Ford Declares War On Paint-Destroying Bird Poop

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Its solution is genius.

As most of us are driving our cars less these days because we're stuck at home, it's still important to make sure our vehicles are maintained. Depending on how long you've been parked inside, actions such as starting up your car and letting it run for several minutes can be vital. Nobody wants to suddenly discover their car won't start once the lockdown ends. Aside from the engine, there's another critical car care element we shouldn't forget: paint.

Since many people leave their cars parked outside, they become direct targets for falling bird poop, which can totally ruin the paint. Fortunately, Ford is taking this issue very seriously. You see, bird poop contains uric acid and the milky white-looking stuff is actually bird urine (the dark stuff is you know what). It's the uric acid that can destroy the paint, and Ford has actually created fake bird droppings for paint testing and durability simulations.

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The laboratory-developed synthetic droppings not only look like the real thing, but can even accurately reflect various bird diets, which affects acidity levels. The testing spray, which is being done in Europe, is applied to test panels as a spray. These pieces are aged from 40 to 60 degrees Celsius (104-140 degrees Fahrenheit) in an oven in order to replicate customer use in extreme heat situations. Essentially, Ford is pushing bird poop-induced corrosion to the maximum and will change paint formulas accordingly based on the results.

Of course, bird droppings aren't the only elements of nature that can damage paint. Ford also sprays phosphoric acid mixed with soap detergent and a synthetic pollen on panels prior to extreme heat testing.

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Even airborne particles like tree sap are replicated for testing purposes. During the spring and summer, there's more intensive sunlight which can cause paint to soften (aka melt) and expand. Ford also simulates direct non-stop ultraviolet light exposure on paint samples for up to 6,000 hours, or 250 days, in a special light lab. This test is done to simulate five years' worth of the brightest sunlight possible in a wide range of temperatures.

But if a bird managed to bomb, say, your Ford Mustang or shiny new Lincoln Aviator, the Blue Oval recommends to immediately get the vehicle washed with lukewarm water containing a neutral pH shampoo. You and your car will be glad this was done.

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