URGENT HELP: Cicada Damage to Paint [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: URGENT HELP: Cicada Damage to Paint

05-28-2011, 07:17 PM
Here in TN there has been an invasion of Cicadas, this means that my wife is killing probably about 20 per day on her way to and from work. It rained several days this last week so the car washing was a few days behind. I washed the Cooper S and noticed a rather LARGE Cicada splat on the hood that appears to have etched the paint. There is a perfect outline of the guts splat in the place where it was... I tried stripping the wax off in the hopes that the damage was to the wax and not the clear coat itself. Much to my dismay after a wax strip, claybar, hand buff, and rewax the mark is still there and can be felt with your finger.... Is my only option to wetsand and then polish this spot?? Just don't want to accept the fact that I have to sand on a BRAND NEW CAR!!:cry:

Let me know your thoughts..

05-29-2011, 06:19 AM
What follows is the long version of War & Peace ;)

Bug Residue and Carcasses

[: Cicada, Gypsy moth, June bug, Honeybees, Inchworms (caterpillars of geometer moths) etc]

Dried bug remains and excrement are both abrasive and acidic (pH 3.0-4.0) and can scratch paint or glass surfaces, many times the acids will "cloud" or "etch" surfaces as they contain highly acidic concentrates, and should be carefully removed as soon as possible They produce what acts like a super-adhesive on impact (especially when heated or when they have remained on the vehicle surface for any amount of time) you almost need a crowbar to separate these substances from the paint, windshield, headlights or front end of your car.

The carcass is very acidic, and if left for any length of time will cause the porous clear coat to occlude (a non-transparent ***8216;clouded***8217; area) or may cause etching (a depression in the paint or glass surfaces) so they should be removed ASAP

To remove - pre-soak heavy bug contamination with 1z einszett Anti-Insekt + Pre-Cleaner easily removes bug carcasses but doesn't remove wax / sealant paint protection soak a micro fibre towel and let it sit for 4-5 minutes before removing. Then use a (pre-soaked then wring damp) Safe Scrub Bug & Tar Pad the open-cell construction 'grabs' foreign matter on your cars paint surface and safely removes it. Then use an Optimum No Rinse (ONR) solution, 2oz per gallon / distilled water. It***8217;s completely harmless to the paint or glass surfaces, a very efficient and safe way of removing harmful baked on bug debris due to its non-abrasive nature.

Neutralization ***8211; after washing the paint surface use a chemical paint cleaner (Klasse all in one (AIO) or ValuGuard "N" New Car Prep; follow with ValuGuard Acid Neutralizer (Step I) - neutralizes acids deposited on the paint surface and in the pores of the paint. If the affected paintwork is not neutralized any remaining acidic residue will be reactivated by heat and moisture. If the paint or glass surface has been etched the surface can be levelled with a suitable polish and then apply a paint protection.

Protection - an acrylic polymer or polyethylene-acrylic (Klasse, Jeff Werkstatt or Duragloss #105 Total Performance Polish) are all acid-based so they are resistant to acidic pollutants (acid rain, bird excrement, and etc) there is no. For added protection apply an organic wax over the polymer sealant as this sacrificial barrier and by washing the vehicles paint surface on a regular basis.

Some organic (natural) waxes (Carnauba) are more resistant to environmental hazards then non-organic (synthetics) but the best way to avoid clear coat etching is too remove the environmental acid as soon as it***8217;s noticed; but given enough time acid will compromise the clear coat whatever its protection.

05-29-2011, 09:22 AM
Thanks for that post,

But... I have already removed the bug guts properly, but the damage is done.. I guess the better question was- Am I going to have to wetsand the spot to smooth it out..?

05-30-2011, 01:16 AM
If you can feel the etching with your fingernail wet-sanding would be an option. Do you have experience wet-sanding, considering this is a new vehicle its not the place to learn this skill.

Acid / Alkali Etching

Acid is inert, but add moisture (dew, rain, car washing etc) so now you have an acid + water +oxygen + ozone; add heat to this equation (reactivity)all of which equates to a highly concentrated acidic solution, which causes a concave indentation (acid etching) to the paint surface. This must be netrelized to stop the ongoing reaction process (See Neutralization above)

Removal -
1. First clean the paint surface and then neutralize the acid or alkali
2. Use a machine polish (Optimum Polish, Optimum Compound) and a cutting (LC White, Orange or Yellow) foam pad (speed # 4- 5.0 or 1200 RPM) to level the surface
3. For PPG CeramiClear* Clear Coat or other hard clear coats substitute Menzerna for machine polish; i.e. PO 203 S - Power Finish
4. Use the least aggressive polish/foam pad first, if this doesn't remove the problem step-up to a more aggressive polish / foam pad set-up
5. If none of the above remove the etching use a wet-sanding process with 2000, 2500 and then 3000 (or 4000) grit finishing paper

05-31-2011, 05:01 AM
Probably reluctant to wet sand, but minor imperfections can be removed with a light wet sanding using 2000 paper, then a mild rubbing using Meguiar's Fine Cut (I forget the product number) . I have done it numerous times on my 94 530i. You are only working the clearcoat, not the basecoat.