Road trips have been a part of my life since I was a kid. Once I was mature enough to get over the “Are we there yet?” phase, I really started to enjoy them. One of the downsides to this mode of travel is the cleanup after the trip is over.
I recently took “Alice” to the local automated wash to get shined up, and the attendant asked me if I had been driving through fresh asphalt. Thinking about it, I had to answer “yes” because my route to work goes through a lot of stretches undergoing road repair. He said, “I don’t think a lot of this is going to come off.” He was right.
After shelling out for the wash, the doors still looked “muddy” because of the tar and asphalt sprayed up by the tires. I called the Mini dealer to ask for suggestions on how to remove it, and he hemmed and hawed about giving me a suggestion for removing tar from the paint. He finally said “Try a powerwasher, but don’t get to close or you’ll blast off the paint. You could also try calling a body shop.”
That was less than satisfying.
While I was on the phone with Mini, the Mrs. was looking on Google, and she came up with olive oil.
Yes, plain old olive oil.
We gave it a try by soaking some old T-shirt rags in oil and rubbing very gently. It took the tar right off, and Alice is back to her shiny old self. Afterwards I went over the oiled up patches with some Windex because I was too lazy to get out the hose and soap bucket.