Just as well cows don’t fly

Bird droppings can have a devastating effect on car paint, causing it to fade, swell and eventually crack.

How Nissan views the problem, can be seen by the fact that its engineers have patented a formula for making artificial bird droppings, which is used for quality assurance testing. The sticky, white substance has the same corrosive properties as the real thing, but is said to offer greater consistency between samples, enabling more scientific examination.

The egg albumin, nitrogen and water mixture is applied to a sample of painted body work, then cooked for one hour at 50 degrees C and 30% humidity. This recreates is a highly acidic bird dropping falling on to a car body that has baked in the sun. The heat of the car body causes the wet bird dropping to dry and contract instantly, causing maximum stress to the paint film.

To be successful, the paint has to be completely blemish-free when the baked-on bird dropping is washed off.