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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Los Alamos, NM
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tar on my car... opinions requested..

Our county has been tarring many roads around here and I ended up driving through some of it that had dribbled downhill onto my driving lane. Not possible to avoid while in traffic and I wasn't looking for it either. I'm pissed. It's also on my truck, but my car is clearly more troubling. I spent many hours getting it off the paint, but it's still in the wheelwells and under the car in places. I'm planning to file a claim with the county as it would have been a trivial thing to prevent this from happening with one guy and a mop or broom. There were plenty of guys standing around.... A couple of things...

1. Thoughts about cleaning. What to use? Somewhere I can take it? Any way to get estimates?

2. I'm not sure it can be taken off without spending many dozens of hours and even then, I'm not sure it can be done without ruining the paint or causing other cosmetic damage. There was relatively little that I took off myself. I'm curious what people might think would be the amount of depreciation caused by the tar if I were to try to sell.

The car is an '86 Targa. A good driver (engine and transmission never apart). Cosmetically good but not awesome. Hood could use a repaint.

Opinions would be appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2007, 07:53 AM
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Please don't laugh, but I would use and or try WD 40. I had some tar on my car albeit not to the extent of yours. I was amazed. Did NO harm to the paint.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:13 AM
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I had a similar situation with my Kawi and ended up using Coleman fuel which worked very well. Just don't smoke.
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:01 AM
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kerosene is the main ingredient in "bug and tar remover".
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john walker's workshop View Post
kerosene is the main ingredient in "bug and tar remover".
What John said.
As a follow on to that thought...
An old timer once told me that one of the best applications to make the paint look its best, was to mix up some kerosene and water (1:3 ratio) and apply liberally for a clean and shine second to none.
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:10 AM
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3M used to make a low-volatility product called 'Paint Cleaner' that is now called 3Mô General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner, 08984, 1 Quart . A bit soaked into a folded paper towel does not evaporate in five minutes or more, and it does exhibit an 'oily' nature similar to kerosene. One can lasts for years if only used once in a while in a multi-car household!

Another benefit of using 3Mô General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner, 08984, 1 Quart is that it removes silicones so that filler/primer/surfacer can be used on damaged areas.

ps,

A NIOSH-approved respirator rated for organic solvents should be used, and the MSDS sheet should be read:

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/3MAutomotive/Aftermarket/Products/Product-Catalog/?PC_7_0_53BC_nid=GSSPN37QHGgs6DTWTJQPBBglGSJMCM61B Gbl

http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebserver?66666UtN&ZUxL99XlXT_5XMXnVu9KcuZgVU_LXT1u666666--
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:56 AM
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I know guys who work with asphalt clean their rakes with diesel, might be worth a shot but your car may also stink for a long time...I would try it last.
Old 10-15-2007, 10:20 AM
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diesel fuel and a rag. wash and wax afterwards
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nostril Cheese View Post
diesel fuel and a rag. wash and wax afterwards
Or varsol. Or gasoline.
Old 10-15-2007, 11:15 AM
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Be careful....this looks like a Guards Red car in which case you don't have clear coat but on clear coated cars the clear frequently didn't cover the basecoat well in these areas and any aggressive solvent can easily remove the paint. Just be careful and check first.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:25 AM
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:51 AM
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Yep. Goo Gone
Old 10-15-2007, 12:29 PM
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Goo gone +3 , but might be more expensive than some of the other ideas.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:38 PM
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Wow! Thanks for all the suggestions. My main concern is causing paint damage but maybe I don't have to worry as much as I thought. I expect this will take many hours....

Jon
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:17 PM
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WD40...if that scares you, use Griot's Garage Oil & Grease Remover spray (microbial action like the oil slick-eating product) It will appear to just "melt away", then rinse.
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Old 10-15-2007, 04:09 PM
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WD40. I give my Ducati's a bath in it every fall. It it also a great water repellent but I've heard Tri-Flo works better as a water repellent.
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:48 PM
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tar removal

Contact your County Risk Management Office - they should cover it.
Take it to a professional shop.
We had the same problem recently in my county - they ended up detailing about 50 cars.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:55 PM
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Olive oil will destroy tar and won't harm paint in any way.
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorchFile View Post
Contact your County Risk Management Office - they should cover it.
Take it to a professional shop.
We had the same problem recently in my county - they ended up detailing about 50 cars.
I've already contacted them and am in the process of submitting the information. I expect I'm not the only person this has happened to and hopefully they'll take care of it without me having to take it any further.

Thanks!
Jon
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:28 AM
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That's good - but they - or whomever they contract with - may not be as careful with your car as you would be.

Use the mildest thing first. And that would be olive oil -- or a cheaper salad oil like Wesson or something. Then step up with Goo Gone or the 3M stuff or one of the creamy versions of bug & tar remover (which may rely on something milder than kerosene).

I wouldn't worry too much about stuff up under the fender well (your pic) - it is going to be sandblasted by rocks and grit anyway.

Maybe do the top surface paint & let the County do the fenderwells...
Old 10-16-2007, 01:30 PM
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