Volkswagen Passat Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My nice new car has tree sap all over it, as well as my girlfriend's new 9-3. We tried bug and tar remover last night but that was futile.

I think I have some of the 3M stuff that I used to clean my car when I removed the Passat badge years ago, but don't recall what it is (red & white container, kind of turpine-tine-ish). I know somebody here will know what to use. Please help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
won't turpentine destroy the paint? oh, and i bite my nails so the finger nail approach is out. furhtermore, the sap has kind of run-down the sides of the car making that approach difficult. i basically need to put a solution on a rag and get the whole side of the car wiped down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,730 Posts
It's 2004 and people like lawsuits so here is my gigantic, oversized, disclaimer to cover my ass in case any of these methods muck up your paint. These are just suggestions - notice I DID NOT recommend sandpaper at any time! ;)

*****DISCLAIMER - I HOISTED, LIFTED, COPIED, STOLE THE QUOTED SECTION BELOW FROM BMW WORLD'S WEB SITE, I HAVE NEVER HAD TO DEAL WITH TREE SAP AS I PARK MY CAR IN A GARAGE OR IN THE SHADOWS OF NEARBY BUILDINGS *********

from BMW WORLD

How to Remove Tree Sap

To remove the tree sap from your vehicle's surface, you can use finger nail polish remover on a cotton ball. After the sap is removed, make a paste of water and baking soda to wash the affected area, then apply wax.

Another method to remove the sap is to use mineral sprits (it will also remove tar). Use a soft, terry towel, or wash cloth dampened with mineral sprits. After removal, wash the car and apply wax to the affected area.

Tree sap can also be removed by using a water-soluble paint brush cleaner. A common household solution is bacon grease or lard. Just rub it on, and off comes the sap. To get tree sap off of your hands, simply rub mayonnaise on them and wash it off. To remove tree sap and other substances, you can use common solvents like lighter fluid, rubbing alcohol, WD-40 or even Skin-So-Soft bath oil.

The way to use those materials is to let them do their work of dissolving (in the case of alcohol) or softening (in the case of oils), enough to rub off the remaining sap. If you use the oil, wash the car afterwards to remove it.

You can also use commercial wax and grease-removing products available at auto supply stores. Be sure to wash and dry the car before applying the wax and grease remover. Then dampen a clean cloth with the solvent and rub the affected area. It may require several attempts if the sap is very thick or extremely hard. The surface may appear hazy after the solvent evaporates, but a good wax application will eliminate the haze and complete the job.

Removing tree sap from a car's finish is a bit more difficult than tar, as hardened sap can scratch your paint. I've found that by hand-rubbing the sap spots with mineral spirits or denatured alcohol, I'm able to easily remove the sap without damaging the finish. Mineral spirits and denatured alcohol acts as a solvent to break up and dissolve the sap.

If there is a large amount of sap on the car, or if the sap has been left on the finish for an extended period of time, it can be a lot of work to remove. For these cases, you can try hitting the affected areas with a light-duty buffing compound to remove the hardened surface on the sap spots. Then you can use mineral spirits or a similar solvent to remove it. The light duty buffing compound softens the sap so the solvent can do its job. The goal is to use the least pressure possible to reduce the risk of scratching the paint. After removing heavy sap, always buff the treated areas with a good polish to clean up any marks created during hand-rubbing with solvent. The treated area must also be re-waxed.

Another technique is to use orange based solvents and children's molding clay. Apply a bit of the solvent and rub with the clay. It is abrasive enough to scrub off the sap which has been broken down by the solvent.

The chemicals used to remove road stains can also remove your wax or sealants. After removing tar, sap or bugs, plan to spot wax or re-wax your vehicle. If you don't have time to wax right away, use a quick detailing spray that contains wax. A quick spray wax is great for this kind of spot waxing, too.

Old tar, tree sap, and paint over-spray can be easily removed with a miraculous new product called automotive clay. As you rub it across any type of surface (paint, glass, plastic, metal, rubber, vinyl) it instantly sticks-to and pulls-off all contamination that is stuck to the surface. Here's how to use an automotive clay bar:

*

To use the automotive clay, spray a water-based lubricant on a small area of your car and rub the bar back and forth with light to medium pressure. If the lubricant begins to dry, you'll need to spray more. Clay bars are fairly sticky, and they cannot be used dry.
*

After a few passes with the clay bar, rub your hand over the area to feel if the surface contamination was removed. Keep rubbing until all contamination bumps are gone. Finally, wipe the clay residue off with a soft terry cloth towel, and buff to a nice luster. Just like waxing, work in small areas.
*

Check the clay bar frequently for hard particles. When found, pick them off. Make it a habit to occasionally knead and reform the bar so that a fresh portion of the bar contacts your car's paint.
*

When you're finished claying your car, you should go over it with a pre-wax cleaner to finish cleaning the paint and restore essential oils. Then, protect your newly cleaned finish with one or more coats of rich Carnauba wax.
Cheers,

Sullie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
what about the denatured alcohol/mineral spirits on the plastic parts that have been affected by the sap as well?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
3M Adhesive remover works great for me. Dab some on a rag, treat the effected area and let it sit for a minute or two and the wipe off. I also have an bottle of Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover that is probably ten years old (don't use it much since the cars are always garaged at home) that works very well. It has a little bit of abrasiveness to it, less than poliching compound, so use it sparingly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,449 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
smc said:
3M Adhesive remover works great for me. Dab some on a rag, treat the effected area and let it sit for a minute or two and the wipe off. I also have an bottle of Turtle Wax Bug and Tar Remover that is probably ten years old (don't use it much since the cars are always garaged at home) that works very well. It has a little bit of abrasiveness to it, less than poliching compound, so use it sparingly.
Ah, that's the stuff I think I have downstairs in the garage. Luckily, I used a bunch of bug & tar remover on the car the other night. That didn't seem to take it off so I decided I'd just give the car a bath (it needed and still needs it) and amazingly, I think everything has basically come off.

If I could get a decent dry day w/ the car dry I'd be able to tell for sure.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top