Acid Rain

The term "Acid Rain" refers to both wet and dry deposition of acidic pollutants that may damage material surfaces. Including auto surfaces! These pollutant are released when coal and other fossil fuels are burned, react with water vapor and oxidants in the atmosphere and are chemically transformed into sulfuric and nitric acid, which is similar to battery acid. The acidic compounds then may fall to earth as rain, snow, fog, or may join dry particles and fall as dry deposition. "RAIL DUST" is a prime example of dry deposition. Automotive exterior components, especially the painted surfaces may be damaged by all forms of acid rain, including dry deposition, especially when mixed with dew or rain. This is from a report by the EPA and is backed by one of their scientists, Dr. Edward Edney in his extensive study.

Simply put, acid rain is the atmosphere's way of ridding itself of the pollutants, chemicals and other industrial emissions it collects. The precipitation that passes through this industrial fallout cleans the air, but it also picks up the pollutants and brings them to earth…onto your car.


Acid Rain can be as damaging to a car finish as stones, bird droppings, and tree sap declares an article on car repair in Home Mechanix magazine.

Acid Rain collects in drops on your vehicle's painted surface. As the water evaporates, the acidic moisture eats into the painted surface. The process escalates when the sun heats the droplets and the paint. It produces three levels of damage: mild, severe and irreparable. The depth to which the acid has etched the painted or clear-coated surface determines the severity of the damage.


Because evaporation of acidic moisture appears to be the key element in the damage, any steps taken to eliminate its occurrence on paint may alleviate the problem. The steps include washing followed by hand drying, keeping your vehicle under cover during precipitation events, and the use of paint protecting products like Wax or a Sealant.

*We now have a real defense in the prevention of this damage! It’s call Ceramic Pro and SB3. These are permanent nanoceramic coatings that are like putting a glass table top around your car! In 40+ years in the industry…I’ve never been this excited about a product!! Visit the Ceramic Pro or SB3 links or call for more info.

 A Auto Detail Service can apply any of these paint protectors that will form a barrier that will help impede the damaging effects. This works by intercepting the acidic water when it contacts the vehicle surface. This is a far better solution than trying to reverse the damage. Until more acid resistant finishes are developed, the ICA (International Carwash Association) advises car owners to wash off rain or snow as soon as possible and apply protection. That's your only defense!

No technology is currently available to reverse the effects of some Acid Rain damage. But we do have paint correction methods that can sometimes remove the damage that has occurred. We also have the ability to remove rail dust and other dry disposition.


When shopping for a new vehicle, be aware these cars and trucks parked in dealer lots are especially susceptible to acid rain damage because the paint is new and not completely cured. Prior to final purchase, be sure to have your vehicle inspected by a car care expert to determine if damage has occurred. We are happy to do that for you free of charge.

*New to the US as of 2013