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How to Prevent Rust on your Car


If  you’re a car owner who likes to take particular care of your vehicle, you will want to do everything you can to prevent rust spots on your vehicle.  These blemishes can be unsightly, but if they appear in large patches, they can impact on the structural integrity of your car, as well as affecting the car’s resale value.

Importantly, if you have had a car accident no matter how small, you should get your vehicle to an auto body shop as soon as possible as leaving a large dent or a small scratch could end up with rust appearing very quickly.

Why Does Rust Appear on a Car?

Rust, also known as Iron oxide, forms when an iron-containing metal, like steel, becomes exposed to oxygen and moisture for long periods of time.  The body work of cars are made from steel because this is durable and strong metal which is readily available and mouldable. Unfortunately, as iron is a component of steel, it’s susceptible to oxidisation, so rusting!

Generally, newer vehicles are far less likely to rust than older ones. The paint used on newer cars and vans gives some level of protection, along with the use of galvanized steel, which can, under certain circumstances, last up to 70 years without corroding. However, during manufacturing, galvanized steel is cut, bent, drilled, and heated, which compromises its structural integrity. This is why areas of your car, such as panels and doors, are more likely to rust.

The primer and paint that manufacturers use on cars gives some level of protection from rust. But, if this coating is damaged in any way and gets dents or scratches, moisture can make its way in to the bare metal under the paint which is when it will then begin to rust. This is why it’s so important to get scratches and dents fixed right away.

Where you Park your Car

Rust requires an anode, cathode and electrolyte to start forming. The metal in your car gives it the anode and cathode, with water brining the electrolyte element. This is why rust is more likely to form in humid climates or if you live by the seaside due to the high salt content in these areas.

Salt water is more effective at carrying electrons than water with a low salt content, which means it’s also more effective at eating away at parts of your car. The situation can be worsened if you live in a cold climate where salt is used on roads to melt ice and snow.

So, if you do live in one of these areas, then it’s best to park your vehicle under shelter such as a garage or car port.  If these covers are not an option, then park on a paved surface if possible, which exposes your vehicle to much less moisture than a surface that is covered by mud or grass.  You should also apply sealant to cracked tarmac or other hard surfaces, which expose your car to unnecessary moisture.

Because your car’s paint acts as a moisture seal, it’s also important that you take care of the paint job to maintain rust prevention. Wash your car at least once every two weeks, applying a wax coating once a month. Make sure you’re washing the underbody, as road salt and grime can collect underneath your vehicle.

Rustproofing your Vehicle

Your best defence against iron oxide is rust proofing, particularly if you want to hang onto your car for the long term. Because there are a few different methods available, you should always consult an experienced body shop repair mechanic before investing in rust proofing products.

Some of the options include:

  • Electronic models: these are the most modern methods available and involve a small device being installed in your car which emits a weak current throughout the vehicle’s body to prevent reactions with oxygen.
  • Tar-based sprays: these sprays are also known as undercoats and offer an affordable. non-invasive rustproofing option.
  • Dripless Oil Spray: are designed to protect your car’s underbody by forming a moisture seal. In general, these sprays cover a larger surface area than the tar-based sprays.
  • Drip Oil Spray: similar to a dripless spray, this has more leftover residue, and leads to dripping oil. They are generally more effective than dripless sprays, as the oil can access parts of your car that the dripless oil simply can’t reach.

Contact IPS Paint Supplies

At IPS Paint Supplies, we have a huge range of cleaning, waxing and rust proofing products.  Visit our website to find out more https://www.ipspaint.co.uk/ or call us on the number below: