What do you think of the Teflon paint-protecting product that dealers try to sell?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 01, 2002

Dear Tom and Ray:

I just purchased a 2002 Nissan Maxima GLE and won't be picking the car up for a few days. We were pitched the usual after-sale banter about undercoating, rust protection, etc. But one of the items was new to me, and I wondered what you thought about a Teflon paint-protecting product offered for $250. It's supposed to fill in the paint pores and protect against acid rain. Do you think it has any merit? -- Leo

TOM: No.

RAY: Now that the entire universe has caught on to the fact that rust-proofing, undercoating and pin-striping are all unnecessary, dealers have had to be creative and come up with new ways to get back some of the money they've bargained away in the sales process.

TOM: At most dealerships, there's a whole department dedicated to getting you to spend more money AFTER you've already agreed on the purchase price of the car. They make money on financing, extended warranties, door protectors, security systems and Tibetan incantations. Not all of that stuff is bogus, but some of it is clearly unnecessary.

RAY: I actually don't know anything about this specific product, but I know that car finishes are pretty darned good these days, and with a reasonable amount of care (or even without, in most cases), the finish will last longer than the car. So if you're picky about the way your car looks, I'd buy an $11 can of Zymol wax and leave the Teflon for your pots and pans, Leo.

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