Rust is the nemesis of any vehicle, but cars are not guaranteed to succumb to damaging rust. If you have noticed rust on your car, you are likely concerned about stopping it before it spreads further. The good news is that rust is not a death sentence, and you can take steps to keep your vehicle from rusting out if you are vigilant and consistent.
What Is Rust And Why Does It Appear?
Rust is a chemical reaction that occurs when iron comes into contact with oxygen. Water accelerates this process, but even dry metal can rust after enough time. When oxygen and iron atoms meet, they form a new substance called iron oxide, which is the more technical term for rust. Once rust has appeared, it must be treated quickly, while it is still on the surface.
Six Ways To Prevent Rust On Your Car From Spreading
Once you notice that your vehicle has begun to rust, you must act immediately to prevent it from spreading further. Surface rust, which exists only on the top layer of your car’s metal, is not dangerous if it is stopped in time. Left unattended, it will eventually penetrate and carve out holes that can compromise the structural integrity of your vehicle and its parts. This can be dangerous or even deadly.
1. Wash Your Car Often
One of the most effective means of preventing rust from spreading on your vehicle is to wash it regularly. Doesn’t water hasten the exchange of oxygen molecules to create iron oxide? Yes, but chemicals like road salt cause rust even faster. Regularly washing your car can remove these rust-encouraging molecules by keeping parts clean of clinging detritus.
2. Remove Surface Rust As Soon As You See It
If you happen to notice surface rust, it is important that you remove it quickly. However, sandpaper alone is not a comprehensive method of ensuring that the rust does not spread. After rust is removed from the surface of your vehicle, either using sandpaper or an abrasive tool at an auto body shop, it should be repainted and buffed to protect the exposed metal from further oxidation.
3. Avoid Damaging Elements That Encourage Rust
If you live in an area that is high in moisture or in which chemicals such as road salt are used during certain periods of the year, do your best to avoid these conditions. One of the most effective ways to keep your car protected from the elements is to park in a garage or other enclosed area like a carport. If this is not an option, keep in mind the value of regularly washing your vehicle to remove the debris that clings to it from the elements.
4. Opt For Rustproofing
Cars can be rust-proofed so that they are less susceptible to the interfacing between the oxygen and iron molecules that causes rust. This is helpful because it helps water to bead and drip off rather than disbursing along the vehicle’s surface, and a deep layer of wax provides a protective layer between the metal and any outside elements. If your car is accidentally scratched, this rustproofing can prevent the damage from opening a vulnerability that reaches all the way to the metal, where rust can begin to form.
5. Clean Your Vehicle’s Drain Holes
The drain holes around the hood and trunk or at the bottom of the car’s doors can become clogged with wet leaves and dirt that, over time, may cause rust due to the constant dampness. A simple run-through with a pipe cleaner is sufficient to clean these holes of any debris.
6. Keep Your Interior Clean And Dry
Whether you spill a drink on your car floor or regularly track your wet or snowy boots into the vehicle, that moisture has to go somewhere. Most often, not all of it evaporates, and some will be absorbed through the floor, where it can cause rust from the inside. Utilize plastic car mats and keep the interior of your car clean so that rust does not begin to proliferate in areas where you cannot see it.
Work With The Experienced Auto Body Professionals For Repairing Rust On Your Car
If you have noticed rust on your vehicle and would like to tackle it before the issue becomes even worse, be sure to reach out to an auto body shop that has experience in rust repair. Robs Customs & Restorations would be happy to evaluate the current condition of your car and offer advice not only on how to remove the current rust, but to prevent rust from reoccurring. Reach out to schedule an appointment with a technician.