Riley P

Staff member
Power User
Jan 11, 2009
2000 Z51
Anyone have experience removing tar from their paint? I have ten or so 4" spots of tar in front of the rear tires. The city was filling cracks in the road with tar and covering the lines with sand without any wet tar signs or signs that work was going on! All I can say to them is good job! Way to keep up on the sub-par work of informing the public of what is going on!

I heard WD-40 works, but have never used it. Bug and tar removers mostly just smear it.
If you remind me I have some Bio-Degreaser that highways tested on cleaning emulsion (basically oil) off of equipment. I use it to clean grease off my hands after working in the shop. I'd bet it would work beautifully.

Varsol or Turpentine will work fine, won't hurt the paint but will soften up and remove the tar no problem.... just give a good wash with warm soapy water after to remove the residue left from the Varsol
I had the same thing happen with my 09 Malibu.
What a mess.:eek:
I went to my friends detail shop for some advise on how to remove the tar and he did it for me.

He poured gasoline on a cloth and wiped it off.
It took about a minute each side.:canada:
I have used WD 40 with good effect. I spray it on the problem area and wipe off the offending tar.

Any petroleum based solvent will likely work as indicated in the previous posts, but have a pail of soapy water nearby to wash off the residue quickly.
I know a guy takes the tree sap and tar off his car with methyl hydrate. I've seen him use it and it seems to really work. I use it if someone leaves a ring from a wet glass on furniture. It removes the ring and won't harm the finish.
Ah! Haha! That is it's common name.. Reading up on the link, I would be concerned about it taking off the wax as it's an alcohol/solvent. I should test it on my friends car first.:D

I used WD-40 on my Jimmy to get rid of a whole bunch of tar on the side. It worked really well and left a nice shine!...that got immediately washed off.
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