Come to find out pollen can damage your paint.

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Aug 15, 2020
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Atlanta, GA
So it's that lovely time of year with pollen counts shooting sky high, cars magically changing colors and mowing through gallons and gallons of washer fluid. Living in a city nicknamed "city in a forest" the pollen here is absolutely something else, I have to run my windshield washer in the morning and afternoon to clear the pollen and our white cars are now shades of pale yellow.

I almost went through my usual drive through car wash last weekend and the weekend prior but stopped myself last minute thinking 'what is the point? its going to be coated again tomorrow'. Well come to find out pollen is actually acidic and while in dry dusty form it is fine, as soon as it gets wet it turns acidic - just fantastic as the regular washer use has probably wetted the roof and the rear washer gets the back hatch and bumper nice and wet with the rundown.

Learn something new every day, here I have been just letting pollen run its course in an attempt to save a buck while it's eating away at my paint.
 
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Displaced Texan in Mexico City
Yea pollen season has started in DFW, judging from the yellow tinge on my car, its live Oak pollen where I live, I have a Califoria Duster that I use to get the dry pollen off, but right now my car turns yellow in 5 min. I just keep a good coat of wax and hand wash my car at least twice a month or weekly.
 

pezzy84

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Well maybe if you waxed, sealed or coated your paint, you wouldn't have to worry about that.
And how do you know it's not waxed? The Meguiars Ultimate wax job I did ~7 months ago was still beading ok (not as good as fresh) as of last rain storm so while it would be optimal to wax again I don't think the existing coat is completely gone yet.
 
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I have never seen any wax, coating, or whatever flavor-of-the-month snake oil protect against strong acids.
Well, I don't see the paint peeling off even my unwaxed cars after they are covered in pollen. The whole notion that pollen is strongly acidic is nonsense.
 
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Displaced Texan in Mexico City
Well, I don't see the paint peeling off even my unwaxed cars after they are covered in pollen. The whole notion that pollen is strongly acidic is nonsense.
I can tell you after living in Mexico City with its acid rain that is so strong that it bleaches clothes a good layer of wax will definately protect your car's paint from acid, and I can gurantee the ph is lower than any pollen creates.
 
Joined
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I have never seen any wax, coating, or whatever flavor-of-the-month snake oil protect against strong acids.
Coatings do far better that anything else I have tried so far. Pollen has made no effect on my coated cars this year in NC. The Touareg sits outside in the pollen and rain.

I notice the pollen "sticks" once it gets wet whereas normal dust will rinse off but it has not degraded the coatings.

Well, I don't see the paint peeling off even my unwaxed cars after they are covered in pollen. The whole notion that pollen is strongly acidic is nonsense.
All acids can be strong or weak. Pollen can etch and damage but no worse than anything else IMO. The biggest risk of paint damage from pollen is from people that dry dust it from their cars.
 
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I have a Califoria Duster that I use to get the dry pollen off,
Not a good idea at all.
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pezzy84

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Had a very nice and strong rain storm early this morning, pollen was rinsed off and water beading per usual so my flushing $$$ down the drain wash has been kicked down the road until this weekend.

Pollen count today was 3800 (extreme level) but I parked in deep remote abyss of the work parking garage that is pretty much built into a hill with only 1 side open to the outside and came out to a car not layered in pollen. Might start parking down there for the next couple months until the pollen subsides.
 
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Had a very nice and strong rain storm early this morning, pollen was rinsed off and water beading per usual so my flushing $$$ down the drain wash has been kicked down the road until this weekend.

Pollen count today was 3800 (extreme level) but I parked in deep remote abyss of the work parking garage that is pretty much built into a hill with only 1 side open to the outside and came out to a car not layered in pollen. Might start parking down there for the next couple months until the pollen subsides.
Ya you should know better. lol. When I had an office (12th & Peachtree) the parking garage really did keep the pollen down. It also preserved the interior of my car. It seriously looks like it's only 3 yrs old but it's a 2014 build.
 
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We were East of Atlanta in early March and had to deal with the pollen. If it werent for a couple of big rain storms my truck would have been much worse.
Even with a good coat of Collinite its still a struggle keeping the pollen from destroying the paint.
The worst problem I had was all the crap falling from the Live Oaks when we were in Florida. It took a lot of work to correct that mess.
 
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Coatings do far better that anything else I have tried so far. Pollen has made no effect on my coated cars this year in NC. The Touareg sits outside in the pollen and rain.
To be honest, I have never seen any acidic pollen, so it might be a regional thing.

But in general, I have not seen any form of paint protection fare well against acids. Even wheel coatings are rapidly degraded if the wheels get cleaned with acid.
 
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"Contrary to what a lot of car product companies tout, pollen is not 'highly acidic" and will not aggressively eat holes through the metal of your car's body. Pollen is classified as environmental fallout by the EPA."

Abrasive, yes.
 
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Pollen sucks, but I would rather deal with it for a few weeks each year than have a barren landscape. Besides, my car is 15 y.o. and no obvious damage from the pollen. Road dirt, sand, UV, etc does a lot more damage during my daily commute than pollen ever will.
 

pezzy84

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Ya you should know better. lol. When I had an office (12th & Peachtree) the parking garage really did keep the pollen down. It also preserved the interior of my car. It seriously looks like it's only 3 yrs old but it's a 2014 build.
Oh I always parked under cover when possible - now when we get a rainstorm I put it outside to get a freshwater rinse. :ROFLMAO:. Our garage is unusual though where the main parking closest walking distance to the building is up top out in the open and every lemming in the building parks up there even in the dead of summer to avoid any kind of walk, so while they are opening their windows and cranking their A/C to cool down their cars I just hop in and go in a nice cool car that is parked in the subterranean lower levels.
"Contrary to what a lot of car product companies tout, pollen is not 'highly acidic" and will not aggressively eat holes through the metal of your car's body. Pollen is classified as environmental fallout by the EPA."

Abrasive, yes.
From what I gather it is not acidic in its dry dusty form it does become acidic when exposed to liquid. Wish I were better at science stuff so I could do some tests to see.
We were East of Atlanta in early March and had to deal with the pollen. If it werent for a couple of big rain storms my truck would have been much worse.
Even with a good coat of Collinite its still a struggle keeping the pollen from destroying the paint.
The worst problem I had was all the crap falling from the Live Oaks when we were in Florida. It took a lot of work to correct that mess.

Early March was low time, imagine early March pollen x100. And yeah don't park under those oaks in Florida, on top of all the trash they drop on your car, spiders and cockroaches also fall out of them that then nest up in your car and pop out of the dashboard at the most inopportune times. Had an '06 Jetta in St. Petersburg and the house we lived in the driveway was under a very very mature oak tree and yeah - had a variety of bugs run out of the dash at the worst possible moments.
 
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