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Sap all over side of car and in wheel well

I came home one day this week from running errands and discovered that I had apparently run over something sappy that seems to have exploded inside my front side passenger wheel well, and now there are stringy dried strands of sap and fall road detritus all over the side of my car and in the well. I wasn’t off-roading or anything, it’s a Jetta sedan. No idea what I could have run over or driven through.

I wasn’t able to take it to be cleaned until today, and while they were able to get the grass and leaves off, the sap remains, both on the paint, and in the wheel well. I found a number of helpful suggestions in the forum about getting the sap off the paint, which I will try today, but I am at a loss for how to remedy the sap that got in to the wheel well. I am concerned that as it continues to harden that it will cause damage to the wheel and brake and other mechanisms in the well, and continue to attract dust, dirt, and other road debris that can also cause damage. Any ideas?

Buy a can of bug and tar remover at any auto parts store and start scrubbing.

I agree with the suggestion to start with bug and tar remover. I’ve also heard that very hot water can work, but I wouldn’t try that on anything plastic or rubber.

I guess you could try blasting it with soapy water at a self service car wash place. But, I think you will end up with the remover stuff you get at a car parts store. Lots of rubbing with a rag, but it will come off. I think that remover is mostly kerosene made less stinky.

You can get one of those bug sponges to use with a solvent too to help scrub it off or use a tire brush. Then throw the sponge away when you’re done.

For the car itself, I got some kind of clay junk on mine and ended up going over the whole thing with a bug sponge and car wash, then claying it with sometimes using a plastic scraper, then machine buffing and wax. Nothing else would touch it.

It’s probably not sap…You ran over something nasty…The sooner you get it off the better…

Hopefully the Bug & Tar Remover will work on the painted finished surfaces. Using some parts cleaner, kerosene, or perhaps WD-40 applied with a stiff brush will remove the stuff on the unpainted surfaces.

Check the CV joint boots too. There’s something sappy in them and if it came out the boot may have broken. Usually it doesn’t get to the fender. Too bad I’m not there. We can all benefit by twisted thinking.

I like that “twisted thinking” of yours @pleasedodgevan2. You just may have called it.