Whether you drive a brand-new vehicle or have a classic car, one of your biggest enemies can be rust. If you keep your car in a garage, you can avoid a lot of the factors that cause rust. But even cars that are kept inside, they’re still exposed to the elements most of the time.
It can be really disappointing to watch your car rust over time. No matter how great care you take of your vehicle, there is only so much you can do when it comes to battling the natural elements.
Some of these natural elements are rain, humidity, salt air, and extreme temperatures.
If you want to keep your car looking shiny and new, it’s important that you do what you can to prevent rust.
And, it’s equally important that you treat rust spots as soon as you find them. This can prevent the rust from spreading and causing further damage to your car.
How to Stop Rust on Car
What Causes Your Car Rust?
A lot of people know that water can cause rust. When metal objects – like a car or SUV – are exposed to water, they can start to rust.
This is due to something called oxidation. Oxidation is the chemical process that occurs when metal objects are exposed to things like water, humidity, and salt.
Here are some of the most common causes of rust:
Inclement or Extreme Weather
No matter where you live, your car is going to be exposed to some form of inclement weather.
You’ll have to contend with rain, sleet, ice or snow. If you live in certain regions, you’ll have to deal with all four of these elements.
When your car gets wet, the oxidation process starts. The metal in your car reacts to the moisture and start to break down.
This is why it’s important that, for people who live in wet or cold climates, they house their car in a garage whenever possible.
People who live in the seaside or coastal areas are at greater risk of developing rust in their car.
The combination of rain, humidity and salt air can wreak havoc on your vehicle. It is the perfect storm for creating rust.
The weather and salt air aren’t the only things that can cause rust. If you don’t take good care of your car, it will be more likely to develop rust. It’s critical that you wash your car regularly.
You also need to take care of small dents and scratches immediately, or they can become much bigger problems.
Now that you know what causes rust, it’s important to find out what you can do to treat and prevent rust.
It’s Importance to Treat Rust Immediately Before It Spreads
Once you notice rust spots on your car, you need to treat them right away. Otherwise, they’ll slowly start to spread to other parts of your car.
You have to inspect your car often to make sure there aren’t any rust spots. You also need to look in spots like the undercarriage, or rust can go unnoticed.
If you do detect rust, there are a few things you can do to treat it. Some of these include:
- Gently scrape the rust off using a razor or piece of sandpaper. It’s important that you are careful not to scratch the paint, or you’ll have bigger problems to deal with.
- Once you’ve scraped off the rust, you should apply a rust arrestor. You can buy this in any hardware or auto repair store. The kit will come with a small brush with which to apply the protector. If there is no brush, a Q-tip will suffice.
- After applying the protector, let it dry completely. Once it has dried, you’ll want to apply a thin coat of primer to the affected area.
- The last thing you’ll want to do is apply paint to any discolored areas. Make sure the paint is as close a match to your car’s color. Otherwise, the spots will stand out and make your car look bad.
So, we’ve explained how to treat rust. But if you can prevent rust before it happens, you won’t have to worry about treating it.
Tips to Prevent Your Car from Rusting
It’s a lot easier to prevent rust than it is to treat it. Prevention can also help keep your car looking new and well taken care of. Here are a few tips that will help you prevent rust and minimize it spreading.
- Wash your car regularly. It’s a good idea to wash your car weekly, if possible. During cold weather, you’ll want to wash it at least once or twice a month. This way, you can remove any residue left by salt from the roads.
- Wash using a combination of soap and baking soda. This will help remove salt and buildup from your car.
- You need to wax your car at least twice a year. This will help seal your car and prevent the water and moisture from affecting the car’s surface.
- If you notice small dents and scratches, cover them with clear nail polish. This will keep any rust from spreading to other parts of the car.
- Get your car professionally treated. A body shop can apply professional rust-proofing. It’s well worth the cost as it can help prevent rust from all areas of your car.
- Always dry your car after washing it or after driving through wet or inclement weather. This way, the moisture won’t get a chance to permeate your car’s coating.
Some Helpful Hints to Prevent Your Car from Rusting
When it comes to your car rusting, it’s not rocket science. While there are scientific reasons for why your car can rust, you really just need to use some common sense.
This is why most cars don’t have any rust problems. When you spend thousands of dollars on your vehicle, you need to take care of it.
Some general tips when it comes to preventing and treating rust include:
- Wash your car often
- Have your car professionally treated to both prevent and treat rust
- Try to protect your car from the elements
- Wax your car twice a year
If you follow these helpful hints and take good care of your car, your car will take good care of you!