Rust on your car – whether it be car, truck, van or S.U.V, is not only unsightly it can be downright dangerous. Rust can destroy the structure and integrity of your car frame making it dangerous. It can allow dangerous fumes to seep into your vehicle. Once started – rust can be most difficult and expensive to stop if you can stop the spread of the rust at all. What you see in terms of rust on the fender of your vehicle is like the part of the iceberg that hit the Titanic – it’s only the smallest part on the metal surface of the car. For what you can physically see of rust on the surface – it’s only the smallest portion.
What causes rust? Rust is the result corrosion resulting from moisture interacting with bare exposed metal of your vehicle. From then on the moisture interacts and almost breeds with the bare metal of your car in a chemical reaction. It’s that straightforward.
What can be done to prevent the start, spread and growth of rust on your vehicle? In most cases it comes down to simple steps of prevention. Sure in some geographic areas of the country where either a lot of salt is used on the roads – such as in New York City or Toronto Canada a lot more salt is used to keep the roads free of ice in the winter and rust is more of a problem. Still a lot can be done to prevent the initiation, start and spread of rust.
First of all to begin with, believe it or not, a lot of the rust that occurs on vehicles can be the result of your driving habits and patterns. Rust starts with damage and damages to the paintwork on your car or vehicle. Open spots on the paint or bodywork allow water and moisture to interact with this bare metal on your car.
Does not drive close behind other vehicles? This way rocks and pebbles that may be thrown by other vehicles may not hit and nick yours. Simply put to prevent rocks and pebbles from bouncing onto your car, try driving a bit further away from the cars in front of you. Do not tailgate. Certainly stay as far back as you can from open or even partially covered gravel trucks. In addition try to plan your routes to only travel on paved roads as opposed to gravel covered roads. If possible ditto this for open construction areas which may have gravel covered areas.
Newer cars are better protected than older models. Car makers now routinely employ galvanized metals, like the old shiny silver color metal garbage cans, that were so resistant to rust. This was a major step forward in rust prevention in newer cars. In addition auto manufacturers have done their best to reduce the chances of rust development and growth by having as few open areas where moisture can seep in and be trapped next to the metal on your vehicle, to stay and cause rust growth. Exterior trim and badges are now routinely glued to the bodies of cars rather than bolted into place so that there are few holes on the bodies of these cars with chipped paint edges to allow rust to initiate. In addition the very manufacturing methods of cars have been improved in an effort to stop the scourges of rust. Advanced Electrostatic methods of paint preparation are now commonly and routinely employed where during the painting and priming process of the automobile manufacturing in order to both attract paint primer into more difficult to access areas of the vehicle’s body , to completely cover and seal the car body. As well the paint and primer themselves are better bond in a more solid manner to the metal allowing for more intact and full coverage and protection against moisture and rust.
If there is one simple rule to follow it is to wash your vehicle on a regular, full and complete basis. It is not only a matter of stating that a “clean car runs better “and only a matter of cosmetics and appearances. By washing and drying your car thoroughly and completely you will both not allow moisture to be retained on your car but also to remove the dirt and debris on your car, and in the recesses of your car that can hold and retain moisture allowing rust to start and develop. Clean your car thoroughly, especially along and inside fenders, wheel wells, body trim and if possible in the undercarriage areas and you will be doing more than your part to prevent the start and growth of rust on metal areas of the vehicle.
Lastly if possible cover your car with a cloth cover even if stored in a garage. This way any further dampness can be kept away from your car. This way you can maintain your vehicle’s body and prevent expensive repairs to both repair vehicle rust and paint damage.