TIL Ford Has a Bird Poop Test for Paint Jobs
When do we know for a fact that science has gone too far? Probably when it’s used to develop artificial bird droppings. Lab-developed synthetic bird poop isn’t just a reality; Ford is using it as a way to test the resilience of paint on its vehicles. Where does it all end?
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Ford, evidently not concerned about tampering in God’s domain, tests its vehicles using a synthetically engineered bird poop spray. Yes, really. The spray is administered to sample panels that are then heated between 100 and 140 degrees. This allows Ford to see how its vehicles will hold up to the double threat of extreme heat and extreme bird crap. The whole process ranks right up there with Ford’s use of a Robutt to ensure the longevity of its seats.
Helpfully, Ford notes that its synthetic bird poop “can accurately reflect the differing diets — and subsequent different acidity of droppings — of most of the birdlife in Europe.” It also points out that the white part of bird poop is uric acid — bird pee, more or less — and that the process just happens so fast that the white and black parts don’t have time to mix. Okay, cool. Thanks for the info.
How to stay vigilant in the fight against bird poop
So why is Ford dropping all this droppings knowledge on us? Because COVID-19, of course.
“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 Ford of Europe Core Engineering Paint Manager André Thierig. “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.”
Even with its noble efforts to battle the scourge of bird poop, Ford recommends regularly washing your vehicle to preserve the paintwork. You’ll want to use neutral pH shampoo and lukewarm water and try to wax once or twice a year if you really want to keep your car sparkling.
The next time you head out to your ride and see a streaky mess drying in the sun, be thankful that Ford has your back.