How Do I Remove Tar From My Car?

Have you ever found bits of road tar stuck to your car’s grills and bumpers? These black, sticky, oil-based splatters can happen when the road surface starts to deteriorate and road works are completed to fix the holes. We then drive our cars over the new roads and are left with black spots of tar on our cars – great! These unsightly bits of tar aren’t easy to remove, they are essentially glue that makes asphalt concrete and can cause irreversible damage to your car if they affect the paint. With that said, time is of the essence! As soon as you see these black spots, you must act fast to remove them – as it’s not as simple as just removing them with soap due to the oil-based solution. So, how do you remove tar from a car?

The best tar remover for cars is a solvent-based solution that can emulsify the oil in order for you to wash it off. Find two methods below to get rid of road tar spots on cars.

The Road Tar Remover Spray Method

You Will Need:

Step 1: Apply the tar remover to the cloth

Step 2: Gently wipe the cloth onto the tar spots. They should loosen with light pressure.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 until the tar has been removed.

Step 4: Wash your car with car wash as you would usually.

Step 5: Apply WD-40 Motorbike Wax to condition the paint and give it a good shine!


The WD-40 Method To Remove Tar From A Car

You will need:

Step 1: Clean the car thoroughly with car wash and clean water.

Step 2: Park the car in the shade.

Step 3: Apply WD-40® Smart Straw Multi-Use to the tar spots – using the Smart Straw for a precise application.

Step 4: Leave on for a few minutes.

Step 5: Apply some WD-40® Smart Straw Multi-Use to the rag to gently wipe off the tar spots. You should be able to see the tar spots melting from the WD-40.

Step 6: Repeat step 5 until the spots are removed.

Step 7: Wash the car again.

Step 8: Once dried, apply WD-40® Specialist® Motorbike Wax & Polish to give the car that perfect finish.

Pro Tip: Not sure how to properly wax your car? Find out how in our How To Polish & Wax Your Car By Hand guide. Need to get under the hood? Read our blog on How To Use An Engine Cleaner.

Now that your car is tar-free and gleaming, why not take a look at our other How To Guides to find more DIY tips and tricks!


The uses shown and described for WD-40 Multi-Use Product were provided to WD-40 Company by the users themselves. These uses haven’t been tested by WD-40 Company and do not constitute a recommendation of suggestion for use by WD-40 Company. Common sense should be exercised whenever using WD-40 Company products. Always follow the instructions and take heed of any warnings printed on the packaging.

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