autoevolution
 

Ford Is Making Artificial Bird Poop for Your Sake

In today’s 'strange things carmakers do for your sake' chapter, Ford is in the business of making cars – and artificial bird poop.
Ford is making artificial bird poop because it's easier than collecting the real thing 23 photos
Photo: Ford Europe
2017 Ford Fusion Sport2017 Ford Fusion Sport2017 Ford Fusion Sport2017 Ford Fusion Sport2017 Ford Fusion Sport2017 Ford Fusion Sport2017 Ford Fusion Sport2017 Ford Fusion Sport2017 Ford Fusion Sport2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)2022 Ford Mondeo Active (codenamed CD542, also called Fusion Active)
That automakers have resorted to making artificial bird droppings to test how paint reacts to it in different scenarios is hardly news, but here’s Ford laying it out for you in a recent video. It’s way more complicated than you probably assumed, because they have to make several types of droppings, since the composition of the real thing varies from country to country and depends, much like in humans, on what the birds eat.

The video is available at the bottom of the page. Activate closed captions to get the full story.

Here’s how Ford explains it: “Using artificial bird poop – that can replicate the acidity of poop from different birds around Europe – our paint engineers ensure the protective coatings on our vehicles can withstand any amount of bird poop.”

What we call bird “poop” is actually a mixture that is part uric acid, part fecal matter. It’s the former that’s proving a real challenge for your car’s paintjob, so now more than ever, it’s important to be very careful where you leave your car parked. Indoors would be the ideal solution, but those who don’t have this option should look for signs of birds spending time on overhead branches or structures.

Ford, for one, is doing its part. A team of paint engineers is studying how artificial poop is affecting the paint by simulating a variety of real-world scenarios, mostly involving various degrees of heat. Whenever they determine the paint is not holding up as it should, they go back to the lab and work on the formula to improve it.

“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,” Andre Thierig, paint engineering manager for Ford Europe, explains. “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.”

If you find your car covered in bird droppings, you should try to remove them as quickly as possible, using warm water and pH-neutral shampoo. As Thierig puts it, don’t leave the poop to “bake” on the car, because it will be harder to remove – and whatever damage done more difficult to repair.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Elena Gorgan
Elena Gorgan profile photo

Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
Full profile

 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories