, with no residue left behind. The high level of foam this wash provides makes this product perfect for use with foam guns or cannons. This is a pH balanced formula that’s gentle on paint, clear coats, and waxes.


  • Rinses clean with no residue left behind
  • pH neutral
  • Will not harm clear coat
  • Will not remove wax


  • Suds are very thin


This car soap does an excellent job of removing even the toughest dirt, dried tree sap, bird droppings, and more. While powerful, the soap itself is gentle on your vehicle’s paint and will not scratch the surface, remove clear coats, or remove wax. In fact, the formula is so gentle on paint that it’s safe for regular use.

Best Interior Cleaner-Car Guys Super Cleaner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you don’t want to buy several different products for the different types of materials and surfaces in your vehicle’s interior, then this product by Car Guys is a great buy. This spray can be used on multiple surfaces including plastic, vinyl, canvas, fabric, leather, wood, and metal. It will remove stains, old dirt, spilled beverages, bird droppings, sap, and more. This spray is very versatile and leaves behind a clean, matte finish. It will not leave behind any sticky residue, like many competing interior cleaners do. It will also protect your interior from UV damage, which is a huge selling point for people with leather interior. Additionally, this product is covered by a 100% money-back guarantee, so, if you’re not happy with the results, contact the manufacturer for a full refund.


  • Odorless
  • Multi-surface cleaner
  • Does not leave residue behind
  • Provides UV protection


  • Cannot be used on windows or mirrors


This product is odorless, which will be a big selling point for some buyers. This multi-surface spray will fight stains, caked on grime, and can be used on the console, seats, steering wheel, carpet, and more. If you’re tired of wasting money on several different types of products to clean your interior, then you’ll love the stain fighting power this product has to offer.

Best Paint & Clear Coat Protector-Malco Epic CR2 Hydro Protect Ceramic Spray

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This ceramic spray creates a beautiful shine. It’s designed to beautify and protect your car’s exterior, leaving behind a high-gloss shine. To use, simply spray it on the vehicle’s body and wipe it off. This spray will instantly brighten up your paint job while protecting it from damage. The spray repels water, which will reduce the risk of calcium deposits and water spots. The spray also protects against sun damage, pollutants, brake dust, and grime. This product creates the type of brilliant shine that can instantly make a dull paint job pop.


  • Easy to apply
  • Protects against UV damage
  • High gloss
  • Reduces the risk of calcium deposits


  • Cannot be used on wet surfaces
  • Cost


This powerful spray leaves behind a beautiful shine, is easy to apply, and will protect your car’s paint job from sun damage, water spots, calcium deposits, pollutants, and more. This spray is simple to use and can provide weeks of protection. It also offers the type of durable protection that all vehicle owners are searching for, at a price that’s affordable.

Best Car Wax-MEGUIAR’S G200416 Hybrid Ceramic Liquid Wax

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This wax by Meguiar will seal the paint for longer lasting protection against sun damage and the elements. The wax boasts superior water beading action and easy application. The wax can be applied by a variable speed polisher or by hand. The formula is designed to produce a water beading, protective, slick layer that will seal the paint from the environment. It can also be used on plastic trim and chrome and acts like a topcoat over traditional sealants and wax. This liquid wax provides the benefits of ceramic protection, which makes it easier to apply compared to traditional wax. The product’s ease of application and versatility is what makes it one of the top-selling waxes on the market.


  • Can be used on chrome and plastic trim
  • Superior beading action
  • Easy to apply
  • Seals the paint from the environment


  • Because it goes on clear, it can be difficult to see where the wax has been applied


This is a ceramic liquid wax that offers a higher level of protection compared to traditional car wax. It will also dry on clear, without leaving any white residue behind. Apply by hand or use a variable speed polisher for instant paint protection. The low price and ease of application make this a must-have car detailing product for any vehicle owner who wants to protect their paint job and clear coat against the elements.

Best Tire Cleaner-Chemical Guys TVD_107_16 V.R.P. Tire Cleaner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This tire cleaner is designed to maintain and restore shine. It works by penetrating deep to restore and nourish rubber, vinyl, and plastic. The cream creates a non-greasy, long-lasting rich shine on tires. It can also be used on sidewalls, side mirrors, grates, grilles, windshield cowls, bumper trim, door panels, and dashboards. This formula will protect against fading, prevents future damage and restores rubber. It contains special UV blockers that work like sunscreen to repel any harmful UV rays that can crack, fade, or bleach rubber and other types of materials including plastic.


  • Can also be used on vinyl and plastic
  • Dries quickly
  • Non-greasy formula
  • Restores and protects


  • Must be reapplied often


This product features a water-based formula that’s non-greasy and long-lasting. The cream instantly gives tires a rich wet look that will have them looking new. It’s also easy to apply, dries quickly, and can be used as often as needed to restore shine and to protect rubber, plastic, and vinyl from damage caused by the elements.

Best Car Detailing Vacuum-This Worx Car Vacuum

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

As every car owner knows, cleaning out the interior is one of the most important steps of car detailing. This car vacuum is highly portable, small, and powerful. Weighing just 2.4 pounds, this high-powered model features 8.8 amps of power and ultimate suction. The vacuum comes with a cord that measures in at sixteen feet long and connects directly into a twelve-volt lighter port, so you won’t have to worry about running extension cords or the battery dying on you in the middle of cleaning. This model comes with three different nozzles that will allow you to access all of those hard to reach places in your vehicle, such as under the seats and in between them. It also comes equipped with a HEPA filter, which will remove allergens from the interior, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander.


  • Lightweight
  • Plugs right into vehicle’s lighter port
  • HEPA filter
  • Powerful


  • Dirt canister is very small


Cleaning out a car’s interior is one of the most important steps of detailing a vehicle. This powerful, highly portable, compact vacuum comes with three nozzles, a carrying case, and is compatible with a vehicle’s twelve-volt lighter port, so you won’t have to worry about running extension cords. This model is specifically designed for vacuuming out a vehicle’s interior and offers the type of high suction power you need to get the job done efficiently and quickly.

Best Glass Cleaner-Adam’s Glass Cleaner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This glass cleaner is safe for use on tinted windows, which is a big deal, since many of the leading glass cleaners are not. It offers a powerful streak-free formula, that’s ammonia-free, and eco-friendly. When you’re cleaning windows, over applying a window cleaner is easy to do. This results in streaks and spots. But this newly formulated spray guarantees a streak-free finish, which makes it a great choice for those who are new to DIY car detailing.


  • Eco-friendly
  • Can be used on tinted windows
  • Ammonia-free
  • Streak-free formula


  • Very sticky


If you’re looking for a powerful, streak-free window cleaner that’s easy to apply, one that’s free from harsh chemicals, and odor-free to boot, then you’ll love Adam’s glass cleaner. This is a great product for both tinted and traditional car windows. The ease of application and the non-streak formula are the biggest reasons to buy, however, another incentive is the manufacturer’s 110% percent satisfaction guarantee, which will allow you to request a refund, if you’re not satisfied with this product’s performance.

Best Car Detailing Towel-Meguiar’s X2000 Microfiber Towel

Our Rating: (4/5)

This microfiber towel by Meguiar will help you dry off your vehicle in a fraction of the time. The manufacturer claims it offers superior absorbency, which results in less wring-outs. The towel is designed to absorb up to two times more water compared to traditional towels. Additionally, it won’t leave behind lint, fuzz, streaks, or water spots. The towel measures in at 22 x 30 inches and features a waffle texture that works to improve water absorption.


  • Will not leave behind lint or fuzz
  • Fast drying
  • Can absorb twice as much water as a standard towel
  • Washing machine and dryer safe


  • Material is very thin
  • Only includes one towel


This microfiber towel is reusable and machine washable. It can also be tossed in the dryer. This towel is designed to help you quickly and efficiently dry off your car’s body and the windows, without leaving behind any streaks, water spots, or towel lint. The towel itself is durable, with material that can absorb twice as much water as a standard car detailing cloth.

Car Detailing Products Buyer’s Guide

In terms of car dirt types that you’ll come across, the dirt can be classified as petroleum soil, non-organic soil, and organic soil. Once you figure out the type of soil, you can choose the right type of cleaner to get it out.

Organic soil is considered anything that contains carbons, which includes carbs, bug excrement, animal excrement, bacteria, bugs, yeast, mold, body oils, animal fat, and proteins.

Non-organic soil doesn’t contain carbs. This type of dirt is usually found on the exterior of a car in the form of acid rain spots and water spots. The most common forms of non-organic soil include scale and lime deposits.

Petroleum soils don’t contain water and won’t mix well with water. They also don’t have a pH factor. This type of dirt includes chemicals such as road tar, grease, and motor oil.

Car Protectants, Polishes, and Cleaners

wiping the headlights

With so many car detailing products on the market, it can be difficult to understand the differences between each type. Essentially, there are three categories of cleaning products:

  • Protectants
  • Polishes
  • Cleaners

There are also products that have dual functions. As an example, a leather protectant can also clean as you apply the product. Wax is the most common and it also cleans and polishes the paint.

Wash Mitts and Soaps

Car soap is a type of mild shampoo that’s formulated to gently lubricate, clean, and restore gloss. A good soap will generate suds and excellent lubrication, which will reduce the risk of scratches. It will also be free rinsing and will leave a wonderful gloss that will make your vehicle look like it was just waxed.

You’ll need a good car washing mitt to complement your soap. A wash mitt is a better choice than a sponge since it won’t damage a clear coat finish. Grit tends to get caught in sponges and can cause light scratching.

Look for a mitt that’s free-rinsing and can hold plenty of water and soap. Microfiber mitts are recommended by the pros.

Tire and Wheel Cleaners

Tire cleaners are a type of detergent that removes the old tire dressing and brown film that forms on the tire. When you’re shopping for tire-cleaning products, carefully read the label. If the product contains petrochemicals, abrasives, or bleach, don’t buy it. These chemicals will harm the wheels and can cause the tires to dry and crack prematurely. Many pros also don’t recommend purchasing wheel cleaners. While these products work okay, they’re usually high-priced and the formula doesn’t work the best to remove tire grime. Wheels often require a stronger cleaner, one that’s able to break the bond between road grime, road tar, brake dust, and the wheel. These products come in a couple of basic formulas: acid-free cleaners, and acid cleaners.

Acid cleaners are impressively strong and often work well without much agitation. Using this type of cleaner will require extra care and caution when used on wheels that are chipped or pitted. The acid can migrate to any fissures and can accentuate peeling and flaking of surface coatings. A non-acidic cleaner is a type of mild solution.

These products are designed to loosen and lift brake dust.

A non-acidic cleaner requires some surface agitation with a sponge or brush. They’re much safer to use than an acidic cleaner and they’re not as likely to etch the finish of the wheel.

Some wheel cleaner manufacturers have released gel formulas. These gel cleaners require time to work on the dirt. A good gel product will cling to the wheel, which will give it more time to clean and remove dirt.

Undercarriage and Engine Cleaners

Some people never think about cleaning the undercarriage or the engine, which is odd considering both are the dirtiest parts of a vehicle. Cleaning both the undercarriage and the engine are both important parts of preventative maintenance.

It will take a tough chemical to remove grime, oils, grease, and dirt from the undercarriage and engine. For both areas, there are a few choices of cleaners:

  • D-limonene
  • Detergents
  • Petrochemicals

D-limonene solvents and detergents work well for at-home use and won’t harm the environment like petrochemicals will.

Vinyl and Leather Cleaners

Vinyl and leather are both types of durable materials. However, oil from the human body is their worst enemy. Oily skin can cause leather and vinyl to break down, eventually discolor, and age. To avoid this, use a high-quality cleaner for your interior. Always avoid using household cleaners on your interior. Most of these products tend to contain harsh detergents. You don’t want to end up damaging leather and vinyl by dissolving the protective coating.

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaners

cleaning the car seats

Carpets and fabric often take the brunt of dirt inside of a car. Unlike vinyl and leather, most types of dust, dirt, and spills cannot be wiped away from carpet and fabric. You can vacuum, but by the time you do, the dust and dirt have probably already been ground in.

Additionally, the carpet is also subject to plenty of wear and tear. Carpet and fabric cleaners must be tough enough to remove and loosen dirt, but they can’t be so harsh that they ruin the material. Fabric and carpet cleaners are available in a couple of basic forms:

  • Liquid
  • Foam

Both types have their pros and cons. Foam cleaners will push more soil and dirt to the surface of the fabric and carpet where it can easily be vacuumed away. Liquid sprays will do a much better job of wetting down the fabric for a deep clean.

Plastic and Glass Cleaners

Even a vehicle that’s polished and washed won’t truly sparkle until the glass has been taken care of.

Glass that’s clear and clean is easy enough to achieve. Just choose the appropriate type of product and know how to use it correctly. Ammonia is the one wrong type of glass cleaner to use. Avoid choosing products that are ammonia-based. These products can be very harsh on a car’s interior surfaces and can also pose a danger to the user. It’s surprisingly easy to become asphyxiated from ammonia without the right type of ventilation.

Some types of glass cleaners will use alcohol as the main ingredient, which isn’t quite as bad as ammonia, however, it can still cause a headache. When wiping down the windows, use a microfiber towel since it’s easy to clean glass without leaving behind streaks and lint.

You can also use glass cleaner to clean plastic, as long as the glass cleaner you use doesn’t contain detergent, alcohol, or ammonia. Detergents and ammonia cause plastics to turn yellow, while alcohol can dull a surface.

Plastics, such as headlight covers, tail light lenses, window tint film, require regular polishing to remove minor scratches.


Choosing a polish can be pretty confusing. There are running compounds, cleaners, scratch removers, swirl removers, and glazes. When you’re shopping for a polish, make sure you use a product that has the lowest abrasive rating necessary. Many people believe that waxing a car is what makes it look good. While it’s true that a coat of wax can make a car shine, it’s polishing that makes a paint job really look sharp.

Make sure you choose a polish the matches the needs of your vehicle. If your vehicle is fairly new, then it may just need a good pre-wax, one with a low polishing capability. But if your car has water spots or swirl marks, then you’ll need a product that will specifically address those issues. Avoid using a polish that’s more abrasive than what you need to achieve the ideal results.

Unfortunately, polishes do remove a fine layer of clear coat and paint. A fine polish can be used for several years without noticeably reducing the thickness of the clear coat or paint. However, a coarse polish can rapidly reduce thickness.

Detailing Clay Bar

A clay bar, also known as automotive paint-cleaning clay, is a type of soft abrasive material that’s mixed with a clay plastic base. This bar removes contamination from the exterior surfaces of a vehicle, such as glass and paint. Detailing clay will come in small individually wrapped bars that are available in a variety of levels of abrasiveness, colors, and sizes. The bar will work by shearing off material that’s stuck to the glass and paint. Unlike a polish, a good clay bar will require only a couple of passes over the paint, leaving the surface perfectly smooth.

However, this type of clay is not able to remove paint imperfections, such as scratches.

Clay bar detailing can safely and quickly clean a vehicle’s paint without negatively impacting the thickness of the paint, which is why it’s recommended by most pros.

Glazes and Waxes

making the car shiny

Waxing is the last step in paint care. Wax is a type of protective substance that’s either synthetic or natural. The wax will provide a thin layer of protection over polished or painted metal surfaces. Wax can be liquid, cream, or paste. Pure wax doesn’t contain abrasives or solvents for cleaning like a cleaning wax will. Many people assume the term pure wax means that the wax doesn’t contain anything by pure beeswax or pure carnauba. However, this isn’t the case. All waxes involve a blend of different substances.

Synthetics and Natural Waxes

Sealants, or synthetic waxes, serve the same purposes as natural wax. Yet, they’re usually formulated with superior durability. Synthetic waxes often contain acrylic compounds or polymers to create a surface coating that’s more sophisticated, one that offers exceptional slickness and gloss.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Should a Full Auto Detail Cost?

Basic car detailing often involves washing, waxing, vacuuming out the interior, interior polish, washing windows, cleaning the trim and mirrors, and cleaning the tires. You can expect to pay around $100 for an average sized vehicle and $150 for a van or SUV.

Can I use Dawn to Wash My Car?

No. Avoid using Dawn to wash your vehicle because it can damage and erode the paint over time and remove the protective coating.

How Long Does a Full Detail Take?

Detailing a car can take two to four hours, depending on the condition of the vehicle, including the state of the vehicle’s interior.

How Often Should You Detail Your Car?

Most pros recommend detailing a vehicle every four-six months, so about two to three times a year. However, the frequency in which you have your vehicle detailed will depend on how clean you like your vehicle.

Can I Use Laundry Detergent to Wash My Car?

Hand soap, laundry soap, and other types of cleaners should not be used. These types of soap are not pH balanced, which means they can damage your car’s paint. In order to achieve the results you want, you need to use a dedicated car soap, which will contain more lubricant.

Final thoughts

The cost of having your vehicle detailed by the pros can be pricey. Purchasing your own car care products is a great way to save money while keeping your vehicle in great shape.

This buyer’s guide on the best car detailing products has given you just a glimpse of the many products you’ll find that are designed to keep your car looking beautiful. There are many great products on the market, and an equal number of bad products that are backed by fancy marketing. Pay close attention to a product’s contents, read car detailing product reviews, and only choose products that will work for your vehicle’s cleaning needs.

from Auto Clean Freak
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Best Car Detailing Products: In-Depth 2020 Buyer’s Guide

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October 26, 2020 at 04:25AM
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Friday, October 16, 2020

Best Car Seat Covers in 2020: Complete Buyer’s Guide

pretty woman in car

The best seat covers will give your vehicle’s interior a custom look, while totally revamping your interior after years of spilled drinks and muddy weather. Purchasing a set of new seat covers is the most affordable and easiest way to give the interior of your car a totally new look while protecting your seats from more wear and tear. If you’re not sure what type of seat covers to get for your vehicle, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve put together an extensive buyer’s guide that includes every type and style of car seat cover you can think of. Additionally, I’ve also tested out many of the leading sets, narrowing it down to four of the best-selling car seat covers on the market.

Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each set that made it onto my list, how they rated, and their top features.

Best Car Seat Covers Comparison Chart

Product Color Options Material # in Set Rating
Car Seat Cover

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4 Faux Leather 3
Black Panther
Car Seat Cover

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4 PU 1
Seat Covers

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6 Polyester 3
FH Group Car Seat Cover

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11 Polyester 3

OASIS AUTO OS-003 Leather Car Seat Covers

Our Rating: (5/5)

If you’re looking for a set of car seat covers that will totally revamp your interior, this set is it. This is a set of three leather car seat covers that are available in four color options. These covers are quality all the way. The covers themselves are available in a one size fits all design and feature a fast and simple installation. According to the manufacturer, the seat covers will fit vehicles ranging from large F350s to small Coupes. Of course, measuring your car seats before you buy is highly recommended. Compare the dimensions of your car seats to those of the covers to determine whether or not these seat covers will be compatible. Additionally, since these seat covers are made out of leather you should also consider the fact that they can be uncomfortable to use in hotter climates.


  • Four color options
  • Made from leather
  • Versatile
  • Easy to install


  • Available in one size only
  • Leather material may cause excessive sweating in hotter climates


These car seat covers are a steal for the price. Soft, durable, and beautiful, they can instantly give your vehicle a high class look and can protect your seats from further wear and tear. Keep in mind, they’re available in one size only and are not recommended for hotter climates since leather can cause excessive sweating. In terms of quality, these covers are a great buy and will allow you to protect your interior from dirt, dust, debris, and spills.

Black Panther Car Seat Cover

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This car seat cover is made out of thick PU material that features a perforated design that allows air to easily flow through. These perforations make the seat cover highly breathable so it can be used year-round, even in hotter climates. The back of the cover is made out of a rubber granule fabric that prevents the seat cover from moving out of place when you get in and out of your vehicle. On the front of the cover you’ll find a couple of pockets, which you can use to store your personal items. The front of the seat also features an elastic and quick buckle design that helps to keep the seat in place and makes it easy to install and remove.


  • Durable
  • Breathable
  • Includes two pockets
  • Remains securely in place


  • Only includes one cover


This cover will remain securely in place, thanks to the granule rubber backing, elastic straps, and buckle system. This model works well for up to ninety-five percent of cars, trucks, and SUVs, according to the manufacturer. However, since it’s only available in one size only, I recommend measuring your car seat prior to purchasing.

AUTOYOUTH Car Seat Covers

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This set of three car seat covers is available in six color options, so you can choose a set that will match with your existing interior. The covers are thick and durable and made out of polyester material. They’re also machine washable, so you can toss them in the wash whenever they become soiled. This is a huge plus for any car owner, especially those with children or pets. The rear seat cover features three zippers, which will accommodate a 40/60 split, 50/50 split, or 40/20/40 split. Additionally, if you have cup holders in the back or a middle console, you can just unzip one of the zippers to accommodate it.


  • Includes three covers
  • Machine washable
  • Available in six colors
  • Ninety-day money-back guarantee


  • Backseat cover is too small for most large trucks


This set of three seat covers is versatile, easy to install, and machine washable. The set is also available at a price that won’t break the bank and features the type of stylish design that can instantly boost the look of your car’s interior, while preventing further wear and tear.

FH Group FB032BURGUNDY114 Car Seat Cover

Our Rating: (4/5)

This set comes with a couple of front seat covers and one rear bench cover, in addition to four headrest covers. The universal fit is designed to work for most SUV, van, truck, and car seats. The covers are made out of comfortable and durable high-quality polyester that’s breathable and machine washable. However, the covers must be air dried. Putting them in the dryer will cause them to shrink. The variety of color options will allow the buyer to choose a set that matches their current interior or choose covers in a color that will make their interior really pop.


  • Eleven color options to choose from
  • Breathable
  • Machine washable
  • Durable


  • Must be air dried


This set of three car seat covers will protect your interior from dirt, dust, spills, and general wear and tear. The variety of color options is a huge selling point and one that will allow you to choose the perfect color to complement your vehicle’s interior and your personal style.

Best Car Seat Covers Buyer’s Guide

When you’re shopping for a new set of car seat covers, there are many factors to consider before you hit that buy now button. This includes style, size, material, padding, and fit. Below, I’ll start off this buyer’s guide by going over the different types of seat cover materials that are available.


The type of material your car seat covers are made out of will have a big impact on the level of protection they provide, how they fit, and how comfortable they are. There are many different types of materials to choose from, based on personal preference, protection needs, and climate.


Many of the leading seat covers are made out of thick neoprene material, which is often used for its waterproofing abilities. This is the same type of material that wetsuits are made out of, so you know this material can provide top of the line protection against water damage. Car seat covers made out of neoprene are perfect for off roading vehicles, since they’ll protect the interior from water, mud, and more.

Ballistic Nylon

This type of material may not be the most comfortable in the world, but it can provide car seats with top of the line protection against UV and water damage. Seat covers that are made out of this type of material are considered the most durable and can handle heavy-duty use, spills, the family dog’s muddy paws, and other types of messes, easily.


This is a type of plush knitted fabric that’s usually made out of polyester or cotton. The feel of velour is very similar to velvet, offering a finish that’s extra-soft. However, when it comes to water protection, velour tends to fall short. But, if you’re looking for an affordable, stylish way to give the interior of your car a totally new look while protecting the seats from general wear and tear, then a set made out of velour is a great choice.


car interior

Car seat covers made out of leather offer ultimate protection and style. Leather will not absorb liquid, like other types of materials will. Instead, the liquid will remain on the surface of the material, which makes cleanup a cinch. However, in hotter climates, leather can be a poor choice since it can cause excessive sweating and can be uncomfortable to sit on when it heats up.


Suede is a more affordable option than leather, and it offers comparable durability. Like leather, suede is not naturally resistant to water damage or sun damage. When you’re shopping for car seat covers made out of this material, be sure to choose covers that have been treated with a weather resistant coating.


Tweed is a type of material that provides a soft comfortable feel, similar to velour, however, it does a better job of handling wet weather conditions. Additionally, if you’re looking for a beautifully textured material, then tweed is definitely the way to go.


If you live in a part of the country that experiences harsh weather conditions, then sheepskin can be an excellent choice. This plush, soft material can keep you warm and comfortable during your morning commute. However, seat covers made out of this material tend to be on the pricey side.


Cotton is very breathable, which makes this material a good choice if you live in a humid or hot climate. Seat covers that are made out of this material are durable and easy to clean since most are washing machine safe. However, you should avoid putting these car seat covers in the dryer since cotton is prone to shrinking.


You can find car seat covers designed specifically for the driver’s seat, or you can find sets of two to four. The number of car seats you need depends on how often you have passengers in your vehicle, the current state of your vehicle’s interior, and how much you want to protect your car’s interior from general wear and tear, sun damage, and spills. In most cases, people are searching for seat covers for the two front seats only, however, you can purchase covers for the backseat as well, whether you have back bucket seats or a bench seat. Purchasing a set of car seat covers for all of the seats in your vehicle can be a smart investment and one that will protect the interior of your vehicle for several years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Buy Seat Covers for My Car?

Seat covers are designed to protect a car’s seat from UV rays, salt, sand, dirt, mud, spills, and water damage. However, if you purchase seat covers that allow liquids to soak through, then the covers will not be able to protect your seats from certain types of damage. Seat covers that are waterproof offer a higher level of protection and can work to keep your car’s interior looking new, preventing severe damage, in addition to general wear and tear.

How do I Know if My Seat Cover Will Fit?

Make sure you have your vehicle’s information handy, so when you’re shopping around for a new set of seat covers, you can reference this information as you look at the seat cover’s spec sheet. Some manufacturers produce car seat covers with a universal fit, while others make covers that are designed for certain makes and models.

Do Seat Covers Ruin Leather Seats?

If you have leather interior then using car seat covers is a great idea since they can provide an extra level of protection, preventing sun and water damage. Constant exposure to the sun can cause leather to dry, crack, and fade, so using seat covers is an excellent way to protect your leather interior from damage.

Final Thoughts

The best car seat covers will protect your vehicle’s interior from water and UV damage, general wear and tear, and can allow you to instantly upgrade the look of your car’s interior. Fortunately, many of these car seat cover sets are priced affordable and designed with durability in mind. Together, this buyer’s guide and the products I’ve recommended can easily help you choose a new set of car seat covers that will provide style, comfort, and much-needed protection from further damage.

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Best Car Seat Covers in 2020: Complete Buyer’s Guide

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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Best Heated Car Seat Cover: Complete Buyer’s Guide for 2020

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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Best Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner: Complete Buyer’s Guide and Top Products in 2020

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Best Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner: Complete Buyer’s Guide and Top Products in 2020

girl checking scanner

Routinely servicing your vehicle is important in order to keep it running efficiently and smoothly. Often, the check engine light will turn on when sensors pick up an issue with your vehicle’s performance. However, the check engine light can pop on at any time, even if you take great care of your vehicle. Using the best Bluetooth OBD2 scanner can help you determine the cause of the check engine light, within minutes, so you can take care of the problem immediately and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

I’ve put together an in-depth buyer’s guide that includes all the important information you need to know when you’re shopping around for a new OBD2 scanner. I’ve also reviewed many of the best-selling models, narrowing it down to six scanners that are a steal for the price and offer a better than average, highly accurate performance.

Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that features each product on my list, their best features, and their rating.

Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner Comparison Chart

Product Compatibility Code Library Subscription Rating
Autel AP200M OBD2
Scanner Bluetooth

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Android/iOS Yes Yes
BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro
OBDII Scan Tool

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Android/iOS Yes No
Veepeak Mini Bluetooth
OBD2 Scanner

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Android No No
AUTOPHIX 3210 Bluetooth OBD2
Enhanced Car Diagnostic Scanner

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Android/iOS Yes No
Bafx Products Bluetooth OBD2 /
OBDII Diagnostic Scanner

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Android/Windows No No
Bluetooth Scanner

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Android/iOS No No

Autel AP200M OBD2 Scanner Bluetooth

Our Rating: (5/5)

This Bluetooth OBD2 scanner by Autel provides a more stable Bluetooth connection compared to competing models, offering a range of up to thirty feet. This model can perform OE level functionality, providing comprehensive diagnostics, advanced ECU scans, allows you to read and clear codes, and features live data reading scans. It also has a reputation for being three times more accurate than competing models. It comes equipped with six maintenance functions including electronic throttle position service, diesel particulate filter, battery management system, steering angle sensor, electronic parking brake, and oil reset.


  • Twelve-month guarantee
  • Multilingual menu
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • One-year free subscription


  • $19.99 monthly subscription fee after the first year


This feature-packed model can do it all. Download the app on your smartphone and watch as the scanner runs diagnostics on your vehicle. The device is compatible with over 130 makes and models and comes with a multilingual menu, free year subscription for scanner use, and a DTC lookup feature that allows users to read the explanation behind each code.

BlueDriver Bluetooth Pro OBDII Scan Tool

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This scanner is compatible with Android and Apple devices, is easy to use and allows you to get free unlimited repair reports that are vehicle specific. These repair codes are generated from a database of millions of fixes that have been verified by automotive technicians. The code reader is easy to use, includes free updates, allows you to save data, and features an interactive graph of live data.


  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with Android and Apple devices
  • Bluetooth capabilities
  • Trusted by mechanics


  • Slow data refresh rate


With this scanner, you can read and clear error codes, using an extensive database that includes millions of fixes. This scan tool also comes with free updates, no subscription fees, is easy to use and it was developed by pro engineers. This model is reliable, accurate, and a steal for the price.

Veepeak Mini Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This OBD2 scanner is compatible with Windows and Android devices but will not work with Apple devices. This model will allow users to read diagnostic trouble codes and reset check engine lights. You can use a PC, tablet, or a smartphone to view important vehicle information. To use this model, you’ll need to download a third-party app such as OBD Fusion or Torque Pro. This model is compatible with trucks and cars made after 1996.


  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with a variety of third-party apps
  • Low price
  • Resets check engine lights


  • Not compatible with Apple products


This device is easy to use and can turn your phone, PC, or tablet into a diagnostic tool that will allow you to easily determine the cause of a check engine light. This model will allow you to reset check engine lights, clear and read diagnostic trouble codes, view live sensor data, view freeze frame data, and determine whether or not your vehicle will pass a smog check. Reasonably priced, compact, and easy to use, this model is a great choice for beginners and car owners who want to save money on costly diagnostic tests offered at their local garage.

AUTOPHIX 3210 Bluetooth OBD2 Enhanced Car Diagnostic Scanner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This model scored well for its user-friendly design and its ability to diagnose a check engine light, clear default codes, battery health checks, O2 sensor tests and more. The scanner is also able to provide data for EVAP system tests, onboard monitoring, performance tests, freeze frame, and I/M readiness. It also comes with a built-in OBD2 fault code library, so users can reference the library for the definition of each error code.


  • Includes code library
  • Performance tests
  • O2 sensors
  • User-friendly
  • Can provide readings in nine different languages


  • Poor Bluetooth connection


Unlike most scanners in this price range, this model provides all the information needed to accurately diagnose a car’s trouble codes, so even people who don’t know much about repairs can benefit from using this handy device. Additionally, this model is compatible with both Android and iOS devices and supports major brands and models for vehicles made in 1996 and newer. This model won’t just read off code errors, it will also provide the definitions of each code and the possible causes your vehicle’s check engine is turning on. This model is a great choice for pros and vehicle owners who don’t know much about repairs.

Bafx Products Bluetooth OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This affordable OBD2 scanner is compatible with Windows and Android devices but isn’t compatible with Apple products. This model will work on all types of vehicles made in 1996 or newer. It’s also covered by a two-year warranty against defects. You can use this scanner to clear and read codes, and run diagnostics in real-time. This scanner is not able to read oil changes, TPMS, SRS, ABS, or anything that’s not directly related to the check engine light.


  • Easy to use
  • Covered by a two-year warranty
  • Affordable
  • Provides diagnostics in real-time


  • Does not include code library
  • Not compatible with Apple products


This model is pretty limited in terms of what it can do. While some competing models will include an onboard library, and will run a variety of diagnostics, this is a very basic model that can read error codes only and will allow users to clear codes. However, unlike competing models, this scanner is covered by a two-year warranty and includes a basic design that makes it very user-friendly.

OBDLink MX+ OBD2 Bluetooth Scanner

Our Rating: (4/5)

This Bluetooth OBD2 scanner is compatible with Windows, Android, and Apple devices. It’s also compatible with a wide variety of apps, allowing you to choose one that offers a user interface that works for you. It also offers advanced support for certain major vehicle brands including:

  • Kia
  • Hyundai
  • Honda
  • Scion
  • Lexus
  • Toyota
  • Infinity
  • Nissan
  • Mazda
  • GM
  • Ford

This model will allow users to run diagnostics, clear check engine lights, and will also provide live parameters for TPMS, SRS, ABS, and more. It also features battery drain and over-voltage protection and regular firmware updates.


  • Easy to use
  • Firmware updates
  • Compatible with Android, Windows, and iOS devices
  • Battery drain protection


  • Does not include an onboard code library


This easy to use Bluetooth OBD2 scanner is compatible with most smartphone operating systems, includes advanced support for many of the major vehicle makes and models, and offers more live parameters than many models of OBD2 scanners in this price range.

OBD2 Scanner Buyer’s Guide

With an OBD2 scanner, running diagnostics on your vehicle is a breeze, in fact you can usually get a reading in under a minute. A car has a computer system that monitors a variety of subsystems that make a vehicle run. The onboard diagnostics scanner allows users to check the status of their vehicle without having to take it to a mechanic and pay a fee for the same service.

Models that run on Bluetooth allow you to use your smartphone or tablet as a diagnostic scanning tool. Using apps that communicate with the scanner when its plugged into your vehicle makes the process even simpler.

While there are many different types of scanners on the market to choose from, wireless Bluetooth models are more convenient and easier to use compared to traditional models.

But before I go over what features these innovative easy to use scanners have to offer, first, let’s discuss the benefits of owning your own OBD2 scanner.

Bluetooth OBD2 Scanner Benefits

bluetooth scanner control

  • When a sensor in your vehicle detects an issue, the car’s computer produces a code and the check engine light will turn on. This light indicates that there’s an issue somewhere in the system. However, without reading the code from the onboard computer, the vehicle owner will have no idea what the issue is. In order to read the codes, the vehicle owner will need to take it to a local garage and have a mechanic run diagnostic tests or the owner can simply purchase an OBD2 scanner. Running diagnostics will cost money, so if  you take your vehicle to a mechanic every time your check engine light turns on, you’ll have to pay a fee. But if you have a scanner, you can do the same tests yourself, for free.
  • These portable devices can easily hook up to your vehicle and will display any trouble codes that pop up. This knowledge will be invaluable when it comes to either the car owner fixing the problem themselves or figuring out how much money it’s going to cost them to have a professional do it.
  • When you own a code scanner, you can easily do your own diagnostics. All you need to do is locate the OBD connector which is usually placed on the driver’s side, under the dash. Once you’ve located the connector, you’ll follow the connection instructions for the scanner. When you run the diagnostics, the codes will instantly pop up on the scanners display or your smartphone or tablet.
  • Sometimes a check engine light will turn on for a serious problem, one that will make it unsafe to drive your vehicle until it’s been repaired. In some cases, the light will turn on when a sensor is out. While it’s important to get that fixed, it’s not something that will require immediate action. The ability to read trouble codes yourself will help determine the severity of the problem.
  • These scanners are very versatile and will work for many different makes and models of vehicles. In 1996, manufacturers were required to use a standard diagnostic method. This onboard diagnostic system allows users to purchase a single scanner for a variety of vehicles. This means car owners will not have to buy a new scanner every time they get a new vehicle.
  • These devices are highly portable, so you can bring one along when you head out on a long car trip. This way, if your check engine light pops on when you’re on the road you can whip out the scanner and determine whether or not your car is in need of immediate repairs.
  • The ability to pinpoint the source of your vehicle’s check engine light means that you’ll be more likely to handle the problem yourself. Some scanners will provide more information than others.
  • If you don’t know much about your vehicle and you’ve never done your own repairs, having a scanner can come in handy to ensure your mechanic isn’t charging you for repairs you don’t need. Most mechanics are honest, but there are some who will overcharge a client who obviously has no idea what’s going on with their vehicle and doesn’t have much knowledge in terms of automotive repairs. Knowing exactly what’s wrong with your vehicle before you bring it to a mechanic will allow you to do a little research online to find out how much the repairs will cost.

Other Important Features

When a check engine light pops on, this indicates that the car’s computer has detected some type of error. This can be anything from a dead oxygen sensor to a loose fuel cap. The error pops up as a code, which will remain stored in the computer’s memory until it has been cleared either with a predetermined reset, a number of engine starts without further issue, or by using a special tool.

OBD2 devices will come in handy for a variety of reasons, especially if you’re someone who is capable of working on your vehicle yourself. But there are many features you’ll want to look for before you purchase a scanner. For starters, if you’ve never used one before, you’ll want to purchase a model that has a reputation for ease of use. Additionally, a scanner should be compatible with both your smartphone and your vehicle and should provide codes within a matter of seconds. Unfortunately, not all models are created equal.

Now, let’s take a look at the basic features these devices have to offer and discuss why a scanner will be invaluable to both the DIY mechanic and the drivers who don’t have much mechanic knowledge.


The codes that a car’s computer generates can be checked with a scanning tool. These tools are a standard piece of equipment at any garage. These scanners can be very simple to use, but you can also come across models that are more feature-packed and thus more challenging to use correctly. The devices themselves consist of a small piece of hardware and an LCD screen, a primitive operating system, and a few buttons. The scanners are preloaded with trouble codes from a wide range of manufacturers and they’re designed to assess an engine’s performance, quickly and efficiently.

Bluetooth Capability

You’ll also come across a number of pro-quality models that are designed for smartphone use. These compact devices will connect to the serial portal in your vehicle, transmitting data over Bluetooth and interacting with an app on your tablet or smartphone. These scanners will allow you to read and clear codes and have a better reputation for more accurate readings.

These devices work by translating the data that’s output from a vehicle’s computer using the OBD interface.

Since everyone has a smartphone these days, using one of these Bluetooth devices is incredibly convenient.


Some scanners will have brand specific apps, while others will allow users to choose from a wide variety of apps based on operating systems. Most of these apps are free, however, there are some that will require a small fee to install it.


Some higher priced scanners can require a monthly subscription fee to use the dedicated app. Often, these scanners will offer a free six to twelve-month subscription, then they’ll begin monthly charges after the trial period is over. The subscription fee can be as low as $2 a month, up to $20 a month.

OBD Compatibility

One of the biggest concerns buyers will have to deal with is choosing a model that’s compatible with their vehicle. Before you purchase a scanner, you need to ensure that the model you choose is compatible with your vehicle. This can be done by reading the product’s spec sheet. Not all scanners will be compatible with every car. If you have a newer vehicle, then you’re probably in the clear. However, if you have an older vehicle, then you may run into some issues when it comes to finding a model that will work with your vehicle. As of 1996, all vehicles that were sold in America have been required to be OBD compatible. Basically, if your vehicle was manufactured before 1996 then you probably won’t be able to use an OBD2 scanner. Additionally, when it comes to compatibility, you’ll also need to check if the scanner is compatible with the type of smartphone or tablet you use. If you have a major brand of phone or tablet, then you shouldn’t run into any compatibility issues.

Trouble Codes

Every model will list the trouble codes after a scan has been completed. Once you have the trouble codes, you can do a quick online search if your scanner doesn’t have a code library. This can help you diagnose what’s going on with your vehicle. If you have a higher priced scanner, the tool may provide you with the description of the trouble code, which will make the process much faster. Some models will even provide information that’s vehicle specific. Once you have determined what the codes mean for your vehicle, you can use this information to make the necessary repairs and to purchase the right parts. If the repairs are beyond your skill level, then you can take this data to your local mechanic.

Code Library

Top of the line models that come equipped with an onboard code library can save you plenty of time and effort that would otherwise be spent looking up the code definitions. These code libraries will allow you to quickly perform a search for the code definitions, so you can learn more about why the check engine light keeps turning on and pinpoint exactly what’s going on with your vehicle. Unfortunately, not all models offer this feature, which is a must-have for people who don’t have much car repair experience.


Basic models that will provide just the codes, can run anywhere from twenty dollars up to forty dollars. Models that will display the codes and a description of what each of the trouble codes mean will cost more, but this ability can save you plenty of time and money. On average, these scanners can cost $30 to $100. The more information a model provides, the higher the price tag.


The warranties available can range from ninety days to two years. Higher priced models will often come with better warranties that offer more coverage, while low-priced scanners may not come with a warranty at all.

Ease of Use

Some models will be easier to use than others. If you don’t have much experience working on cars or you’ve never used an OBD2 scanner, then you’ll want a model that has a reputation for a beginner-friendly interface and one that includes intuitive controls.

Connecting and Reading an OBD2 Scanner

  • Using an OBD2 scanner is pretty straightforward. Before you start, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the scanner’s user manual.  After you’ve learned about the basics of the scanner, you’ll need to download an OBD2 scanner app on your tablet or smartphone, then pair it with your device.
  • You will also want to update the scanner’s software before you use it. Many scanner manufacturers will offer software updates, which will update the model’s code database. This is often done by plugging the scanner into a computer via a USB cord.
  • Next, you’ll plug the standard connector into the vehicle’s port, which is located on the driver’s side of the dash. Turn your vehicle on in order to power the scanner. You may need to enter vehicle specific information such as the VIN. In order to check for the engine codes, you’ll press the scan button and follow the instructions that pop up on your tablet or smartphone.
  • A scan will usually take about thirty seconds. Once the scan is completed, follow the screen prompts to see if your vehicle is reporting any error or trouble codes. Make sure you record the data. If you want to see if the code was a one-time issue or you’ve used the data to repair the vehicle, use the scanner to clear the reported codes. This resets the check engine light.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all OBD Readers the Same?

All vehicles will use the same definitions when it comes to generic codes. For enhanced codes there are models available that are vehicle specific, however, the accuracy can vary from one year to the next, so the codes may be out of date by the next model year.

What is the Difference Between an OBD Reader and Scanner?

A code reader is essentially a simplified version of a scanner. This type of tool is only able to perform basic scans for trouble codes. A scanner can read and clear codes and may also be able to read advanced data and can come with knowledge bases and playback features, in addition to diagnostic procedures.

How do I Permanently Delete Engine Codes?

In order to clear trouble codes using a monitor cycle, you’ll begin by repairing the issue that caused the trouble code to appear. Once the repairs have been made then you can clear all the codes.

How Can I tell if my Engine Code has Been Cleared?

On the scanner, you’ll press enter or read, depending on the model of scanner you have. Next, you’ll scroll down to the I/M readiness menu and choose it. Take a look at all of the systems. If the majority of them say not ready, then it means that the check engine light has recently been reset.

How Many Miles do you Have to Drive to Clear a Check Engine Light?

After clearing a car’s computer, you may only need to drive fifty to sixty miles, but one hundred miles seems to be the average for most vehicles. As you drive around, the vehicle’s computer will monitor every sensor and register the results.

Final Thoughts

The best OBD2 Scanners are beginner-friendly, feature an intuitive menu, and will connect to your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth technology. Make sure that the model you choose is compatible with your make and model of vehicle. In most cases, you can purchase a model that will work for all of your vehicles, however, there are model specific scanners available, which can be a huge plus for some vehicle owners. This buyer’s guide, in addition to the products I’ve chosen, are designed to help you select a model that will come with all of the features you need to accurately diagnose your vehicle and have it up and running in no time. Each of the models included in my guide scored well in terms of versatility, ease of use, and overall quality, so you should have no trouble finding a solid model that you can rely on the next time your vehicle’s check engine light turns on.

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