I love Summer. I love the weather, the heat, the sun, the smells, wearing shorts and flip flops, and grilling. I tend to pay attention to my truck a bit more in the Summer too. I enjoy spending the extra time washing it, cleaning out the inside, and wiping everything down to make it really shine. I do have one gripe though, if I am allowed. Those dumb birds. Bugs too. Do you realize what those birds do to my truck? The tonneau cover is like a giant bullseye for them. And the front of my truck is a lethal bug smasher.
Summer also makes me think of great music, like Bob Marley. While I love his song, the Three Little Birds, it feels as if those are the birds just waiting around for me to wash my truck, so they have a clean target. Not only are those little blast spots gross, but the bird droppings can actually cause damage to the paint. The droppings contain uric acid which is corrosive. As your car heats up in the summer sun, the paint expands and then contracts in the evening as it cools down. This process allows the bird droppings to seep deeper into the vehicle’s finish. I am sure the birds realize this too, those little winged evil doers. Please don’t hate the Bob Marley song though, it isn’t his fault, and the song is so good. One listen and it will be stuck in your head.
Do you ever notice the different types of bird poop spots on your vehicle? Me neither, but someone did and they did the research for us! If the stain is faded, this one is apparently easier to clean. If it is wrinkled, the droppings can be more difficult to remove. Note that with these types of stains, it is important to use a strong cleaner that is safe for the painted surface and not to scrub on the stain too harshly as it can damage the paint.
However, I did some research of my own. I wanted to know how to keep birds from pooping on my truck in the first place. I read that staying away from normal bird hangouts is a good start. I get that. I have a lot of trees in my neighborhood, and they are of course a favorite spot for birds. Also avoid telephone wires, dumpsters, lamp poles, and sailboat masts. If you have a sailboat, get it in the water for the sake of your vehicle.
Apparently, you can also “Bird-Proof Your Car”. I might be a bit skeptical on this one. One option is to use old compact discs. Finally, I have a use for those CDs just getting dusty in storage! Wait, but not the Bob Marley disc though, I just cannot. Do yourself a favor and listen to Legend, the Best of Bob Marley. Play Three Little Birds, and sing with me, “everything little thing gonna to be alright”! Anyway, take those non-Bob Marley discs and make them into a pyramid structure, maybe with glue or tape, shiny surface out. Place that on your car, carefully not to scratch the paint. It is recommended to use a magnet so that it will not blow away.
Quite possibly the best option besides keeping your car consistently covered is to apply a protective coating onto your vehicle. There is a plethora of options. In my previous post, we discussed the many variations of ceramic products. Ceramic coatings provide a protective barrier for the vehicle’s painted surface against the harmful uric acid in bird poop. A good coating of a carnauba wax product can also provide an additional layer of protection. These additional layers should also make it easier to wash off the bird droppings, which is nice too. Just remember to use a quality cleaner that is safe for the applied protective coating.
What about those bugs? Piled on, cooked to a crisp by the summer heat, making your car or truck look like a dire warning for other bugs. Beware! Look, the bird poop topic has been enough for one day. We’ll save the bug conversation for another time. Stay tuned!