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3M The New Wizard of DIY'er Car Care OOOHs And AHHHs

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By Michael Bernstein
Michigan Bureau
The Auto Channel

Just like our old friend Dorothy and her little dog Toto discovered when the curtain was pulled back and the great and powerful Oz was well not so great and not very powerful, the folks at 3M Auto Care have pulled back the curtain on automotive repair and maintenance and low and behold the same can be said about basic auto care, it really isn’t that difficult.

I think many of you are like me when it comes to maintaining you vehicle, which means adding gas, oil and an occasional wash. Any and everything else is strictly off limits, not so much out an inability to do the job, let’s face it after 14 years of marriage my man card has taken a few hits, not to mention the damage done as the result of this new world of feelings and metrosexual tendencies, but the result of not wanting to compound the issue by our lack of know how or experience in doing these types of activities.

Well fear no more because 3M has your back, side and every other angle covered with their newly redesigned and reorganized auto care products developed specifically for the job at hand.

Over the course of two days at their sprawling 300+ acre campus located in St. Paul, Minn., I witnessed and in some cases performed hands-on, several auto care related tasks that I thought could only be accomplished by a professional automotive technician.

From appearance to maintenance the team at 3M’s Automotive Aftermarket Division have simplified the process by creating specific kits that contain everything required to complete the project including detailed printed instructions that convey easy to understand steps complete with color photos, web support and of course all the materials required. All you need is an open mind and possibly a few basic tools. Really that’s all there was to it!

The real magic is in the innovation and imagination 3M integrates in every project it undertakes and in all the products it sells. This innovation and the impressive roster of products it spawned was on full display at 3M’s modern Innovation Center perched high atop a rise that overlooks a lake and the many building that house labs and offices that dot the landscape.

No I’m serious about this cross pollination of ideas and product lines. Take for example the abrasive chosen for an automotive application was originally developed and utilized in filtration systems. This is just one of the many examples presented in the impressive displays.

This and practically every 3M product, including its first, paint line masking tape, was the result of an individual’s motivation and a personal drive to succeed, not the result of a management agenda or corporate edict. This inventive spirit has been embraced, encouraged and expanded throughout 3M’s rich history.

In fact 3M has a corporate culture that has resulted in what is known as the 15% policy. This mandates that each employee is required to spend 15% of their time devoted to a project of their choosing; moreover, this assignment is not limited in scope to the group they are assigned. This project can be conducted anywhere in the corporation’s six major groups and the dozens of sub groups that exist. That’s what I call having courage, heart and a brain!

The automobile after market in the US alone is a $1.8 billion dollar a year industry with projected growth of 4% annually according to Jason Linkswiler, 3M’s Business Manger and the group’s host. That’s serious money and 3M is all in with a winning strategy that includes key acquisitions of Bondo, the iconic American brand and Maguire’s, the leader in professional car care, combined with the introduction of the exclusive repackaged products that will be marketed in various retail channels.

For anyone who has a vehicle that is more than three years old, heck what am I saying, we all can imagine having a scratch or two we would like to remove, but the thought of doing it yourself is daunting and the cost of using a professional is way too costly.

So let’s take for example those small scratches or door dings.

Don’t call the body shop because with 3M’s Paint Restoration Kit you can now safely and efficiently remove them yourself. This kit was just one of the 15 new or repackaged products I was briefed on and observed in action.

Believe me it can be done because after watching it being done and seeing just how easy it really was to achieve real results. It was like a tornado had blow open the door of mystery that surrounds car repair and maintenance.

That’s because each of these items are either stand alone products and with the help of these new 3M kits, the exclusive products they contain and here’s the most important part, the unmatched support you receive, they ensure that you too can have similar results.

3M has eliminated the yellow brick road, all you have to do is follow the link to their YouTube channel and see the demonstration videos for yourself. These videos are professionally shot and are very informative. In fact I am so confident in my abilities and their products that I will be repairing a scratch on my own car and blogging about the experience.

It’s a fact people, myself included, are keeping their cars, trucks, SUV’s and crossovers longer not only because of economic factors but also due to the fact that overall vehicle quality has drastically improved. It’s nice to now know that significant results in both appearance and performance are possible to achieve, but more significantly, completed with relative ease and at an affordable price.

So remember you don’t have to be in Kansas anymore, just the nearest auto parts store that carries 3M products. To find a complete listing of all the 3M products go to for all the details.