How to Avoid Rust on Car
| Jeff McEachran
Your car is your baby, and you’d do anything to keep it looking pristine, right? Flashy tires, shiny colors, and every accessory you can imagine.
So, what happens if you notice that dreaded rust start to creep into the picture? You battle it head-on!
Starting with how to avoid rust on car is a great way of thinking, because it’s much easier to stop the problem before it starts. We’re going to give you the scoop on what rust is, how to prevent it, and what to do if it shows up.
How Does Rust Get On A Car?
As anyone with a basic understanding of the world knows, rust and water go hand in hand. That makes it a challenge much more common among car owners in wet climates, but it’s a problem that anyone runs a risk of facing.
Without feeling like you’ve signed up for a chemistry class, the brief origin story of rust is that it’s the result of a process called oxidation.
Basically, when iron meets moisture and you don’t break the two up, that iron eventually transforms into rust.
Carmakers are constantly trying to use new materials and designs that won’t rust, but they’re still far from eradicating the problem. And classic car lovers just need to accept this is a battle they’ll be fighting for a long time.
Why Rust Damages Your Car
In order to understand how to avoid rust on car, you need to know the different types to grasp how it can impact your vehicle. There are thee different types of rust on cars:
- Surface Rust
- Scale Rust
- Penetrating Rust
This is the most common and least severe type of rust. It typically comes from exposed metal - such as scratches or chips in the surface. In many cases, you can get rid of this yourself by sanding off all of the rusted sections.
Next up is scale rust, which often shows up as a result of not properly getting rid of the surface rust. It goes deeper and typically leaves blistered paint and/or holes and pits in your car. You can also remove this with a much more aggressive method, such as wire brushes and buffing, and keep it off by repainting and sealing the surface. However, you might want to seek out expert assistance if you’re not really sure what you’re doing.
Penetrating rust is the level you really, really want to avoid. As the name suggests, it has penetrated deeper into your car, and can actually start causing structural damage to the metals. This isn’t typically something you can fix by yourself, and in many cases, experts will need to simply replace the damaged sections.
How To Stop Rust On A Car
The good news and bad news about how to stop rust on a car is that there isn’t one magic way to do it. If you’re looking for the silver bullet to do and get it over with, you’re out of luck. But the positive part is there are a lot of small steps you can take, and they will collectively leave you with a rust-free vehicle.
Keep It Dry
This may sound like it’s stating the obvious, but it’s obvious because it’s the most important. Plus, you need to keep the whole car dry - not just the easily visible parts. Many cars have little nooks and crannies where water pools up after storms or a car wash, and they’re especially more rust-prone since they are less noticeable.
Also, many drivers don’t think about the fact that a wet interior can slowly rust and spread it to the exterior and engine areas of the vehicle.
The best way to combat this is to use a blow dryer every time your car gets wet. We produce a line of dryers that ensures there’s one for drivers of all situations, and we recommend drying all areas of your vehicle every time it takes water. This also does double duty of protecting the paint and other surfaces with minimal effort!
Apply Ceramic Coating
If you’re unfamiliar with what ceramic coating is, the easiest way to think of it is as car wax and sealant hybrid - on steroids. It’s a polymer applied to the exterior of your vehicle which forms a tough layer of protection that keeps your surfaces protected from water, salt, and all the nasty substances that would like to cause chaos. As an added benefit, it gives your car an extra shine that keeps it looking better than before you started.
There are some special techniques and products for washing a car with ceramic coating, but overall it doesn’t take much more effort than cars without it. Also, it lasts significantly longer than wax, so you’re likely to have less work ahead of you overall.
What’s the best part? It’s a top recommendation on the experts’ list of how to avoid rust on car.
Wash It Regularly
Knowing that water is the major cause of rust, it may seem counterintuitive to intentionally get your car wet on a regular basis. The truth is, though, that washing will remove all the other substances that contribute to rust.
One of the big things you need to watch out for is salt - which is common on cars living near the ocean, as well as coming up from the snow-treated streets in cold climates. Salt contributes to corrosion, which teams up with water to get that rust going at a faster pace.
You obviously want to dry your car thoroughly with a blow dryer every time you wash it, but you should aim to give a good washing roughly every two weeks (and more often in a situation where a lot of salt will be settling on your car).
How To Stop Rust Spreading On A Car
So what happens if you just noticed some rust on your car? Don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. Let’s cover how to stop rust spreading on a car:
- Identify the type of rust: Using the descriptions above, see if it’s something you can handle or if you need professional help.
- Aggressively go after it: Whether you do it or have help, make sure that you remove all the rust so that it can’t spread further.
- Clean up and seal the area: You’re likely going to need to repaint the area, and make sure to again apply coatings.
- Keep up with preventative maintenance: As you’ll now realize, it’s actually pretty easy to stop rust from appearing, but it’s difficult and expensive to remove it once it arrives.
How Can You Stop Rust On A Car?
So, as a proud owner of a beautiful machine, how can you stop rust on a car? The most effective and safest way is with:
- Regular car washes
- Blow drying any wet spots
- Applying a ceramic coating
Being one step ahead of rust from ever showing up is the way to go, and you get to spend more quality time with your baby while you’re doing it.