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Removing construction solvent on car body?

I am sincerely hoping someone can answer this question–

My apartment parking lot faces a construction site where construction workers are erecting a new office building. I noticed recently that my entire car has a thin spray coating of reflective solvent.

The coating is impossible to get off-- My dad and I have tried turpentine, hot water, soap water, and elbow grease. The best outcome we have had so far is to wear down the coating on the front windshield, but it is still reflective, so I worry about visibility while I am driving.

What can I do? Please help.

Thank you in advance for your time,


Ok why is it a Reflective solvent? What coating on the glass did you wear down? The glass does not really have an exterior coating. If you are worried and have comprehensive just get the windshield replaced. There are many natural substances that coat wind shields so why blame construction? Are they within 150 ft? Not normal to be that close. At this point did you try a paste of baking soda? I mean a really thick paste on a cloth. You also did not try alcohol. Usually denatured on a cloth. At the extreme have you tried a single edge razor blade?

I said it was “reflective” because when I look through the front windshield, there are tiny specks of light where the solvent sits on the glass. What we did was wear down these tiny specks but there are still there and still reflective. The reason why I suspect it was construction is that the coating is all over my car (body and windows) but worse in the front end which faces the construction site. Also, the car parked next to mine has the same issue. I would say the construction site where the office building is roughly 50 feet away, the length of 3-4 cars parked end to end, so, yes, they are definitely within 150ft.

I have not tried baking soda, but it is worth looking into. I really don’t want to try using a razor blade, especially on the body.

Thank you, euryale1.

You need to contact the owner or manager of the construction site and file a claim with their insurance carrier. You need the services of either a detailer or body shop.

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Although I do think the construction is responsible for this, I don’t know if this is something their insurance will take responsibility for. Has anyone here ever had experience with this and can advise on how to filing a claim?

Thank you, oldtimer11.

I ran your post by my brother who owns and operates a body shop. He said if you are having that much problems removing whatever is on it you will need to have the car water-sanded and buffed out. He advised to get estimates at your dealer or local body shop and file a claim with the construction site, or at least try to.


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I did have experience with this type of issue with a construction company. When I contacted the right person, they accepted responsibility. As it turned out I was only one of many. I did end up being able to clean it up myself, once I found out what it was. Doing it myself meant I did not need to be with my car for a few days while it was cleaned up.

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Early this afternoon, I went to the construction site and spoke with the Project Manager by phone who directed me to the person who handles Safety issues. He was understanding and said that they will pay for it.

Later this day, I went to the autobody shop and got an estimate. It was for $4,717! Apparently, they need to sand, repaint the entire car, and replace the parts that cannot be sanded (e.g. anything plastic). They also need two weeks to get this done.

To be frank, although I don’t know anything about cars, this seems very excessive. Also, I suspect that the resale value of my car (2006, Toyota Corolla) is not that much more than the cost of getting the work done.

The autobody shop said rather than go through the person from the construction site, it would be safer to go through my insurance company since I am covered by comprehensive insurance. Is this true?

Also, I have been told that I should also ask to be compensated for a rental while my car is in the shop. Is this something that is normally done?

Thank you, transman & Joseph E. Meehan.

On the one hand,

The solvent on the car is a “polyelastomer” roofing foam. Does anyone know if this will affect the body of the car if I decide to leave it?