Nissan Patrol in Middle East – tyres and exterior maintenance.

New Tyres for Nissan Patrol Platinum SE:  At this time, I realized that the german colleague was not really looking after the car even to the basic standard. I replaced five tires (including the spare one) for Michelin Latitude Tour HP at total cost of 420 KWD or 1,400 USD in November 2021.   In the Middle East its recommended to replace the tires every 3 years, regardless of the milage driven.  This is mainly to heat, dry air and UV radiation.  This will save you trouble to be on the road in baking sun.

One off (tire gauge, fixe extinguisher, portable air compressors, first aid kit, windshield sun shade) – 87 KD (290 USD). The german colleague either did not have it or took it with him (unlikely).

Car Care (wax, ceramic and washing in MiddleEast):

In Kuwait, and in Middle East general, the climate is very harsh – hot (radiation temperature approaches 100 C (212 F) during the summer. The air is very dusty and my car is sitting outside (in a shade).

There are two main approaches in Kuwait:

  • Install a car protection film on a new car.  It protects the car from lose stones causing chips, which are plenty in Kuwait. Dust and UV radiation. It will also enable you to wash car with water only for 5-7 years. I tried this approach but it was too late for my Nissan Patrol.  The car already had stone chips and imperfections.  If you apply a protection film on imperfect surface it will peel off in a couple of year time.  You need to completely re-paint it but when the time will come to replace the film it will come off with the paint (if the paint is not a factory job).
  • Wash the car daily with the water. Typically, this is done for several cars in the row, with the same bucket and dirty rag.  Water is precious in the desert. People typically don’t bother with shampoo or waxing even for expensive cars. Remember that after seven years you cannot get a comprehensive car insurance on a car in Kuwait.

None of it suit me very well.   I also discovered that the german colleague had a car accident, due to which he had to repaint the front doors.  He conveniently did not disclose it during the sale, of course, he did the paint job in unauthorized center in a cost efficient (cheap) way.

Additionally, the previous german owner never spend any money on car shampoo, sealant or anything else.  The car was “polished” with water and rag once a day by his maid for 6 years, before it was rescued.

Car washing has a very therapeutic effect on me. On the weekend I wake up at about 6 am and go and wash my car myself.  I remember that in Chicago I did polish and wax my first car (Toyota Corolla) weekly fifteen years ago.

With my Nissan Patrol I did my washes weekly, initially starting with shampoo and wax over it from a local supermarket (Turtle brand).  It was a bit difficult to apply in the summer, as the wax was drying up very quickly. 

I started listening up to some podcasts, reading up articles on internet and watching the videos.  There is a lot of hype out there, with people having thousands of followers and pushing products left, right and center.

I tried a lot of them, ending up spending about 3 hours a week for the past 16 months and going to enjoy spending more time.  Kuwait is playful ground for a car enthusiast. My Patrol is means to be driven, not polished.  Past 10,000 kilometers and sixteen months were fun, even without single speeding fine.

My Nissan Patrol is not the best looking but I want it to look its best. I tried many different products and going to describe my experience in details for some of them in the later posts.  Some of the famous brands, traditional wax proven themselves in the USA and Western Europe last less than a week in Middles East in spite of all good efforts.

Here is amount of money spent on car maintenance in 24 months:

Category KWD USD
Interior 22 73
Exterior – general 21 69
Exterior – wash 57 190
Exterior – wax prep 38 124
Exterior – paint sealant 13 42
Exterior – wax 109 361
Exterior – ceramic coating 101 330
Exterior – ceramic maintenance 57 187
Exterior – glass 12.5 41
Exterior – tires 18 61
Total 449 1,478

As you can see 158 KWD (517 USD) is related to ceramic coatings and their maintenance.  So far  I tried Meguiar’s  hybrid paint coating with Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic  Wash an Bead booster M799 bead booster and they did not live to their advertised expectations.  After about couple of weeks the hybrid paint coating feels very rough at the surface and heavily contaminated.  The car was standing in shade except about 10 hours in the two weeks in the winter.  The Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic Wash produces literally no foam and when followed up with undiluted Ceramic Boost (M799) does not produce expected results. The other ceramic coatings (Autoglym and Adam’s Advanced Ceramic) are coming and will be applied before summer returns back.

 Full table of expenses:

Type Product KWD USD Note
Interior – Leather Autoglym Leather Clean & Protect Complete Kit 10 33 Good
Interior – plastic Ticarve Cleaning Gel for Car Detailing Putty–3 off 12 40 Coming
Exterior Microfibre towels – 10 4 13 Good
Exterior Meguiar’s microfibre applicator pads 3 10 Good
Exterior Faireach Microfibre Car Cleaning Cloths Set of 4 5 16 Coming
Exterior Adam’s Single Soft Microfiber Towel 4 pack 9 30 Coming
Exterior – wash Meguiar’s G210256 Hybrid Ceramic Wash & Wax, 48 oz 15 50 Fail
Exterior – wash Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo 16oz 6 20 Coming
Exterior – wash Turtle Zip Wax 64 Oz – 3 off  12 KD
Mother California Gold – 5 KD
Gunk Concentrated Car Wash Detergent 64 Oz -4 KD
21 70 O.K.  
Exterior – wash Adam’s Car Wash Shampoo – gallon 15 50 Coming
Exterior – wax prep Autoglym Polish Applicator 4 13 Good
Exterior – wax prep Autoglym Magma Liquid Clay 500 ml (Iron remover) 4 13 Good
Exterior – wax prep Autoglym – Clay Detailing kit 10 33 Good
Exterior – wax prep Adam’s Iron Remover 16oz 8 25 Coming
Exterior  – wax prep Autoglym 1 litre super resin polish x 2 off 12 40 Good
Exterior – paint sealant Chemical Guys Jet Seal (Advanced UV Protection) 13 42 O.K
Exterior – wax Meguiar’s G1116EU Quik Clay Bar Starter Kit 9 30 Not used
Exterior – wax Meguiar’s G18211EU Ultimate Paste Car Wax 311g Pure Synthetic Polymer Car Wax 11 36 O.K.
Exterior – wax Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax – 2 off 10 33 Fail
Exterior – wax Turtle Wax Super Hard Wax 14 Oz.  – 3 off 9 30 O.K.
Exterior – wax Collinite Liquid Insulator Wax, 16 oz – 3 Pack 30 100 Coming
Exterior – wax Meguiar’s  Ultimate Paste Wax, 8 oz – 2 off 20 66 Coming
Exterior – wax Soft99 Japan Wax New For White and Light 20 66 Coming
Exterior – ceramic coating Meguiar’s Hybrid Paint Coating 24 80 Fail
Exterior – ceramic coating Autoglym Ultra HighDefinition Ceramic Coating 21 70 Not used
Exterior – ceramic coating Graphene Ceramic Coating™ Advanced 56 180 Coming
Exterior – ceramic maintenance Meguiar’s M799 Pro Ceramic Bead Booster – one gallon 40 132 Fail
Exterior – ceramic maintenance Adams Graphene Detail Spray 6 20 Coming
Exterior – ceramic maintenance Ceramic Boost 12oz 11 35 Coming
Exterior – glass Meguiar’s Auto glass cleaner 19 oz 2.5 8 Fail
Exterior – glass Meguiar’s G2970 Two Step Headlight Restoration Kit 10 33 Coming
Exterior – tires Adam’s tire armor 9.2 31 Coming
Exterior – tires Meguiar’s G7516 Endurance Tire Gel – 16 oz 9 30 Coming
Total   449 1,478  

Leaving aside one-off costs so far it costs me to run Nissan Patrol in Kuwait:

  • 1,300 KD (4,300 USD) a year in Nissan service maintenance cost.
  • 140 KD a year (462 USD) in tires cost.
  • 250 KD a year (750 USD) in washing / car paint maintenance cost.

Additionally, I spent about 3 hours a week or 150 hours a year washing and waxing my car.

 So, excluding the fuel cost, it costs about 1,690 KD (5,500 USD) a year to run and maintain 8 years old Nissan Patrol in the Middle East.

The only real time and money savers as I see on the exterior car maintenance is to install  paint protection film on the new car. My friend has it on his Mercedes AMG for several years. The Mercedes is being washed with water  and dirty rag and still looks amazing.  Alternatively, you will spend 250 KD (750 USD) a year and your car will look like a dalmatian because of the stone chips and inconsiderate people at public car parks anyway.   

Of course, you always have an option to do nothing, as my german colleague.  He used to run the car at about 352 KD (1,165 USD) a year but it this way the car is destroyed after 10 years or so.  One can argue that you saving some money, selling the car like he did. A lot of people do exactly that but few people buy those cars at any reasonable price.