Summer on our roads: It can get messy – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Summer on our roads: It can get messy

Written July 23rd, 2018 by Hasso Hering

Ryals Avenue in Benton County on Monday afternoon.

If you have a white or otherwise light-colored vehicle, you know the dilemma that signs like this cause. Put it into reverse and go the long way round? Or keep going and hope that the oil is no longer fresh, no matter what the road sign says?

We’re all glad that ODOT and the county road departments are doing their best to maintain our highways. But as for loose gravel and fresh oil every few years, well, it’s the price we pay for roads that are in pretty good shape.

The question comes up: What if you have no choice but to drive on through, and the oil splatters all over the side of your previously pristine car?

There’s plenty of online advice on how to get rid of the mess. Somebody suggested wiping the stuff off with acetone. Others recommended WD-40, the miracle cure. The recommendation I like best: Take your rig to a car wash or detail shop where they know what they’re doing and let them deal with the problem.

If you want, watch how they manage to get the oil off, and then you can try the same method the next time you are stuck with the unfortunate side effect of “fresh oil.”

As for the photo, it turned out that the oil on Ryals Avenue had pretty much dried by Monday afternoon, and drivers need not have worried about messing up their rigs. (hh)


3 responses to “Summer on our roads: It can get messy”

  1. Wayne H. says:

    Where’s the bike?

  2. James Engel says:

    One cure is to travel at a slower speed. The tires won’t be as likely to “pick” the material up so readily. So what to do with the “road hogs” that must travel faster???? As they zip by they’ll blast the side of your vehicle with the material anyway.


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