Tar removal - scotsman_1
Our road has recently been retarred. Unfortunately during a routine wash of the vehicle I have discovered approximately 1/4 in thick and 12ins in length an accumulation of tar on the sill.

I was going to use my steam cleaner to try and remove any other ideas if that does not work?

Tar removal - Peter D
Wet some lengths of kithen role with white spirit and fold them up and place them over the tar. Wait ten to fifteen mins and remove and wipe off the tar. Simple. Regards Peter
Tar removal - Falkirk Bairn
Frsh engine oil + petrol mixture does the trick
Tar removal - Peter D
If you have a white or light coloured car this will leave a stain. Don't do there. Regards Peter
Tar removal - Armitage Shanks {p}
I seem to remember mention of a cloth with WD40 on it being mentioned as effective? If it didn't move it at least it wouldn't do any harm.
Tar removal - Dynamic Dave
White spirit gets my vote - followed by a polish / wax.
Tar removal - madf
My method:

Ensure car is warm: in the sun. Put one side facing sun. Then when warm (tar is sticky and flows better when warm) turn it so that side is in shade. (done so white spirit does not evaporate in sunlight)

Place newspaper under affected bits to prevent tar/white spirit staining drive or dissolving drive tar:-)

Cover tar with white spirit. Use an old tooth brush for worst bits. Always use a barrier cream and rubber gloves as white spirit removes natural oils from skin and leads to very painful cracking.

(My hands are susceptible to cracking - earth/paint/solvents all end up giving me grief..)
Tar removal - aaflyer
WD-40 does do the trick (think I was the original poster on that one:) - at least on my non-metallic blue finish. However, after gentle scrape with thumb nail:

(i) Have bucket and sponge ready to wipe away excess WD-40 as it'll run;
(ii) Give the area a good polish as the WD-40 leaves a greasy orange 'snail trail' on the paintwork.

Tar removal - mal
1/4 thick !! The way I see it the responsibility lies with the contractor/highways dept. That should not have been allowed to happen, were you driving over wet hot liquid tar for it to be that thick?.
Tar removal - FotheringtonThomas
Angle grinder.

Tar removal - moosh
Dab with petrol soaked cloth, very effective...... but be careful, naked flames and all that
Tar removal - mal
Lots of advice on how to remove it but if you attempt any of the methods described extreme care must be taken not to rub too hard as the tar will be mixed with grit/stone and will not be kind to the paint finish.
Tar removal - kievclive
Use Autoglym tar and adhesive remover - its designed to do the job gently without damaging the lacquer - white spirit can leave unsightly marks and damage the top coat if left too long - I can prsonally testify to the effect of Autoglym after 9+ years of summer road conditions here I have accumulated enough tar to re-surface the M25!
Tar removal - scotsman_1
Very many thanks to all who took the trouble to reply will be attempting to remove the tar when the monsoons finish!

Tar removal - oldgit
Trust me! I was an industrial Analytical Chemist. Go the White Spirit route. Don't use petrol as it is too volatile and dangerous and even worse for unprotected skin.

With White Spirit, as it is less volatile, it will have time to penetrate the worst of the tar after which you will have time to gently remove it with suitable cloths or even rolls of paper (say, a cheap brand of toilet paper!). Of course this is not to say that the tar may have stained the paintwork but I doubt it if it has not been there too long.
The WD 40 route is just a much more expensive way of employing what is essentially an aliphatic hydrocarbon solvent, which White Spirit is, anyway (without those expensive additives).
Tar removal - mazdaboy
Johnson's baby oil and cotton wool balls.

Honestly, this works a treat. Also smells better than WD40.
Tar removal - Clk Sec
I've always used white spirit which works very well indeed.

Clk Sec
Tar removal - Pendlebury
I have found autoglym tar remover to be very good - although Johnsons baby oil sounds more fun.
Tar removal - oldtoffee
Another vote for Autoglym's Tar Remover. Once all the tar is removed, quick polish and a couple of coats of protective wax will make protect the area and make the task much easier next time around.
Tar removal - FotheringtonThomas
will be attempting to remove the tar when the monsoons finish!

Being serious for a pico-second, I'd try the white spirit approach. Soak a rag with the stuff, apply it, and keep it pressed up against the tar deposit (sticks or whatever to do that) using a plastic bag over the rag to stop all the white spirit disappearing overnight. Remove softened tar, repeat as needed. WS is a good solvent for tar, if the tar hasn't tainted the colour of your paintwork, neither will the WS, but it will remove rar. It doesn't mix with water, either!
Tar removal - J Bonington Jagworth
Scrape off as much as possible first with a piece of scrap wood or an old credit card, then you won't need so much solvent. Any of those mentioned should work, but IIRC Autoglym Tar Remover is really just Benzene, which may be cheaper if you can persuade a chemist to part with some...

BTW, if it's 1/4" thick on the cill, what's it's like in the wheel arches?
Tar removal - oldgit
>>but IIRC Autoglym Tar Remover is really just Benzene which may be cheaper if
you can persuade a chemist to part with some...

Sorry but I don't want to be pedantic but that is entirely erroneous. You would NOT find Benzene in any product sold to the public.
Many years ago it was discovered that it was a highly carcinogenic material and was thus withdrawn from general use, as was Carbon Tetrachloride.
Tar removal - Gavin Salford
Sorry to be even more pedantic. Autoglym Tar Remover is actually based on xylene, not benzene. The two compounds are closely related and have very similar properties. Xylene however has 2 CH3 groups on the aromatic ring and therefore has a different classification to benzene.
It is still harmful toxic and a 'suspected' carcinogen but Autoglym have got away with it so far. It can cause neurological effects after short term exposure.
Some Automatic car washes in Sweden and Finland use petrol and sometimes xylene as pre-soak tar removers before the start of the wash cycle.
Tar removal - John F
Cheapest way is hot day, rubber gloves, rag and petrol, detergent wash, then wax polish. No smoking!
Tar removal - scott1s
I am about to undertake the same task on my car. Past experience is to shun all the fancy off the shelf products and use white spirit/turpentine substitute which works a treat. This also removes that accumulated greasy grime that appears on sills, behind doors etc.
One thing though I would get a good coat of wax on there double quick style afterwards. Just to be sure . . . .
Tar removal - L'escargot
Sticky Stuff Remover (available from Wilkinsons and other hardware stores) does what it says on the tin. It removes gum, TAR, adhesive, wax, wet paint, crayon, grease, labels and grime. It comes in a 200 ml aerosol can.
Tar removal - bintang
Will it remove resin (my own problem)? Another poster recommended meths and this does work, but terribly slowily.
Tar removal - madf
Tar removal in winter is a waste of time.

I wait for a WARM day.. and use white spirit. (and gloves and Scotts blue tissue which is expensive but strong)

As for resin, - lots of warm water. For stubborn stains, a soaking wet cloth left on top for 30 minutes or so softens it sufficiently I find.

Tar removal - bintang
Thanks for the tip. I will try warm water when this morning's black ice has gone - I have to park in the open under trees, hence the resin problem
Tar removal - Jcoventry
There are several specialist detailing products available that are designed for the removal of road grime, dirt, tar, bugs, etc. Might be worth a try - and even if they don't help solve your current problem, they are excellent at removing less serious stubborn dirt from bumpers, sills, wheel arches, etc.