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Old 27-10-2020, 04:03 PM   #1
Mike Phillips
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Traffic Film - If you drive your car in the rain your car has traffic film

Traffic Film - If you drive your car in the rain your car has traffic film


Traffic Film

Traffic film is the oily film splattered all over your car when you drive in the rain.





Traffic Film also called Traffic Film tends to accumulate most visibly on the back of a vehicle and also the lower portions of a car but the truth is, if you drive your car in the rain, it's everywhere.





Over time, traffic film impacts ONTO the paint to the point where a normal car wash will not remove it. The best way to remove it is to use a mechanical means via one of these options,
  1. Paint Cleaner
  2. AIO or All-in-One cleaner/wax type product
  3. Compound
  4. Polish



Driving in the rain - For most of us it's unavoidable








Where does Traffic Film come from?

Oils and other fluids that drip out of cars, truck and suvs accumulate on roads and highways over time.

When it rains, these accumulated oils and other fluids mix with the rain and are then splattered all over your car in effect staining you're entire car from top to bottom. The highest concentration of traffic film accumulates on your wheels, tires and lower body panels.


Just look in the parking space of any parking lot...







Motor Oil, Transmission Fluid, Gear Oil and other fluids

These outlined areas show where fluids have dripped off engines and transmission, even radiators and accumulated to the point that the pavement has been permanently stained.







It's also on roads and highways...





The oil stain line that runs down the middle of the road...




The dark line down the middle of the road
It's the darker, line down the middle of roads and freeways where most of the oily fluids accumulate as car, truck and suvs drive down the road.

Now that you've read this article and looked at the above pictures, you'll remember this every time you look down the road you're driving on.


Remember, oil and water don't mix
When it rains, the cars in front of you spray the rain water mixed in with these accumulated oils onto not only your car's paint but the wheels, tires, glass, plastic, cloth tops and vinyl tops.

If it's on the outside of the car then it's getting coated with oily road film.


Traffic Film builds up over time..
Oily road film builds up over time and because this film is oily or sticky it attracts dirt. This can be the dirt in the air or also in rain water that's splattered onto your car from the cars driving in front of you.


Can't always be seen...
Because the dirt staining effect caused by traffic film build up slowly over time it's not always easy to see, especially on black and dark colored cars, but don't be fooled, if you drive in the rain your car is getting coated in traffic film.


The solution to the problem?
Washing your car will remove any topical road film. The problem is the dirty, oil film will tend to migrate into any voids, pits, pores or interstices in your car's paint at least to the point that normal car washing won't remove it.


It's pretty easy to remove traffic film, all you have to do is periodically use one of the below approaches,

Use a quality cleaner/wax or AIO. The cleaning agents and/or abrasives in the cleaner/wax will remove any traffic film that washing could not remove.

Use a dedicated polish by hand or machine. Any high quality polish will effectively remove any built-up traffic film. Just be sure to apply a wax, sealant or coating afterwards to seal the paint.


Traffic Film... if you drive your car in the rain it's on your car...




Last edited by Mike Phillips; 30-10-2020 at 09:24 PM. Reason: swapped out pictures traffic film for road film pics
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Old 27-10-2020, 04:16 PM   #2
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Really good article mike 👍🏻 , just goes to show your car is under attack in all conditions tho 👍🏻 Does not matter what season of the year .
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Old 27-10-2020, 04:29 PM   #3
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thanks mike
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Old 27-10-2020, 05:37 PM   #4
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In the States, outside of the term I created,

Road Film

There wasn't a term or a "thing". It wasn't until I wrote the original article, which dates back to the year 2013 - that after writing it I learned on DW that you guys call it,

Traffic Film

So I changed the wording in the article from Road Film to Traffic Film and then posted it here.


I use this article a lot on the AGO forum.


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Old 27-10-2020, 06:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
In the States, outside of the term I created,

Road Film

There wasn't a term or a "thing". It wasn't until I wrote the original article, which dates back to the year 2013 - that after writing it I learned on DW that you guys call it,

Traffic Film

So I changed the wording in the article from Road Film to Traffic Film and then posted it here.


I use this article a lot on the AGO forum.


Mike you don't mention dedicated traffic film removers or cleaning snow foams - is there any reason you don't and what are your thoughts on this category of products... do they work as well as mechanical decon steps you outline?
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Old 27-10-2020, 07:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atbalfour View Post


Mike you don't mention dedicated traffic film removers or cleaning snow foams - is there any reason you don't and what are your thoughts on this category of products... do they work as well as mechanical decon steps you outline?


These are not a huge product catagory in the U.S. and to my knowledge, I don't think we carry any dedicated traffic film removers on the AG store.


Management tends to like it when I invest my garage time, photography time and typing time with product the AG store sells. Make sense?


Besides that - I"m not a huge fan of these types of products as I prefer to mechanically remove this type of film as I go through the detail process.


I did NOT share all my other articles on this topic but if you go to Skynet and type this in,


Road Film - If you drive your car in the rain your car has road film Mike Phillips

The title is different on the AGO forum and Skynet, err I mean Google indexes my articles really well but it helps to add my first and last name.

I currently have 672 how-to articles and 275 reviews - at least as I type. I'm working on more as I type.

My other articles follow the primary article for this write-up on the AGO forum.


Great question - thank you for asking.




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Old 27-10-2020, 09:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
Now that you've read this article and looked at the above pictures, you'll remember this every time you look down the road you're driving on.
Thanks for the now unavoidable ^^


Nice article, thanks for sharing your knowledge.
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Old 30-10-2020, 07:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Phillips

The oil stain line that runs down the middle of the road...




The dark line down the middle of the road
It's the darker, line down the middle of roads and freeways where most of the oily fluids accumulate as car, truck and suvs drive down the road.


Now that you've read this article and looked at the above pictures, you'll remember this every time you look down the road you're driving on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by P2K View Post

Thanks for the now unavoidable ^^

Sorry about that mate....


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Old 30-10-2020, 07:28 PM   #9
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Interesting Mike

Never really thought of it being linked to rain, but makes sence
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Old 30-10-2020, 07:57 PM   #10
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Excellent article as usual Mr Phillips. The absence of lights used on that freeway picture is a bit disconcerting. A healthy dose of tailgating too! Apologies for the rant. I've been commuting on motorways for years, and it's just as bad over here.
The advent of D.R.L lights makes people think their lights are on, as the dash on most newer cars is illuminated from first turn of the key. Apologies for the rant, I really admire your skills and knowledge.
Ross.
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