Is there a way to get road tar off of tire treads?

nytebyte

Not Politically Correct
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
7,903
Reaction score
414
Yesterday, I was forced to drive through a construction zone where they were resurfacing the pavement.
The area was full of tar and it coated my tires really badly. There is so much tar on the treads that the car feels like I'm driving on ice. Any amount of throttle will spin the tires and braking performance has been cut by about 80%. I'm lucky I made it home and the car really isn't drivable on those tires in their current state.
The tar on the tires is probably about a centimeter deep. I tried to scrape some off with a screwdriver, but not much really came off, not to mention trying to scrape it off the treads of all 4 tires wouldn't be practical.

Anyone have any idea on how to get this shit off without damaging the tires?
 

10sec

I haz dat teddy bear smile.
Donating Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2008
Messages
23,585
Reaction score
283
Tons of WD40 and patience. Also, that's some bullshit they made you drive through that shit. Could you do a burnout and melt it off? :rofl: jk, don't do that.
 

SleeperLS

Desert Racer
Donating Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
11,038
Reaction score
180
Location
Sandia Mountain
That is some bullshit. What about that bug and tar remover? Soak the shit out of it and get a stiff bristled brush maybe
 
OP
nytebyte

nytebyte

Not Politically Correct
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
7,903
Reaction score
414
Doing a huge burnout is the first thing I tried! 🙃

It really didn't do much and I think I'd have to do a continuous burnout for a half mile to even make a dent.
The tar is so slippery that I can spin the tires at will at 45 mph in 6th gear. A Prius could out accelerate me at this point.
 

MrDragster1970

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 18, 2011
Messages
3,631
Reaction score
151
Location
RT 66 area
.

A buddy gave me a gallon of professional wax & grease remover prep to clean one of my cars he's was going to paint.
It worked perfect for tar, rubber & other road gunk.
Check if anything that that is available.

.
 
OP
nytebyte

nytebyte

Not Politically Correct
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
7,903
Reaction score
414
After doing some research, a cleaner called "Tarminator" kept coming up as useful, so I'm going to give that a try once I get the wheels off the car.
If that doesn't work, then WD40.
 

SirMarco

of Pingree Grove
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
11,570
Reaction score
36
Location
Pingree Grove
It really didn't do much and I think I'd have to do a continuous burnout for a half mile to even make a dent.
I feel this is still the best solution. Video for a how to tip and tricks thread later on for tar removal.
 
OP
nytebyte

nytebyte

Not Politically Correct
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
7,903
Reaction score
414
So, I figured I'd update this thread with the solution that worked best, in case anyone else needs to do this.

I tried a combination of things, but what worked best was running very hot tap water over the tires with a hose and then scraping the softened tar with a screwdriver that has a 1/2 inch wide tip. I tried various width chisels, paint scrapers and wider screwdrivers but the 1/2 inch flat head worked best. Once the majority of the tar was off the tire using hot water I sprayed the tire with the Tarminator stuff and worked it in with a very stiff nylon brush. That removed the rest of tar, leaving a clean surface. I experimented with WD40 too and while it worked to remove the tar, it's also a lubricant and left a greasy mess on the tire. The Tarminator stuff worked better and wasn't greasy. I'd recommend this stuff for normal tar removal from car paint since it works well.

It's a ton of work with a LOT of elbow grease and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours per tire, depending on how much tar is on it. I've done two so far with two more to go.
 

The Beast

Forum Sponsor
TCG Sponsor
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
14,414
Reaction score
558
So, I figured I'd update this thread with the solution that worked best, in case anyone else needs to do this.

I tried a combination of things, but what worked best was running very hot tap water over the tires with a hose and then scraping the softened tar with a screwdriver that has a 1/2 inch wide tip. I tried various width chisels, paint scrapers and wider screwdrivers but the 1/2 inch flat head worked best. Once the majority of the tar was off the tire using hot water I sprayed the tire with the Tarminator stuff and worked it in with a very stiff nylon brush. That removed the rest of tar, leaving a clean surface. I experimented with WD40 too and while it worked to remove the tar, it's also a lubricant and left a greasy mess on the tire. The Tarminator stuff worked better and wasn't greasy. I'd recommend this stuff for normal tar removal from car paint since it works well.

It's a ton of work with a LOT of elbow grease and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours per tire, depending on how much tar is on it. I've done two so far with two more to go.
At 8 hours you should have just bought 4 new tires. J/K
 
OP
nytebyte

nytebyte

Not Politically Correct
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
7,903
Reaction score
414
At 8 hours you should have just bought 4 new tires. J/K
Was seriously considering it, but then after doing one tire, I figured I'd just do the rest since these tires are practically new and barely used.
 

N20GT

Plz place 3,000 kudos here. kthx
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
47,714
Reaction score
1,076
Location
Crown point, IN
So, I figured I'd update this thread with the solution that worked best, in case anyone else needs to do this.

I tried a combination of things, but what worked best was running very hot tap water over the tires with a hose and then scraping the softened tar with a screwdriver that has a 1/2 inch wide tip. I tried various width chisels, paint scrapers and wider screwdrivers but the 1/2 inch flat head worked best. Once the majority of the tar was off the tire using hot water I sprayed the tire with the Tarminator stuff and worked it in with a very stiff nylon brush. That removed the rest of tar, leaving a clean surface. I experimented with WD40 too and while it worked to remove the tar, it's also a lubricant and left a greasy mess on the tire. The Tarminator stuff worked better and wasn't greasy. I'd recommend this stuff for normal tar removal from car paint since it works well.

It's a ton of work with a LOT of elbow grease and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours per tire, depending on how much tar is on it. I've done two so far with two more to go.
Damn that sucks
 

N20GT

Plz place 3,000 kudos here. kthx
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
47,714
Reaction score
1,076
Location
Crown point, IN
Literally everything about construction sucks ass. It costs too much money, screws up traffic worse than it should due to their inability to plan, is largely unnecessary work meant to use up a budget (fight me if you disagree), the people organizing and performing the work do not give one single fuck about the commuters & taxpayers that fund the work, etcetc. I'd raaaaage if they made me drive through wet tar
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Top Bottom