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Taking care of your car is often about what’s inside. Oil changes, alignments, and other basic maintenance are easy things to remember. But, if you can believe this, bird poop can damage car paint in just 1 day. Worse yet, it may cost thousands to repair if not dealt with quickly.

How long does bird poop take to damage car paint?

From the moment it hits your paint, bird poop can cause lasting damage in as little as 12 hours. Hot and sunny conditions exacerbate the effects of bird poop on car paint, causing visible etching. But even on a cool, cloudy day, bird droppings will leave lasting marks in as little as 36 hours.

Why does bird poop cause damage?

The reason bird poop is so damaging to car paint is because of its acidity. When this acidic substance lands on your car’s clear coat, it begins etching it away. Similar to how battery acid is a caustic substance, bird droppings break down finishes and can even cause corrosion on bare metal. Granted, the severity is less than that of battery acid, but the ultimate effects are the same.

The problem is even worse with birds that eat fruits. Not only do you have the normal acidity of bird poop to deal with, but the added acidity of undigested fruit juice amps up the corrosive effects. If the bird droppings on your car are any color but white and brown, it’s cause for immediate concern.

How can you fix car paint after bird poop?

If you can get to it quickly enough, just washing your vehicle can ward off the long-term effects of bird droppings. However, if you’ve already washed your car and bird poop stains remain, you have much more work to do. This guide from Ammo NYC can help.

In some cases, a water spot remover can do the trick in removing stubborn bird poop stains. The works by breaking down the minerals and leftover contamination, much like it does with hard water deposits.

However, if there is still visible marring to the clear coat, you’re looking at a costly paint correction from a professional detailer or body shop.

Paint correction is the only way to repair your car’s paint

Even if the initial stain is gone, you may notice a permanent dark spot in your car’s clear coat from bird poop. This means that the droppings have caused the top layer of clear coat to deteriorate in that area. The marred finish can’t be simply washed away. Instead, you have to get physical.

It’s time to get out your paint polisher, or contact a detailer to do the job for you. The process of paint buffing, or paint “correction” removes the marred layer of clear coat at a microscopic level. By using a combination of abrasive pads and polishing liquids, the damaged layer is peeled away and the surface below is buffed to a like-new shine.

How to prevent bird poop from damaging your car

Because it can cause damage so quickly, it’s critical to avoid letting bird poop sit on your car for any length of time. However, products like ceramic coatings and paint protection film can help ward off lasting damage with an added layer of defense against bird droppings.

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