WATCH | Here's why should never leave bird poop on your car unattended

Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

It's happened to the best of us. You park your car in public, set about your task, only to return and find your car covered in bird poop - especially when you've parked your car under a tree for some shade.

And it's even more frustrating when you've just returned from the car wash!

In some countries, it's a sign of luck when you are struck by bird poop, but bird poop landing on your car is far more serious. Why? Because bird poop is rich in acid that can eat into your car's paintwork. The result can be damaged paintwork, rust, or worse: a hole where the rust used to be.

In an attempt to counter the adverse effects of bird poop landing on your car, Ford developed synthetic droppings that can accurately reflect the various diets and subsequent different acidity droppings of birds. The tests are conducted under European conditions, but other countries can benefit from the findings, as well.

Ford says: "Applied to test panels as a spray, sample pieces are aged at 40°C, 50°C and 60°C in an oven to replicate customer use in extreme heats, pushing the paint corrosion protection to its limits."

Has bird poop ever caused damage to your vehicle? Email and share your story with us.

Be careful

The warmer seasons of the year can often be more harmful to your car's paintwork. Not only do you have to contend with bird poop, but a car's paint can soften and expand under intense sunlight.

When the heat subsides and the car begins cooling down, the contracting paint can enclose damaging particles that include grime and bird poop. If left untreated, it can cause permanent damage that would require specialist treatment to remove.

READ: Cleaning your car's interior with hand sanitisers during lockdown might not be such a good idea

Ford adds: "By fine-tuning the pigments, resins and additives that go into making a car's shiny protective paintwork, specialists can ensure the coating Ford applies to its vehicles has the optimum make-up to resist the impact of these types of pollutants, no matter what the weather."

Cleaning bird poop from your car

Leaving bird poop on any car is never a good idea. The advice for any car owner is to regularly wash your vehicle with a sponge and lukewarm water containing neutral pH shampoo, and gently remove harmful looking substances from the paintwork immediately. Waxing painted surfaces once or twice a year helps ensure new paint finishes can better resist harshest attacks while staying shiny for longer.

Wheels24 reader Sulaiman Luyt says: "I once noticed some bird poop on the bonnet of my newly-acquired BMW 1 Series. I went inside and got a piece of toilet paper and started to wipe it off the car. But, what I didn't know was that inside bird poop are little tiny stones sometimes, or even seeds, so me rubbing it off with a piece of toilet paper just made one big circular scratch patch. I now make sure to wash it off as soon as possible rather than to wipe it off."

Compiled by: Charlen Raymond

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Brought to you by
Voting Booth
Which of these factors are prohibiting you from buying an electric vehicle as your next car?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Prices should be more affordable
16% - 248 votes
Our unreliable electricity source
9% - 140 votes
There's not enough charging infrastructure
11% - 163 votes
All of the above
64% - 991 votes