Here’s what happens to the car’s paint when you ignore that bird poo

We are entering the 11th week of lockdown since the first announcement of MCO 3.0 (later renamed to NRP) was announced at the start of June 2021. With work-from-home directives and minimal travelling, our vehicles are further left unused.

For those who have to park their cars without shade, nature is always never too far away from redecorating the exterior with “new patterns”.

But, with modern expertise such as advancements in paint technology, electrophoretic deposition (ED) coating as well as various clear coat finishing, are the bird poo or droppings from the birds so detrimental to a modern vehicle’s paint?

While the composition of bird droppings actually varies from region to region due to their diet, it is essentially a very acidic substance that has a typical pH level of between 3 and 4.5. According to detailing experts, the uric acid contained in the bird droppings will react with the hydrocarbons on the clear coat.

On a hot day, the clear coat expands at a molecular level and the uric acid from the bird droppings seep in. At night, when it has cooled down, the uric acid is trapped inside the clear coat and it then starts becoming corrosive, harming the paintwork. This though isn’t an immediate process, taking a few cycles of heating and cooling which could leave a permanent blemish.

Even taking into consideration how often it rains here, which would wash away the bird droppings, it is best to clean the acidic stains without delay to avoid having a long-term defect on the paintwork.

The government has allowed businesses to reopen for individuals who are fully vaccinated. One of them is the car wash! Find out more about the list of businesses here.

For fresh bird poo on car paint, there is no need to use a special solution. It is recommended to use a soft microfibre cloth and plenty of water to gently wipe the droppings off, as the droppings tend to have pieces of gravel, nuts and seeds mixed into them, which could cause tiny scratches when they’re cleaned with great force.

For those droppings that have hardened, place a wet cloth over it for ten minutes to soften the deposit. Repeat this process if the droppings cannot be lifted off in just one go. Do not wipe/scrub it as the droppings have rough particles with can cause scratches to the clear coat of the paintwork.

After two sessions of evening showers, the majority of the bird droppings have been washed away.

For those who have the resources and means, there are specific bird-dropping cleaning towels made just for the job! We managed to find one, check out the product here for more information.  

Paint and coating technology has come a long way with Ford even creating synthetic bird droppings and tree sap for testing purposes to formulate even tougher coatings. Meanwhile, those who had applied additional ceramic coating will see benefits as the made-to-deteriorate coating will take the brunt of the abuse before reaching the factory-applied clear coat.

The water-repelling ceramic coating also allows the droppings to be cleared away with ease.

Funky colours might actually help with a car’s resale value. Find out more here!

And for additional information, a study by UK’s Halfords has revealed that red cars attract more bird poo than those with blue car paint. Green vehicles are the least preferred by the flying pest.

There is of course the ultimate protection for cars parked outdoors- the full-sized car cover. Avoid parking under tall trees in the evenings too, where a lot of crows tend to gather and start dropping their deposits.

Sources: Island Detail and Color, Car Bibles, Autoblog



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