Cars covered in brown marks

  bumpkin 22:32 11 Jul 2016

I like my cars to be clean but find that they are constantly covered in small brown spots. I can't get them off easily even with repeated washing. Local hand car wash does a reasonable job but still some remain, they tell me it comes from trees. They come off with a fingernail easy enough but there are hundreds of them over the screen and bodywork. Recently had my conifers lopped if that is of any relevance.

Has anyone else experienced this or can offer advice on removal.

  Forum Editor 22:36 11 Jul 2016

Usually the brown spots are caused by aphids - they are feeding on the trees and excreting fluid. It hardens, and can be very difficult to remove.

The real answer is not to park beneath the trees, but of course you may have no choice.

  Belatucadrus 23:08 11 Jul 2016

Pulled in to Tesco car park this afternoon, just about to get out when I noticed a row of trees planted decoratively in the hedge. All Lime trees which are notorious for dropping gallons of sticky gum on anything unfortunate enough to be beneath them. Pondering what idiot ever thought them suitable to plant in a car park I moved elsewhere.

Apparently genuine Turpentine is good for removing sap residue, I'm told you should avoid Turps substitutes.

  morddwyd 09:51 12 Jul 2016

"Apparently genuine Turpentine is good for removing sap residue,"

Have you tried buying it lately?

Last time I tried (my wife was an artist) it was very difficult to get. I seem to recall I had to go outside the UK.

  bumpkin 09:55 12 Jul 2016

Thanks for the replies, no easy answer in my case then. I have always had this to varying degrees but particularly bad at the moment. Am wondering if there is some kind of polish that would prevent them sticking so hard.

  Belatucadrus 10:04 12 Jul 2016

Have you tried buying it lately?

To be honest no, but it is at Amazon or Decorating Direct, admittedly a bit pricey but it is there.

Click Here or here

I don't know if wax polish would give it less to adhere to than clean paint, but it seems likely and would provide a protective layer so probably a good idea anyway.

  OTT_B 11:09 12 Jul 2016


I'd think any of the tar removers should work. Plenty of stuff available from autoglym, tutrtle wax and the like. Halfords will have something in stock

  Aitchbee 13:29 12 Jul 2016

You might be able to melt them off with a gas powered mini soldering torch, using the hot blower function.

click here

  OTT_B 14:20 12 Jul 2016


The coating on the paint tends to start to go soft at quite low temperatures - mechanically working the surface when heated can, and almost always will, cause a permanent change in the appearance of the paint.

  bumpkin 14:28 12 Jul 2016

You mean he was serious:-)

There are far too many to do individually anyway.

  Forum Editor 19:28 12 Jul 2016


The "gallons of sticky gum" that falls from Lime trees is actually the aphid excreta I mentioned earlier. The aphids feed on the tree sap, and what falls on cars is what comes out of the aphids as a result. It is often euphemistically referred to as 'honeydew'.

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