Spring has officially landed! It’s that time of year when the cold weather and snowy driving conditions have calmed down and drivers can now focus on driving in better road conditions. With this in mind, it’s very important to give your vehicle a rust inspection to see how it held up against the salted roads during those tricky winter months. Protecting your vehicle from rust is something of a necessity and not just something that should be done for the sake of it. We know that rust prevention is something that many car owners think about from time to time, so with this post, we’ll briefly explore some of the dangers of rust, the importance of rust prevention and provide a few helpful tips to get you going.
To begin, let’s examine exactly how vehicles get affected by rust. One big cause of vehicle rust is road salts used to melt snow and ice in winter conditions. it can take a toll on vehicles after several winters of driving. Also, because most vehicles are typically built with exposed underbodies, it can be difficult to detect the effects and early signs of rust, which can potentially leave you with expensive repair costs. Something we’d like to note, is that we’re not against putting salt on roads during the winter season as it is instrumental in keeping drivers safe. What we’re doing however, is providing drivers the information they need to curb the side effects of salt on their vehicles.
Rust doesn’t just affect vehicle aesthetics, it can also affect a vehicle’s hydraulic and mechanical systems through repeated exposure to salt. Another cause of rust issues for vehicles is location – the geographic location where you drive certainly impacts how much your vehicle will suffer from the effects of rust. If you drive regularly in areas that have a lot of water vapor in the air (i.e. humidity), your vehicle may be worse off than if you drove in dryer climate areas. This isn’t something that is totally within the control of many vehicle owners, so what are some of the best ways to prevent rust?
If you Google “how to prevent vehicle rust”, you’ll find that there are over 370,000 search results on the topic. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here’s our list of the top ways to prevent vehicle rust from starting or if your vehicle is already affected, how to stop it from spreading.
This is probably the most common recommendation when it comes to rust prevention. With rustproofing, there can be an initial reaction that it’s a waste of money, but, in the long run you’ll be glad you took the step. Rustproofing involves the use of an oil treatment or undercoating spray to cover up and protect areas of a vehicle that are vulnerable to rust damage. How often should you need to take this step? Typically, the recommendation will be to rust proof your vehicle once a year, but if you think that to be excessive, you can rust proof every other year to keep your vehicle looking good, and performing at a top-notch level. Also, depending on your manufacturer, there’s additional information in the Owner’s Manual about corrosion prevention.
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PERFORM REGULAR UNDERBODY INSPECTIONS
Following directly from the first tip, regularly inspecting the underbody of your vehicle can help prevent rust before it even begins. Prior to undercoating, try to get into a habit of performing regular underbody inspections to check that areas that are typically prone to rust are still in good shape. The next time you take your vehicle in for an oil change, or a wheel alignment, use that opportunity to check for signs of rust. If you’re going to perform the underbody inspection yourself, make sure to take neccesary precaution like using a vehicle jack and a spotter. One more thing you can do in addition to underbody inspections is to wash the underbody off with a hose (on full blast) during each car wash to remove salt and dirt can help you mitigate the dangers of rust.
WAX THE EXTERIOR
Applying a wax polish to your car’s exterior will not only keep it looking shiny, but it will also help protect your car’s paint and keep the moisture off it. The protective coat will protect the exposed metal parts of your vehicle, even those present in the interior of your vehicle too. There are so many options out there when it comes to wax, but you wouldn’t need anything heavy duty to keep your car protected from rust. Whether you get it done at home or get it done professionally, by waxing you’re getting a head start in protecting your car against rust many months before the winter comes back around. In addition, waxing has proven to be an effective rust prevention technique for cars over time because corrosive chemicals and road salt won’t have enough time to settle on the surface of your vehicle. You know what else is great about waxing? It makes washing so much easier.
TO SUM UP
While the bodies of newer vehicles are designed to better withstand corrosion damage, there are still parts of cars that are left exposed and are vulnerable to rust damage. That’s why it’s important to regularly inspect your vehicle for any signs of wear or rust. While nothing is ever 100% guaranteed, actively taking steps to prevent rust from affecting your vehicle will put you in good stead in the long run. Just think of all the benefits you can get like higher resale value, optimal performance and lower repair costs.
There you have it! Three of the most effective tips to help you prevent rust damage on your vehicle(s). Don’t stop here, there’s a vast library of resources online that will provide some additional insights on rust prevention and if your vehicle is already affected, ways to stop the damage from spreading to other exposed parts of your vehicle.