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    Thread: Bilt Hamber Auto Balm

    1. #1

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      Bilt Hamber Auto Balm

      Well, after researching and reading and interacting with people worldwide; I finally got my hands on the product I have been researching for months. Something that defies the cliches that apply to LSPs. Presenting - Bilt Hamber Auto Balm.

      What is Auto Balm? It is difficult to pigeonhole it so let me give it a shot. It has mild chemical cleaners, a very unique filler that stays for a couple of month and it is a sealant. The looks are between a good sealant and a good wax. The durability is better than a wax but not as long as a good sealant. It sheets water, but slowly. It beads water but not much to talk about. Sounds like a pretty average product so far, right? Wrong! What Auto Balm compromises on longevity, it makes up in protection. It is anti-corrosive and even protects from stone chips. Plus it brings all kinds of metal and chrome to life.

      It comes in a nice tin can with a foam applicator. Smells like something from my childhood, like something my dad used on his Enfield.

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      From Bilt Hamber Website:
      auto-balm is a unique product providing protection and gloss to automotive paintwork, car bodywork, chrome and metal surfaces.
      It's the result of thousands of hours of development and testing - a blend of synthesized complex corrosion inhibiting molecules that lock together tightly enabling them to remain functional in ultra-thin, high-gloss films. auto-balm will seal capillary pores in paintwork and provide an anti-corrosion barrier to stone-chips and other damaged sites on vehicle paintwork.

      auto-balm will also protect and shine chrome, aluminum, and alloys. auto-balm is not an abrasive polish - if the vehicle's bodywork is faded or in poor condition then the use of cleanser-polish will be required before application.


      Higher protection than any other wax, polish or sealer
      Produces an exceptional deep gloss finish
      Suitable for all automotive paint finishes plus aluminum, alloys and other metals too

      Fills swirl marks for a crystal clear appearance
      Produces absolutely no dust or powder on buffing
      Prevents corrosion spreading from stone chipped and damaged paint sites
      auto-balm’s deep gloss protective shine is achieved with no chemical build-up whatsoever

      I can't post a review without roping in my review on the BH Cleanser polish that I used to correct/mask some hideous abstract art drawn on my Car's boot.

      Before Polishing
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      After Polishing
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      After a single coat of Auto Balm
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      After two coats of Auto Balm
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      It is arguably the toughest LSP to remove but I don't think that applies to Indian weather conditions. Could be a problem in colder weather. You can see in the last picture that I wasn't able to remove all of it.

      My review on the BH Cleanser Polish BILT HAMBER Cleanser Polish Review

      A phenomenal product albeit very low key and from a very low profile brand. Bilt Hamber does not make tall claims, they simply deliver beyond your expectation. At least mine, let me just speak for me.

      #detailing
      Last edited by Supernaut; 22nd May 2013 at 21:29.
      Drive it like you stole it and Detail it like you own it.

    2. #2

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      I don't think there is any better way to describe BH Auto Balm than the one offered by Pete Hamber:

      I've got to be honest about this, when I formulated Autobalm the last things on my “wish list” of performance criteria were beading or sheeting – why?

      We manufacture anti-corrosion coatings so test a lot of products under development here in ASTM B117 salt-spray trials, this is standard test of coating performance, it’s used for testing a coating’s ability to prevent, inter alia, corrosion (it’s used also for testing coatings on other substrates as well e.g. wood) but steel’s our thing.

      Applied to a substrate such as steel it’s really easy to see deterioration of the coating’s defence by visual examination – the onset of rust. Our salt-spray cabinet had some spare room in it on one occasion, so (don’t know why) I quickly polished and waxed some panels with various makes of car waxes and polishes and stuck them in – I was amazed to find that in some cases corrosion occurred in less than 5 minutes. Bare in mind some cavity waxes we make do 2000 + hrs. The polished panels were still beading but rusting non-the-less. Interesting I thought. Wonder if we can do better? We had never made this type of product before so I set about it from what we know about anti-corrosion products. We did however look at all the natural waxes too, and believe me I wish I could’ve got waxes like carnauba to work – it’s miles cheaper that some of the materials in Autobalm.

      It took ages to get our product working, our early formulations were poor in the cabinet, but once started it was a good challenge and I, personally, spent thousands of hours on it, it was about the trickiest thing ever to get working so I’m please people like it. Although the best bit, the protection of tiny stone chip sites and paint flaws in really unseen.

      I’ve been told I’ve under priced it too – I think it true, the development cost alone I wiped off and the materials that go into the reaction to make it, of which there’s 18 cost more as I’ve said than if we made a natural wax, oil solvent system.

      Maybe I should’ve concentrated on beading and sheeting though. BUT… you never know what’s in the lab late at night.
      Pictures in daylight when the Boot looks like glass will follow shortly
      Last edited by Supernaut; 22nd May 2013 at 21:47.
      Drive it like you stole it and Detail it like you own it.

    3. #3

      live to Detail...am addicted
       
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      Great review very heartfelt... Now you know why I feel so strongly about BH... Honest and superb products the few that I have tried, very low key, almost zero marketing making one wonder how the heck they survive... But the things work

      All their products are like that, takes their own sweet time to market but by god they do have something of a cult following albeit small in number (but then by definition cult means small)

      And yeah I wish they would hurry up and get their no Rinse product out of the door... Am ready to spend for a gallon the day they announce

      And any challenges in removal
      Last edited by fordfan; 22nd May 2013 at 21:51.

    4. #4

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      Quote Originally Posted by fordfan View Post
      And any challenges in removal
      Today I was a little more generous with the amount I used for the second coat & I let it flash for 5 minutes before buffing off. BH claims there is no removal, it can't be removed. Only buffed off. Either way, it was like grinding a MF against concrete floor. At one point I felt the MF got glued to the panel LOL.

      That's how much I used today and that is a LOT
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      Drive it like you stole it and Detail it like you own it.

    5. #5
      A well oiled machine
       
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      Supernaut Please throw some light on the product's ease of use and quirks if any. Two months of protection is very much acceptable considering what this product is capable of doing. But if it demands lots of elbow grease, it may not appeal to a lot.

      And please do keep us posted how the product is holding up in desi conditions. Not sure how much of elements & what kind your car gets exposed to. Would love to see how it fares.

    6. #6

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      Quote Originally Posted by keerthi View Post
      Supernaut Please throw some light on the product's ease of use and quirks if any. Two months of protection is very much acceptable considering what this product is capable of doing. But if it demands lots of elbow grease, it may not appeal to a lot.

      And please do keep us posted how the product is holding up in desi conditions. Not sure how much of elements & what kind your car gets exposed to. Would love to see how it fares.
      My car gets to see a lot of dust everyday. Plus a lot of highway runs and out of town parking in sun, under trees etc.
      Plus I am going through a break up with WW & RW at the moment so I let it be dirty with mud caking up for weeks till I get a good wash.

      Elbow grease? Not an issue in India. My guess is it will flash faster in UK weather, hence the problem.
      A friend in UK has been using this on his Blue Punto there and he doesn't use anything else for the past few years. Two months longevity claim is from BH so I expect it to last way longer than that. Plus it can be layered in multiple coats which I plan to do. This will be a long term review but I may keep adding layers or topping it up after the monthly wash. Every time you apply it, it cleans a bit, fills a bit, seals a lot
      Drive it like you stole it and Detail it like you own it.

    7. #7
      chef with soft corner for car
       
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      How much landing cost did? and what is your idea of application quantity spend on a medium sedan i.e. how many times one can coat their car with AutoBalm. Did you used hand polishing or buffed with DA/rotary? How much time does it take to haze/buff. What was your methodology?

      Did you get autowash also? I am longing to see a review of this product.

    8. #8

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      Quote Originally Posted by Supernaut View Post
      Today I was a little more generous with the amount I used for the second coat & I let it flash for 5 minutes before buffing off. BH claims there is no removal, it can't be removed. Only buffed off. Either way, it was like grinding a MF against concrete floor. At one point I felt the MF got glued to the panel LOL.

      Haha... Really funny

      One thing I learnt before I got the hang of finis wax... Once you have lightly gone over a section assume that the wax has been applied... And how I came to this realization is by bending and twisting a lot before I could finally see a super thin layer and second more importantly, when I went over any of the sections twice with the applicator thinking I may have missed a spot, the applicator would start sticking to the panel which was a sure shot indicator of over application...

      Now I can do a sedan in ten minutes flat with Finis wax, application and removal following the half twist-one touch only-apply full panel and wipe off

      So question here - did you go over a previously applied spot again or just once? And I think you can shorten the time maybe try a wipe on wipe off as five mins seems too high

      And you sure about the two months durability? Seems kind of low... Finis one coat I get around 4 months before the gloss started to fall off

      keerthi autobalm is unfortunately not an easy product to get the hang of, most either like it or hate it... Nothing midway
      arian a 100ml pot of wax will generally give 30-40 applications / coats depending on usage easily
      Last edited by fordfan; 23rd May 2013 at 00:01.

    9. #9

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      I beg to disagree that it is difficult to get a hang of. In Indian conditions, it is an easy to apply as a dodo juice wax. I will give both of you a sample to try.
      Drive it like you stole it and Detail it like you own it.

    10. #10

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      Auto Balm Revisited

      I haven't felt like detailing for a while as I was extremely unhappy with the suspension, the rattles etc. Now that all those things have been fixed and I am again driving around town like a 16 year old on steroids, I decided to spend some time with the car. Got it washed at Car Cares yesterday as after it came back from the Service Center; it had so much dust and mud everywhere that I just couldn't think of a better way to clean than a pressure wash and a strong TFR grade shampoo. Unfortunately, the super clean Car revealed stone chips all over the bonnet and I was cursing myself for not having protected the paint with an anti-corrosive sealant. Fortunately, I now have Auto Balm so I can minimize any further damage and fill up the existing ones. I bid goodbye to all sealants and waxes for now except Auto Balm, at least as a base coat. The lousy weather and horrible road conditions in India demand that I protect the paint first before worrying about water beading, sheeting, gloss etc etc. A good Nano Sealant over a good protective coat like AB will take care of all the gloss, beading & sheeting. Bilt Hamber recommends their Auto QD as a maintenance product for the Auto Balm, so I may just try that as well.

      Enough rambling. I decided to use the little detailing wisdom i have acquired over the year and told myself that when trying to hand correct/polish/seal by hand, I should stick to one panel per day. So, today the bonnet got all the attention. The idea was to decontaminate and clean the paint, use all the fillers possible and seal with a good protective sealant/wax that can be layered easily up to 3 coats.

      Products used and steps followed:

      1. Dusted with a brand new Jopasu duster
      2. Sprayed Tar-X and let it sit for 4 minutes and agitated with a foam pad. Rinsed. There was no tar so no reaction but how would I know unless i tried it?
      3. Sprayed Iron-X and let it sit for 5 minutes & then agitated with a clean foam pad. It reacted and foamed and I guess did a good job.
      4. Clay with a very mild grade clay, it did not pick up anything either because the clay is too mild or the Carpro decontamination products covered the ground.
      5. Polished with 2 passes of Bilt Hamber Cleanser Polish on a polishing pad
      6. Single coat of BH Auto Balm on a Hand Applicator

      It's funny that as you detail more & more and learn and try several products, you suddenly look back and wonder why the previous set of products never captured the detail that this product does. When I took the "After" pictures, I thought I left some residue of AB behind as it is anyway not easy to remove. Then I inspected closely in LED light and buffed again but there isn't any residue. It's the damn sky and every cloud up there. Damn! I have taken "After" shots in the exact same location before and I have captured a piece of the sky before but never like this.

      I don't care if I bring Bilt Hamber products to India or DC India does or BH set up a shop here, I am not complaining as long as my Car gets to wear each one of them.

      All the usual culprits
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      A piece of the Sky
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      Auto Balm on Chrome
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      Auto Balm on the Exhaust. This bad boy has clocked 12K KMs and AB immediately brought back the shine
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      Drive it like you stole it and Detail it like you own it.

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