How do I remove tree-sap from my car's finish?!?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Moe Maishlish, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

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    Hey all,

    So I moved into my new house on Wednesday of last week (my first house!... yey!), and among the various issues that need to be addressed is one that is really starting to upset me - this silly tree in my front yard which is dripping SAP on my car!

    The tree has several branches which hang directly over the driveway, and just drip the gooey sticky clear stuff on the car. I've tried to remove the stuff with paper towel, water and water, but it just smears and dries up later. I want to avoid scratching it off 'cause I don't want to ruin my finish!

    I'm going to clear out my garage and start parking in there until I can get someone to come over and trim the tree-brances that are hanging over the driveway.

    Does anyone know how to remove this crud from my car without ruining the finish?

    Thanks!

    Moe.
     
  2. Kevin G.

    Kevin G. Second Unit

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    Hey, Moe...(sorry couldn't resist)
    HOT! HOT! soapy water. We run into this occasionally at my shop. People wait till it's hard, then try to scrape it off... Wrong choice... Get it while it's still sticky. Use a car wash mit. It will still take some elbow grease, but it's better than the alternative. (bringing it in to the body shop and paying 100.00 to buff all the scratches out.)
     
  3. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    They also make special bug/tar/sap removers that will dissolve the stuff.
     
  4. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

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    Is that bug/tar/sap stuff ok for use on cars? Any idea where I can pick some up, or what it's called?

    Thanks,

    Moe.
     
  5. ClintS

    ClintS Stunt Coordinator

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    I like 3M's tar & grease remover.

    3M Tar & Grease

    I have also used bug and tar stuff found at local super stores with varying degrees of success (they are definetly not as strong as the 3M product). Make sure you buy one labeled as clear coat safe.

    I have also used clay bar to remove small hard spots that wouldnt dissolve.

    Important thing to remember is these take all finish protectants off (wax, polish, etc.) so you will want to follow up with some wax or polish. And a good coat of wax or polish will make these things (sap, bugs,etc) easier to remove in the future with just a car wash.
     
  6. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    Please don't use a paper towel on your paint...
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I have this can with some kind of brown liquid that is literally called tar and sap remover, I forget who makes it but it is very strong, it is recommended to try it on a discrete part of your car first. It's probably flammable too! [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  8. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    It's made specifically for cars. Should be found in the automotive department of any department store, or in any auto parts store. There are probably many different brands.

    As Clint says, just make sure you wax the spot again after you use the stuff.
     
  9. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    The 3M stuff is great. Also, as mentioned, you can use a claybar for stubborn stuff. Just remember to rewax. [​IMG]
     
  10. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    Good old WD-40 works almost as well as bug & tar remover. Use the same caution/advice though. As Clint said, frequent waxing of the "target" areas makes future removal easier too.
     
  11. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    wd40 will take the paint off.
     
  12. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I've been using it for years. Not quite as effective as b & t remover but it's good in a pinch.
     
  13. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    mineral spirits will pull it (and your wax) right off. No harm to the paint or clearcoat, but you'll want to wax the car afterwards.
     
  14. Moe Maishlish

    Moe Maishlish Supporting Actor

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    Ok, I picked up some Bug & Tar remover, as well as a clay-bar and some wax last night.

    Once I remove the sap, should I rewax the entire car, or just the areas that have been affected?

    Moe.
     
  15. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    just do the whole car.
    be sure to read the claybar directions, you can do serious harm by using it incorrectly.
     

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