What Tree Sap Does to Your Car

What Tree Sap Does to Your Car

Acid rain and industrial fallout are two of the most concerning varieties of automotive paint-destroying pollution. While these terms are alarming, and should not be ignored, one of the most severe types of fallout have nothing to do with industry or air pollution.

It turns out that tree sap is one of the most damaging contaminants that threatens your vehicle, and is made worse by the difficulty of removing it. In the spring and summer, drivers often park their vehicles under trees to take advantage of the shade. Especially this year in BC, when it seems that spring temperatures are hotter than ever.

The best way to protect your paint from tree sap damage (and any other chemical damage, for that matter) is to prevent contact by using something like a ceramic coating.

Trees actually spray an aerosolized version of sap when they are threatened, which will cover your vehicle in a thin veneer of sticky droplets. These droplets are then baked onto your clear coat and the chemicals quickly go to work etching into your clear coat and underlying paint layer.

Beyond its sheer destructive force, the major problem with tree sap is simply how difficult it is to remove. Once baked on, sap can not be washed off and even powerful solvents have a tough time getting rid of it. The only ways to get rid of sap are by polishing or claying.

Polishing successfully removes the sap, but also removes a layer of clear coat, and can create swirl marks that require further work to fix. Clay bars work well, and don’t remove clear coat or create swirl marks. The problem is that unless dealt with very quickly, the sap can still cause etching to the clear coat and paint, leaving your vehicle with a permanent ugly scar.

The best way to protect your paint from tree sap damage (and any other chemical damage, for that matter) is to prevent contact by using something like a ceramic coating. Wax is insufficient because it is so soft (especially when it gets hot out), only lasts a few weeks, and it is vulnerable to chemical erosion, leaving your paint as good as unprotected.

Ceramic coatings are the undisputed best method for protecting your paint from chemical damage. Unlike wax and sealants which sit atop the clear coat, ceramic coatings form a molecular bond with your paint. This bond can not be broken by the types of chemical you vehicle will encounter in everyday life, and will therefore protect your clear coat and paint from etching.

If you want to provide your car with the ultimate vehicle protection, ceramic coatings are here for you. Read more about ceramic coatings on our blog in articles like this, or just check out our services page.