How to prevent rust from spreading on your car
Signs of rust on a car are a major issue. It’s not only unsightly and depreciates the value of your car, but it’s also a silent killer. Indeed, when rust is left untreated, it can pose serious safety risks. Fortunately, you can avoid this by taking the necessary precautions. In this article we go over the different types of rust that can occur on a car, and share tips to help you to prevent rust from forming on your vehicle.
What is rust?
Rust is a chemical reaction that occurs when a substance comes into contact with oxygen or any other oxidizing substance.
The word “rust” comes from the word “red dust,” which refers to the color and texture of this chemical reaction. It’s caused by oxidation, which is the breakdown of iron-based compounds. When iron comes into touch with oxygen and water, rust forms.
Rust on vehicles usually occurs in phases. If it isn’t addressed when it first appears, it will worsen, inflicting even more damage. Let’s look at the different types of rust that might occur on a vehicle.
Different types of rust on vehicles
Surface rust is common when the paint on your car deteriorates over time. This can be caused by surface damage such as scratches, scrapes, and dents, or by chronic overexposure to the sun’s UV radiation. It’s also worth noting that because bird droppings are acidic, they can cause rust.
Surface rust can often be removed by grinding it down with high-grade sandpaper or an abrasive wheel until the paint and rust are gone and the gleaming metal is visible. Then you need to prime the area before applying new car paint.
Surface rust forms scales if left untreated, which is known as bubble rust. This happens when surface rust grows and flakes, revealing the metal underneath. When that metal begins to corrode, rust progresses further into the metal, forming scales. Surface rust can be treated similarly, but you need to use a wire brush to get through the rough scales before using sandpaper or an abrasive wheel.
If you leave bubble rust on your car for long enough, the base metal will begin to flake, resulting in holes. Unfortunately, your choices for resolving the issue are minimal. In most situations, the entire panel will need to be replaced, or the corroded parts will need to be cut out and patch panels welded in place. If your car’s frame has severe rust damage, it will compromise its structural integrity, making it dangerous to drive.
The crazy thing about rust is that it spreads so you should not only worry about signs of rust on your car paint. The undercarriage of your vehicle is exposed to a multitude of filth that accelerates the corrosion process underneath your seats. Penetrating rust can only be stopped by a layer of protection of paraffin or by similar robust coating agents.
7 Ways to prevent your car from rusting
Here are 7 tips to prevent your car from rusting:
- Inspect the bottom of your car
- Avoid having water on your car
- Wash your car regularly
- Use wax
- Use a rust coating
- Shelter your car
- Address rust before it spreads
1. Inspect the bottom of your car
Because the underbelly of your automobile or truck endures the most abuse, it is more likely to rust. Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice on the roads increase the probability of rust developing beneath your car if you live in a snowy area. Look for symptoms of rust growing beneath your car during oil changes or tire rotations.
2. Avoid having water on your car
Your vehicle is built to endure the majority of the things that everyday weather may throw at it. Paint, clear coatings, and plastic trim pieces are all designed to keep your vehicle’s metal from rusting, but these forms of protection deteriorate over time.
If you find an area on your car that collects water, such as a leaking trunk or a truck bed, make sure you drain or dry it off. You have to prevent these pockets of water from forming if you want to prevent rust in the future. To stop any kind of water inside your car, we recommend buying a rubber floor mat so that your carpet doesn’t become soaked and make the metal underneath rust.
3. Wash your car regularly
Washing your car regularly is one of the simplest methods to keep it from rusting. It will not only keep your vehicle looking new, but it will also remove corrosive dirt, salt, and grime. Passing a good hose underneath your car will take care of that filth. Be mindful of the type of rag you are using so as not to scratch your paint.
It’s crucial not to wait until your automobile is filthy before washing it. Because the elements that assault automotive paint aren’t visible to the human eye, some harm may have already occurred by the time you realize you’re due for a wash.
While any form of car wash is preferable to not washing your car at all, the most effective is a high-pressure cleaner. This will make cleaning difficult locations, such as your underside and the inside of your wheel arches, much easier. Plan to wash your vehicle once a week and have it professionally cleaned every few months.
4. Use wax
Waxing your automobile at least twice a year will keep it in the best possible condition and prevent rust from accumulating. Waxing adds a layer of protection between your car’s paint and the moisture that causes rust. If you don’t keep your car in a garage, you’ll have to wax it more frequently to compensate for the increased exposure to the elements.
5. Use a rust coating
Getting a specialist to apply a rust coating on your car is the best way to protect your vehicle from rust. It will cost you less than rust treatments or rust repairs, and it will keep your automobile safe to drive for years to come. If you already have rust issues or live in a tough area, having a protective rust-proof coating sprayed is essential. Rustproofing makes a significant difference in locations where salt is often applied on the roads or in humid climates like near the coast.
6. Shelter your car
Constant exposure to the sun, rain, and snow degrades your vehicle. If you want to keep it from rusting, it’s important to keep it sheltered in a garage. A portable garage is a cost-effective choice for those who rent their living accommodation while a steel garage is a great option for homeowners who have extra space and need a long-term solution.
7. Address rust before it spreads
Pay special attention to the quality of drain holes, water channels, and seals when inspecting your vehicle. If moisture collects there, rust might grow behind the scenes. It’s critical not to ignore any probable signs of rust. Taking care of it now, before it spreads, will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Protect your car
Antirouille Champlain is your best ally to protect your vehicle from rust. Since 1972, we have been continuously studying and improving our rust-proofing solutions. Simply washing and waxing is one thing, but consulting professionals on the matter will ensure that your car paint remains pristine and that your undercarriage is ready to face any type of road condition.
Our Sentinelle Plus rustproofing solution uses an environmentally friendly rust inhibitor manufactured from vegetable oil and calcium sulphonate to provide better start-up protection for your car. The permanent treatment, when combined with our annual treatment for exposed surfaces under the car, is an excellent way to extend the life of your vehicle.