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If you are in an accident, hit a curb, or have a tree branch fall on your vehicle, it’s safe to assume there may be some level of paint damage. However, did you know there’s an array of other, more unusual substances that may damage your vehicle’s paint? 

Keep reading to learn about some of the most surprising things that may damage your vehicle’s paint. 

Brake Fluid 

In the past, there’s been a bit of confusion regarding the damaging effects of brake fluid. Experts have said that not all brake fluids are harmful to the surface of the vehicle, but you need to use care when handling any brake fluid that isn’t silicone-based. This is usually limited to just the older brands of brake fluid, which can be caustic and react with the paint similar to paint thinner, which causes the outer layer to peel. There are more durable car paints that can withstand these materials, but it is best to use caution. 

Soda and Coffee 

Most people aren’t aware that beverages, such as soda and coffee may cause damage to their paint. These drinks are highly acidic, which may eat away at the outer, protective layer of paint and start the corrosion process. If sugar is added to the coffee (which is found in virtually all soda drinks) may also leave behind a sticky residue. Make sure that you clean up any messes as soon as you can to prevent any long-term damage. 

Bird Droppings 

Bird excretions can also damage your vehicle’s paint. The droppings may cause a permanent mark on the exterior of the vehicle because they are usually acidic, and if they are allowed to bake in the sun, they will become hard and very difficult to remove. If you can avoid it, make sure the bird droppings don’t have the chance to dry and harden. When you are cleaning the “poop” away, try not to rub the spot because the various seed particles and the grit that is in the droppings can begin to scratch the surface of the underlying paint. 


It’s important for car owners to be careful when they fill up their tank. If the gas overflows or if it drips on the body of the vehicle, it can cause a stain. While the gas will evaporate, it can leave marks behind and cause damage to the clear coat. The best way to prevent this damage is to have the vehicle waxed after it is washed – every time. Doing this will also make it easier to clean up accidental gasoline spills. 

If there is serious damage to your vehicle or even slight damage to the paint that you can’t fix on your own, then calling a professional auto body repair service may be the best option. They will be able to ensure the damage is fixed properly and that any other issues are addressed to prevent them from getting worse. This is the best way to keep your vehicle’s paint job looking new.