Last Updated on 5 months by Ollie Barker
Road tar on your tires can be incredibly dangerous, so you should remove it right away! Learn how to get tar off car tires the easy way.
The Quick Answer:
To remove the tar and gravel that has become lodged in the tire lines, all you need to do is use a plastic knife or screwdriver. After that, clean off any remaining tar on the tire using a scouring brush and some degreasers on other harmed areas.
What Causes Tar to Get Stuck to a Car?
Tar is a sticky, black liquid that is created when tires roll over asphalt. It coats the rubber tread and can cause it to heat up dramatically and ultimately crack.
The tar on your car isn’t “normal,” to put it briefly. Certainly not in the sense that you might have imagined. In reality, it’s a specific variety of tar utilized as a binding substance for paved roadways. You’re probably more familiar with it as asphalt.
Driving on freshly paved roads may be enjoyable (because of how “smooth” they seem), but it’s terrible for the paint job on your automobile. A lot of loose tar particles can easily be “splashed” onto the paint, undercarriage, and other parts of your automobile by the tires of your vehicle.
The worst thing is that tar may be really challenging to clean up and remove off the surface of your car once it has settled on the surface. After all, it is intended to be sticky and gluey. You’ll need to employ certain techniques and products to successfully remove tar from your car without harming the paint beneath. Its intended purpose is to bond other road elements together.
The Dangers Of Tar On Tires
Road tar will quickly dry and create a hard, black coating on your tires. Your tires will lose their ability to grip the road properly, which can dramatically impact your handling and fuel mileage. Worse yet, that tar can actually catch on fire!
Tar is best prevented by repairing potholes and other damage to the road right away so it doesn’t build up. If you want to remove the tar from your tires, follow the steps below.
The Most Effective Tar Removal Tool
The best way to remove tar from your tires is with a rented orbital buffer. They’re very affordable and work great at removing the tar from your tires in one fell swoop.
A small rod with a blunt tip is best for removing tar between the treads of your tires. You can often see where tar is caked in between your tires by looking at the sides of your treads.
Check out: How to clean car tires FAST & EASY!
In most cases, tar is oozing out of your tires, and the rods are not needed. If you do decide to use a rod, use one with a flat end. You will want to cut the rod in half before inserting it into your tire.
How To Get Tar Off Car Tires
#1 Drive Around
The best method is to drive around in a circle for 10 minutes with your car on, park, walk around for 5 minutes, then repeat the process four or five times. This should loosen up the tar enough that you can use something with less chemicals in it.
#2 Dripping It Out
All you need to do is slowly drip hot water repeatedly on your tire without touching the black residue. The water will soften up the tar and you can slowly remove it with a dry towel.
Try not to use boiling hot water because it could cause the rubber to crack.
#3 Boiling It Bursts
Lightly heat your tires up with a hairdryer or heat gun until the tar bubbles lightly and drips out. Again, move slowly! You don’t want your tires to explode.
#4 Heat It Up
You can use your car to heat up the tires and tar. Begin by plugging your car into an outlet and rolling down all the windows. Slowly drive around in a circle for about 10 minutes.
#5 Try This If All Else Fails
You can try using Goo Gone or any other type of solvent if you don’t want to risk heating your tires.
#6 Olive Oil
If you want to try something a little more natural and organic, you can try pouring some olive oil on your tires. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and then use a rag to wipe off the tar.
Be sure not to use too much force while cleaning as you don’t want to make any scratches or damage the rubber. If there are still some spots of tar left, simply take another rag and rub over it again until the tar is removed.
#7 Coconut Oil
Another option is coconut oil. Simply mix a few drops of coconut oil and hot water in a spray bottle, then spritz on your tires. Let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes, and then rub it off with a rag or sponge.
Let the mixture dry completely before driving or driving over tar patches again.
You can try one of the organic options suggested above if you’re concerned about staying safe while removing tar from your tires. But remember, these are not cheap solutions that you should only use in emergency situations. Instead, buy a few of the more efficient, chemical-free methods outlined above for everyday use and save your car from being destroyed.
Steps to Remove Tar From Car with Tar Removal Products
- Tools or knives made of plastic
- Stiff cleaning brush
- A tar removal product of your choice
You need a tool that is both blunt and sharp enough to preserve the tire while removing the tar.
Removing Tar From Your Tires
Tar removal from tires is an easy and simple operation overall.
Step 1: Remove fresh tar with a plastic knife
If the tar is still sticky when you get home, use a plastic knife or trim tools to scrape it off. Before it has a chance to completely cure onto the tire, use your plastic knife to chip away at it.
Even after drying, you might discover that it’s sometimes simpler to chop the tar off the tire without any assistance from water or other products. Always try to get rid of the tar before applying any product to soften it.
A plastic tool can damage your tire if used with enough force, so be careful when doing this.
Step 2: Apply the tar removal product
After making an effort to remove the tar without the aid of any products, you can now add some degreaser to the tarred areas and scrub.
After applying the tar removal product, give it some time to sit before using a stiff scrub brush to scrub as vigorously as you can.
You might be able to completely remove all of the tar from your tires if you scrape for a long enough period of time.
Move on to step 3 if you’ve thoroughly moistened the area, scrubbed it for a while, and the situation hasn’t changed.
Step 3: Use your plastic tool to apply extra degreaser to the area
After applying more degreaser to the area, let it sit for up to 10 minutes to let the product do its magic.
(You’ll likely need 10 minutes of stress relief by this stage.)
Use your plastic tool to attack the area when you go back, trying to scrape off as much tar as you can.
The finest results might be obtained by switching between your instrument and scrub brush as the tar starts to dissipate.
When you’re happy with the way your tire appears, rinse away any leftover product.
Will WD-40 get rid of road tar?
Tar removal can be accomplished with the aid of the well-known cleaning agents WD-40 and Goo Gone. Both employ lubricants to lubricate the damaged region and penetrate the tar, allowing the tar to easily slide off the paint of your car. Here is how you do it:
- Take a fresh microfiber cloth and apply WD-40 to it.
- Rub the liquid into the tar more thoroughly with the cloth.
- After application, allow the WD-40 to penetrate the tar for ten to thirty minutes.
- Once the time has passed, rub the region with a clean microfiber towel to get rid of all the tar.
If you intend to use WD-40, make sure you wipe the area twice to ensure that any residue is removed. If you aren’t careful with the application and cleanup, any residual chemicals or substances may potentially cause long-lasting harm to the paint job on your car.
Should I use gasoline to remove tar from tires?
I know that ordinary gasoline is one of the commonplace solutions for clearing tar. Although some people support this strategy, I would advise against it.
The explanation is straightforward: You may utilize other household items that pose significantly less of a risk in their place. In addition to being dangerous, gasoline might harm your car’s paint job or aesthetic while removing the tar. Again, we caution against using this approach and offer a substitute.
As you can see, clearing tar and debris from your tires is crucial to preserving both the performance and good looks of your car. Fortunately, with the right equipment and perseverance, such a task may be completed very quickly. A few substances can be flammable or contain harsh chemicals, so ensure you thoroughly rinse the tires before returning on the road.
Did you know: How to clean your car’s wheel wells the quick ways?!
Hi, My name is Ollie Barker.
With 25 years working in repair and detailing shops. I’d love to share my tips & tricks to all car lovers. Also, give my recommendations on which products are the best to have on the market.
Thanks for visiting CarDetailingArt! Hope you enjoy your time on my little blog!