The sap problem

Date:15 January 2013 Tags:, , ,

Q A pine tree at work dropped a few 5c-size sap spots on my 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I tried to get them off with hot water and carwash soap, but no luck. I fear the sap is baked into the clear coat after several months in the sun. I considered using Goo Gone, but I’m worried about taking off the paint. What do you recommend?

A Your sap problem is a common one and something I’ve dealt with before. I recommend Goo Gone or Turtle Wax Bug & Tar & Tree Sap Remover. What I don’t suggest is an old dishrag, scrubbing detergent, and all the elbow grease you can muster. Those results will be less than satisfactory. Both the Goo Gone and Turtle Wax are surprisingly non-reactive to the paint and clear coat and will take off the sap quickly and cleanly, without much effort. That’s not to say there won’t be any damage to the clear coat: you might see some ghostly outlines where the sap was. If you have this damage, take a microfibre towel and a light-cut rubbing compound to the area, using moderate pressure in overlapping circles to work the damage out of the clear coat. Lay down a good final polish or wax over the entire area and you’ll never know there was a problem.