Car Rust: Everything You Need To Know About Prevention

Modern cars are resilient things and, generally speaking, don’t easily rust. But car rust can and does happen regardless of the model. Here’s what you need to know…

What Causes Rust?

There’s no definite age when a car will start to rust – with there being a host of different variables. Over time, all cars will face an inevitable degree of wear and tear and this can damage protective coatings; exposing a car’s metal bodywork to the elements. Most modern cars are made of rust-proof materials, but they’re not perfect. Here are some of the things that can lead to a car rusting…

Climate: Generally speaking, the climate you drive in can have a big impact on whether your car will rust or not. For example, sleet, snow and rain all increase the chance of moisture oxidising. Salts that are used to clear road surfaces can also have a corrosive effect on a vehicle’s bodywork. Warmer temperatures also tend to speed up the rusting process.

Age: The older your car is, the more wear and tear it will have inevitably faced. Protective coating and paintwork will likely be thinner and more worn; leaving parts of the vehicle’s bodywork exposed and vulnerable.

Manufacturing: If you’re driving a particularly old car, it’s likely that its manufacturing process didn’t use non-reactive coatings. That means they’re more likely to experience corrosion.

Where You Drive: Driving off-road, in wet and sodden conditions, is a sure way to damage your car’s paint and bodywork; potentially leaving both of them exposed. So regularly traversing country roads or failing to dodge deep puddles can have a big impact.

The Different Types

There are three types of rust as far as cars are concerned. These are…

Surface: This will affect the top layer of your car and is often found in between a car’s panels. This is when you ideally want to treat the rust, as it’s yet to truly damage any parts or components.

Scale: This will form when a surface has been left to rust long enough for it to corrode a given surface. Salt from road surfaces is often to blame.

Penetrating: The most advanced and damaging type, which can eat away at entire components or sections of your vehicle; potentially rendering them useless.

Parts That Tend To Rust

Any part of your car can succumb to rust, but some parts and components are more vulnerable than others. It’ll typically start between panels and work its way outwards. Exterior paint-bubbling will usually be the first sign that something’s wrong. You should pay extra attention to your car’s suspension system, exhaust, wheel wells and frame rails – as these are all particularly exposed. It’s also wise to regularly inspect the doors (inside and out), outline of the windscreen and boot floor in older models.

How To Prevent It

Keep Things Dry: If you often drive in adverse weather, or happen to live near the sea, your car will benefit from being kept dry. If you’ve got a garage, it makes sense to keep your car stored in it. If not, consider investing in a car cover.

Don’t Forget To Rinse: Don’t worry, you don’t need to get dozens of cleaning utensils out. Simply giving your car a good rinse with water will dislodge dirt and grime that can aid rust. Just remember to thoroughly dry everything once you’re done.

Wax And Oil: Wax and oils are tried and tested ways of providing your car with an extra layer of protection – regardless of whether you drive an old or newer car. Just make sure to get decent products.

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The Autoserve Club can save you time, money and stress. Club Members can receive discounts on servicing and new tyres and will gain access to our professional 24/7 helpline. To learn more, contact our friendly Service Advisers on 0121 521 3500 today.

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