Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

MY White Paint thick enough for Harbor Freight buffer?

mackgriggs

Member
Feb 11, 2020
179
84
boise, idaho
So after the car wash today, I was wiping the normal gunk that doesn't come off, and ...what I think is just old bug gut remnants are NOT coming off.

I tried goo gone, goof off, wd40 and mineral spirits. Its not doing a thing. Spots all over front fender, rear view mirrors, etc.

20210507_191517.jpg


20210507_191528.jpg

Only thing I can think of is to buff them out. I've only buffed a car once before to remove some trail scratches from a 4runner, so I was going to go out and get my own setup, with just a standard harbor freight buffer and get some griots correcting cream. Buying everything would probably be the same price as paying for a detail from a shop, or...actually, probably cheaper.

20190322_115245.jpg


So....a few questions:

1. Does this look like bug gut remnants to you?

2. If so....why wouldn't mineral spirits get these off?

3. Paint thick enough to do this once/twice a year or so?
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,615
2,586
Maryland
The front fenders of the Tesla Model Y are made of steel. You could be looking at chipped paint with rust beginning to form. This could also be rail dust from when the vehicle was shipped by rail car.
 

mackgriggs

Member
Feb 11, 2020
179
84
boise, idaho
The front fenders of the Tesla Model Y are made of steel. You could be looking at chipped paint with rust beginning to form. This could also be rail dust from when the vehicle was shipped by rail car.

Sorry, I said front fender but I meant bumper (plastic). Its not rust, and these are new spots (I've had my MY for a year so I don't think its from shipping)
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,615
2,586
Maryland
I use Turtle Wax Bug & Tar remover. Shake the container well, apply a small amount to a clean soft cloth and apply to the spot. Wait a minute to let the remover soften the contaminant and gently rub the cloth over the spot in circular motion. The spot should get progressively smaller until you can't see it. Wipe off any excess and buff dry with a clean cloth. Alternately, I would try the mildest cleaner wax you can find. My go to cleaner wax is Meguiar's Cleaner Wax. Same drill; shake well and apply a small amount of the cleaner wax to a clean soft cloth. Apply the cloth to the area in a circular motion using just light pressure until the surface appears clean. Let dry and then wipe off any white wax residue using a clean part of the cloth.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ArtK

Automobilist

Member
Feb 18, 2021
63
56
Orange County, CA
I second the cleaner wax approach. It’s milder than other methods and I’ve personally been able to remove marks that otherwise would not come off.

I used to have a white car many years ago, I noticed similar orange marks when parking under pine trees, it could be tree sap if there are trees around where you park.
 

Crumbgrabber

Member
Jul 29, 2019
17
4
Colorado Springs
Maybe try clay bar first? I had some orange flecks on my white model 3 bumper, they wouldn’t come off with anything, but tried clay bar and they were instantly gone. I think they were iron/rust flecks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brkaus

andaconda

Member
Apr 3, 2021
89
47
S.W. Montana
There is a product called "IronX" that is specifically designed for car paint. It removes iron rail dust that causes rust spots on paint finish. I've had good luck with 'claying' too. Clay bars work well - but use plenty of the spray that comes in the kit. I've used Meguiar's kits before, with good results
 
  • Like
Reactions: pt19713

KennyBry

Member
Mar 21, 2021
18
14
Moseley, Virginia
Try Chemical Guys Waterless Car Wash and a microfiber cloth or Rain-X Bug and Tar Sponge. This is what I use for stubborn bug guts. Let it soak a bit. It might take a few rounds of spray/soak/wipe.

 

pt19713

Member
Feb 5, 2020
969
1,213
Delaware
As mentioned above, CarPro IronX, or Adam's Iron Remover or Meguiars Iron Decon will help remove those spots. They at fast, so clean it off quickly.
 

mackgriggs

Member
Feb 11, 2020
179
84
boise, idaho
Man I wish Tesla didn't get rid of the silver paint option. Hides everything so well.

I might need to go with the nuclear option on this one.

As stated before, Goo gone, goof off, wd40 and mineral spirits didn't do anything to these orange spots.

With recommendations from here, I then tried in this order ->

Turtle Wax bug and tar remover
Meguiars cleaner wax
Meguiars clay bar kit
Meguiars iron removing spray clay

Absolutely no results.

20210508_130946.jpg


20210508_130933.jpg



So, after using the clay bar, I can feel that the stains are completely flush with the paint, basically...in the paint. At least to the hand, its completely smooth after the clay bar.

I then thought...ok, maybe its some iron spots that have embedded themselves into the paint, and thought for sure the iron remover would do something. After spraying on and waiting 3 minutes for the "purple" to show up....it never did. So...maybe not iron spots? Its not sap (mineral spirits would have removed that)...its definitely something that has sprayed on from someone elses tires or ...residue of some bugs that has incredible paint staining powered guts.

I then bought...Meguiars Rubbing Compound, and tried removing a spot by hand with a microfiber towel. After way too much work, yes, I was able to get a dot to eventually disappear. But I can't do all of these by hand...

Sounds like I'm at the "final destination" of having to get a random orbital buffer?
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,615
2,586
Maryland
Based on the location of the spots I would guess the stains were caused by insect residue. (I never use paper towels for this type of cleanup. When using the Turtle Wax Bug & Tar remover or the Meguiar's cleaner wax I cut off a small square of fabric from an old t-shirt for applying the cleaner agent and rubbing until the blemish is hopefully gone. I use a separate clean cloth to remove any residue.)
 

mackgriggs

Member
Feb 11, 2020
179
84
boise, idaho
I used microfiber or 100% cotton for cleaning with all the products.....that was an unfortunate picture where I had used a paper towel once to wipe off some spray real quick for the picture.
 

mackgriggs

Member
Feb 11, 2020
179
84
boise, idaho
OK...so...that was a journey. Basically did plenty of research on how to properly wash and buff a car. I'm 41...might as well learn sometime. If anyone is interested, here is the process I landed on and thoughts on various products:

Wash:
I already own an electric pressure washer with 40° nozzle, so that was nice.
1. Pressure wash car as a prerinse (gets any major dirt particles off, but doesn't remove road film/dust).
2. Foam cannon a side of a car at a time (though foam the front bumper and wheels as a prewash. Bought ttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085NX4D5Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1 for cheap, works well with a gallon of Meguiars polymer wash and wax from costco that was $11 on sale. Would foam better with Meguiars gold wash (since it doesn't have a wax as part of it), but still works fine. Though I did buy a $5 1.1mm orifice swap since I have an electric pressure washer https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B088TQ35BH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )
3. Do the 0 bucket method. Basically, use 4-5 damp microfiber towels (costco kirkland yellow ultra plush microfiber ...36 for $15). Fold each towel in 4ths, so you have 8 sides to work with. Means, you never have to use a rinse bucket, or buy grit guards that don't really work, and never have to "resoap" your towel since the soap is already on the car. Saves a lot of time and is really safe since you are using "fresh" cloth all the time. I tried the 2 bucket method with rag company wash mitts but 0 bucket method is cheaper, safer and faster.
4. Finish all 4 sides, then clean wheels with microfiber towel that will only touch the wheels.
5. Rinse off with pressure washer.
6. Dry car. First I used meguiars water magnet towels, but then got Rag company "the big one" (basically larger dry me a river towel), and a double twistress and a twist 'n shout. I like the waffle weave for glass and really like the twist 'n shout. Though...still need to try them more before making an opinion.

Buffing:
As an additional step in the Wash before drying (so new step 6 and 7), I foam the car again and use a clay mitt instead of traditional claybar (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DOS0LH2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). I use the foam as the claying lubricant, and the clay mitt, while not 100% as effective as claybar, is extremely fast. Rinse off afterwards, then dry.

I bought the maxshine m8s dual action orbiter, which is only slightly more expensive than the harbor freight buffer, but doesn't need modifications, and comes with a 5" backing plate, and can also use a 3" backing plate. The old griots 6" DA is discontinued, and the new one comes with a 6" and you are not supposed to use a 3" backing plate with it, so thats why I got the maxshine, which seems to be a great value. Had 0 issues with the orbiter, and was decently quiet and didn't have a ton of vibration.

I bought 2 each of 5.5" lake country ccs pads (orange, white and black), though later bought 2 meguiars microfiber cutting pads. I later learned that your compound is the biggest determining factor in cutting factor vs pads, but now I have a bunch of pads.

I first tried Meguiars ultimate compound, with orange CCS pads, but it was not cutting enough to remove the spots in a reasonable amount of time. I then got some Meguiars 110, and Griots fast cutting compound, which when combined with the microfiber pads, was able to decently remove the spots. Well, either completely remove the spots or significantly fade them. Meguiars 110 cut fine, but made a LOT of dust, so I prefer the Griots, which only made a little bit of dust and cleaned off VERY well. The Meguiars ultimate compound wouldn't wipe off that easily sometimes.

I also hand buffed certain spots where the buffer couldn't work very easily, which was a pain (a lot of fast hand rubbing), but got the spots off. Still, compounding took...a few hours since I was new to everything.

I have a white car, and the griots compound cuts then polishes a bit, so I didn't do a second polishing step. I didn't have any haze.

On my other car, I washed then waxed with Meguiars ultimate liquid wax, which was quick with the orbiter, though I then learned about newer products like turtle wax hybrid solutions ceramic spray coating which would last longer and perform better, so switched to that for the MY. Took about 45 minutes to apply, compared to maybe...25-30 minutes for the liquid wax, but I also did the glass, which I'm not sure if I'll do again since it was harder to not have streaks and...its a more important area to not have streaks. I'm mainly concerned about the paint anyway. So that would cut it down to 30 minutes for sure. Easy to apply with a microfiber application pad and then microfiber towel to wipe off.

I used simple green to clean those towels used for the ceramic spray, and then immediately washed, but they are hydrophobic now so will only use them for re-waxing. I probably won't bother with rags to riches to revitalize them since they are stupidly cheap rags.

I did buy the companion hybrid solutions Ceramic wet wax as a regular wash drying aid and ceramic "replenisher", though I'm worried about using my expensive rag company drying towels with it if the wet wax is going to leave hydrophobic products on the towel and make the towels repel water (the exact opposite of what I want for a drying towel).

Anyway....it was definitely a learning experience. And now....I am going to hope the ceramic spray helps protect the paint from bug guts, and I'll wash the car more frequently and top off the wax too. I certainly hope to not have those spots again! Though I do have the tools to deal with them if they do.

20210602_151721.jpg


20210602_151726.jpg
 

Tslgrl

Member
Mar 13, 2021
32
55
Ontario
Any way this could be sap from trees? Only reason I ask is that I spend quite a bit of time in rural Canada and I used to get something very similar on my previous vehicle, a Volt.
 

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
607
528
Jax
Another good thing to try is rubbing alcohol (70%). You'll likely have to wax after but I had terrible issues on a pearl white Acura. The lawn service weed-whacked the yard and was close to my car. It was out on in the FL sun and I was gone for a few days. My wife drove it through and invasion of bugs, or so it seemed. I had a detail guy come out and he said he wasn't going to even touch it as it was so bad. This really put me in a bind as I had an appointment to get the car appraised at a few places the next day as the Tesla offer was pretty good but they'd only guarantee it for 30 days and I knew there was no chance of getting my car in 30 days.

So I picked the brain of the detailer and did all the wash tricks he suggested. I tried all the removers (goo gone, bug and tar, etc.) he mentioned. I even used a regular clay bar, and an artificial one like he suggested, and all it did was make it all smooth but the spots were still there. I have to say though the artificial did just as well as the real clay one and was a lot faster and easier to use. The local auto parts store loved all the money I was spending.

I did some research when all his tips didn't work. In the end, a $2 bottle of 70% rubbing alcohol and judicious use and patience got all the spots. Next day I was able to sell my car and got a great price for it as it looked pretty much perfect again. I didn't even need to wax it later but YMMV.
 

pt19713

Member
Feb 5, 2020
969
1,213
Delaware
If you're getting streaks with the Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions products, put a little water on the applicator and that should help.

Also, if you need a good bug remover, try 3D Bug Remover diluted 4:1. Works great. Spray on, wait a minute, either hose off or wipe off with soap and a mitt. I use the Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions graphene spray and bugs are very easy to remove.

Before:
20210531_163727.jpg


During
20210531_163900.jpg



After:
20210531_164446.jpg



20210531_164729.jpg
 

mackgriggs

Member
Feb 11, 2020
179
84
boise, idaho
Yeah, definitely not tar. And...not 100% positive if I used alcohol, but if mineral spirits didn't take off the acid etched spots, then isopropyl alcohol probably wouldn't either.

Sweet color! Need a better side picture to take it all in. I was thinking about getting the graphene instead of the ceramic, but....since the graphene is so new I hadn't seen a lot of reviews/direct comparisons to the turtle wax ceramic, so decided to stay with the more tested ceramic. Thanks for the tip about getting the applicator a bit wet with water to help with streaks.

Oh....and for regular washes....the only reason I would hesitate to use bug removers now that I have the ceramic spray on, is that its a bit caustic and might prematurely wear out the ceramic wax. The car is so slick now with the wax, just a foam prerinse should be all that I need to get them off. Really though, I just need to do more frequent maintenance washes to get the bugs off before their guts stain the paint.
 

pt19713

Member
Feb 5, 2020
969
1,213
Delaware
I have about 5 weeks on the 3 with the graphene, 3 weeks on the Y. No issues with the 3D Bug Remover. I know you probably have a lot of soap, but check out Meguiars Hybrid Ceramic Wash & Wax. It's a good maintenance soap to help keep the hydrophobic properties. If you want to stick with the soap you have now, try Meguiars Bead Booster (M799). It's a good topper/ceramic enhancer.
 
Nov 3, 2019
251
281
Green Valley AZ
For bug guts try Hydrogen Peroxide. Dissolves the offending material. Works very well.

Rich


If you search through online forums of car — and small airplane — enthusiasts, you’ll find many home remedies to cleaning the dead bugs off their rides. One popular one involves dryer sheets but another involves hydrogen peroxide. The chemical apparently eats away at the proteins in the dried-on bug guts, causing them to wipe right off after you’ve sprayed your car with some hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide won’t damage your paint — but the acids found in the dead bugs could, if left stuck on for too long!
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top