Did You Know Ford Makes All Kinds of Synthetic Bird Poop to Torture-Test Paint?

You’re telling us someone’s job at Ford is to come up with fake crap?

byJames Gilboy|
Ford News photo


Ford may have a fixation with the fecal to rival Tina Belcher, but it's not some juvenile, grade-school fascination. No, Ford's obsession with butts and their byproducts is, as they say—just business—and part of the business of selling cars is making sure their pretty paint holds up against the worst the real world can throw at it, like bird droppings. 

Bird poop is full of uric acid, which can permanently scar car paint; hence why Ford has developed artificial bird dung to test the limits of its paint coatings. At Ford's paint lab, every experimental mix of lacquer, resin, and pigments is sprayed with several varieties of scientifically recreated dookie, which reflects the byproducts of birds across Europe.

These pairings of paint and poo are then rapidly "aged" in environments between 104 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit to simulate long-term exposure of a car's paint to the acidic droppings, which helps Ford understand the behavior of the different chemicals involved.

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"With so many cars parked up at the moment as people stay at home, it's likely birds are leaving their mark more than usual," said Andre Thierig, paint engineering manager for Ford Europe. "It's wise to remove it before it gets too baked on, but our customers can at least take some consolation in the work we do to keep their paint protected."

Should you walk out to your car and find it attacked in the familiar pattern of bird splatter, Ford recommends removing the mess with warm water and a neutral-acidity (pH) shampoo. Waxing at least twice a year is also suggested. The ultimate remedy for air-dropped dung altogether, however, is indoor parking, as the folks featured in this video have come to learn.

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