Not True: Rust Proofing Is Required Annually
There are two types of people with regard to this problem, those who believe that it is not necessary to apply a rust proofing to our vehicles and those who believe that it should be done too often. And the golden rule is simple, nothing in excess is good.
The important thing is to get a company and qualified personnel to perform this type of procedure on our vehicle. If the person does it correctly, the result can last a couple years, . A high-quality rust-proofing job should last up to ten years.
Not True: Washing A Car Frequently Makes It More Prone To Rust
Some people have the mistaken perception that washing a car regularly is not a good idea because it can cause damage to the paint and corrosion problems, but in reality, it’s the opposite. By washing our car we eliminate all those impurities that stick to the body and can cause corrosion over time.
Mike Quincy, an Automotive Analyst at Consumer Reports, explains, wash a car regularly, especially in the winter after youve been driving on salted roads” is a good way to keep our car as rust free as possible. “Driving over this salt could spray it deep into your cars underbody. The easy thing to do is to wash underneath your car with a pressure washer or automated car wash.”
How To Know If A Car Is Too Rusty
When it comes to rust, deciding when it needs addressing from a professional can be difficult. In some respects, rust seems harmless, nothing more than an eyesore on the family hatchback.
But, you can generally find out if rust needs immediate attention by inspecting the areas of a car most prone to rusting and diagnosing the stage of the rust. The combination of rust stage and location will determine the severity of the situation.
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Is Rust On The Underbody Of A New Vehicle Normal
The answer weve come up with is: Kind of. Once upon a time, most automakers painted the underbody, so it looked shiny and new at the purchase point and probably for a few years beyond. Similar to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, however, rust is inevitable. Once that paint chips, the rust will creep in. It just may not happen immediately.
Due to cost concerns, most automakers have stopped painting undercarriages because it saves money, and its not really that big of a deal. I mean, who other than our publisher regularly crawls around under their vehicles? So, why pretty-up something most people never see? Especially when it mostly wont cause a problem.
Well, as Eric Mayne, media relations manager for vehicle safety/quality/regulatory compliance at Stellantis, points out: Its a customer satisfaction issue.
The automakers weve discovered so far who still coat or paint the underbody? Toyota Motor Sales and Stellantis .
Mayne confirmed the automaker uses a process called eCoating for the underbody parts, which basically coats everything from the frame to the drive shaft in a resin polymer solution.
A recent 2021 Jeep Wrangler test vehicle with the Stellantis eCoating shows no sign of surface rust after more than 1,400 miles in the midwest.
Not True: We Cant Rust Proof Our Own Vehicle
Technically, yes we can, there are products on the market, such as rustproofing kits, specially designed to apply on our vehicles and prevent rust from the comfort of our home.
However, it is always advisable to visit a specialized center in our town that can offer a quality result with professionals trained in this type of problem.
In general, these centers have elevators for vehicles which allow easy access to the area of the underbody, making easy the application of the protective coating at 100%. The products mentioned above are ideal as a precautionary measure but when oxidation is already seen, it is best to go to a specialized center.
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Not True: You Shouldn’t Get Rust Proofing After Winter Has Started
Each change of season can become the worst enemy of our car, and of course, drastic weather changes do not help with rust.
And although winter can become one of the most complicated seasons for rust proofing our vehicle, there is no evidence that will affect the results regarding the quality of the process. Mighty Auto explains that “the real culprit when trying to rust proof is salt, dirt, and buildup. As long as your vehicle is thoroughly cleaned off, then you should be okay. Also, even if the process is affected by the weather, some added protection is always better than none.”
Not True: Repairing Is Cheaper Than Preventing
Something that people usually do not think is that the cost of repairing damage by oxidation is always more expensive than investing in products or processes to avoid it and this is because after we find rust traits, whether mild or severe, in our vehicle we will probably need to incur other repair expenses.
Therefore, preventing is better than curing. It is better to invest at an early stage in products that help us take care of our vehicle than wait for the rust to appear and try to solve it.
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Why You Should Take Car Rust Seriously
Rust is a silent car killer. It can make an expensive car look like a beater. It lowers the resale value of a vehicle, and if left untreated, will make your car unsafe to drive. Ignoring it can send your car to an early grave. But rust is treatable and can even be prevented entirely. Understanding what causes rust, and how to identify it can prevent rust from ever becoming a problem.
Not True: Rust Proofing Isn’t Worth It
Some people argue that this type of procedure is a complete waste of money, but the reality is that when we talk about rust proofing there are no simple answers, it is not black or white and by this, I mean that each case is different.
And the fact is that nowadays cars arent going to completely rust out like their predecessors.
Moreover, Readers Digest explains that we need to take into account the length of time we will own our vehicle. “Those, with a short-term lease, wont see much benefit in rust proofing save for a slightly higher residual value. If you plan on owning youre a vehicle for the long haul, rust proofing may contribute to maintaining your vehicle for longer.”
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How Much Rust Is Too Much Rust
PostsPostsnashvegasThe left side last pic = about as bad as it can get . A fix or new frame is required if you were going to keep this long term. They rust badly in the rear. I think in this photo that the frame is cracking / perforated… it’s usually quite severe in this one area because of the exhaust heat.I would never tow anything with this Disco.I’d find another one. Sadly.I was under my 2000 today changing oil and not one speck of rust on even a fastener. Granted that’s unusual and never been in a rust/salt state … but they are out there.Frames repairs and complete replacement frames are actually available…
Not True: New Cars Have Rust Protection
What happens is that most of the cars we see today on the market have plastic covers around the body of the chassis to reduce wind resistance and improve fuel economy.
However, that does not prevent large amounts of moist dirt from accumulating between the vehicle’s undercarriage and the plastic covers, which helps encourage the creation of corrosion over the years.
When we compare them with the vehicles of previous decades we can say that modern cars have an advantage over corrosion, but that does not make them immune, it simply takes longer to develop.
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True: Rust Can Appear Faster Depending On Where We Live
This idea may have never crossed your mind, but depending on where we live our car may be more likely to develop oxidation. This is mainly due to climate. It’s not the same for a person who lives in the tropics as for an individual who lives in a country with different seasons.
But one of the worst enemies of a car is salt. It’s one agent that speeds up corrosion since it improves waters ability to carry electrons, which is why people who live near beaches are more likely to have vehicles that suffer faster corrosion than a person living in the city.
Rust Repair In Summary
Surface rust can be sanded out and repainted, and possibly body-filled, but rust holes will require welding or new body panels. Surface rust on the frame rails can be repainted and undercoated, but flaking rust can seriously weaken the structure of a vehicle. On any kind of vehicle, body panels are integral to the safety cell, and any weakness can jeopardize your safety in a crash.
While car rust repair is a valuable skill, car rust prevention is undeniably more cost-efficient. Be sure to check out our previous post on how to keep rust at bay.
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Get Car Rust Repaired Before It Spreads
Once youve identified a potential problem or the early signs of rust, getting it fixed before its had a chance to spread will save you hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars later. The more rust in a vehicle, the more hours it takes to repair, and it doesnt take long to put a serious dent in your bank account.
Why Is Rust Bad For Your Car
Why is rust a danger? Because, despite irons impressive strength, iron oxide is exceedingly brittle. Think about how easy it is to crumble a flake of rust between your fingers, and then imagine that stuff trying to protect you and your loved ones during a car crash.
Most modern-day cars are engineered with extensive anti-rusting measures. These include clear-coat finishes that protect both paint jobs and body panels, as well as galvanized coatings that shield a vehicles steel body structure.
Additionally, automakers are moving away from rust-prone iron-based metals to more rust-resistant surfaces such as aluminum and carbon fiber. These materials may have their own issues, but because they dont contain iron, rust wont be one of them.
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How The Environment Makes Rust Worse
Iron oxide can occur in any place on earth, but some environments are optimal for rust to occur. People who are lucky enough to live near the ocean have to trade off the higher chance of rust due to the increased salt and humidity.
We know why water causes corrosion, but it is a poor conductor of electrons and not as efficient a conductor as salt water. Salt can also come from the air or found on the road when it snows. However the most obvious source of water remains rain. So, if you are expecting bad weather, cover your car if possible. If you live in an environment that increases the chance of rust on your car, a professionally applied protective coating can lessen the risk.
True: The Underside Of A Car Is The First Place To Check
Usually, when people think of rust on a car, the first thing they do is check the outside without worrying about what happens under it. Many times, road salt and other contaminants encourage corrosion in our cars.
This means that dirty or salty water trapped somewhere in our car’s body makes that spot rust faster. That’s why cars in northern climates, where salt is used in winter, are more prone to rot.
Dinitrol Direct suggests that “your vehicle should be inspected every year to check for corrosion damage and repair any small areas that have become exposed due to the underbody coating layer becoming damaged from road debris.”
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Wash And Wax Your Car
The easiest way to prevent rust is the most obvious: Wash and wax your car often.
Dirt can retain and trap moisture, and road salt, bird droppings, and other corrosive materials will eat away at paint if theyre left unattended on metal surfaces for long periods.
Washing your vehicle frequently will remove these corrosive materials. Waxing it on a regular basis will add a protective surface to the paint and clear coat. Wash and wax more frequently if you live near an ocean or in an area where highway crews spread salt on the roads to melt snow and ice during the winter. Salt is Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to rust prevention.
True: It’s Best To Correct Rust Quickly
When we find oxidation on the surface it is best to try to solve the problem as soon as possible. Popular Mechanics explains that “structurally, surface rust is not a problem and depending on the metal’s thickness and alloy composition, a level of ‘passivation’ may be reached.”
The longer we wait, the worse the damage will be in our car and it will take longer to solve the problem. Besides, it is essential to remember that in the early stages of oxidation it takes less time and money to fix the affected area, and in this way, we will prevent it from expanding throughout the vehicle.
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Not True: A Car Kept In A Garage Won’t Develop Rust
It is true that the external pollutants that face our vehicles daily help to wear them faster. However, keeping the car in the garage will not necessarily avoid this.
Of course, avoid exposing to the sun for long hours and routes with salt to make the vehicle’s life longer, but don’t expect even that will prevent it from developing rust at some point.
All the tips I have explained above, such as washing, waxing, and rust proofing a car serve to slow down the appearance of rust, however, after years it is normal for this to happen.
How To Fix Rust On A Car
You can apply touch-up paint to stone chips, small scratches, and other minor nicks and dings, but truly repairing rust can take several steps, a variety of tools and materials, and quite a bit of skill.
If youre skilled enough and daring enough you might be able to tackle surface rust and small rust spots. First, use fine-grit sandpaper or a razor blade to remove the rust. Then treat it with a spray-on rust inhibitor and apply primer. Finally, cover it with touch-up paint that matches the color of your vehicle. Touch-up paint is available from dealers, auto parts stores, and automotive paint suppliers.
Depending on the size and severity of the rust, blending the repaired area with the surrounding paint may require wet sanding or buffing the surface. Wet sanding involves mixing an automotive soap with water, soaking fine-grit sandpaper in the solution for several minutes, and then gently sanding the repaired area to blend it in. This is a process that requires skill and can do more harm than good if done incorrectly.
If there are larger areas that have been eaten away by rust, repair is probably best left to professionals.
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Rust Underneath Car: How Much Is Too Much
I’m thinking of buying a honda 2008. I’ve been looking around and found one that fits the bill. I spotted some rust on the underside of the car between the back wheels. I’m not sure if its ok for the age, if it needs some repair and the scale or if its time to walk away. Can anyone with experience of looking under cars of this age help?
- 1If I were the seller, I’d very actively discourage that idea. No offense, but I’m not having someone I don’t know bang a screwdriver around the underside of my car.Jan 20 ’18 at 20:53
- 1I wouldn’t buy a car whose owner wouldn’t let me test for rust this way. If it’s okay, nothing bad will happen anyway.
Its possibly just surface rust. However to check you’re going to have to do the squeeze test between fingers and thumb on the thicker structural sections, then if you still can’t determine how severe or not the rust is.. Its time to get an old screwdriver out and tap on the rustiest bits.
If the material is corroded right through holes will likely appear, this is not good especially in the structural sections,if this is the case then you may like to walk away from this one as welding will be required. If however it is just surface rust then a scrap off and clean up followed by an application of underbody protection will suffice and your good to go.
The seller should have no issues at all with you taping on the structural parts of the body to check its integrity. You need to know the vehicle is solid, & safe.
Common Locations Of Rust & Their Severity
The body panels of the car are essentially just the top portion of the vehicle. Common areas for rust to develop on body panels include the corners of the car doors, the wheel wells, and the vehicles bumper.
Most body panel rust does not require immediate attention unless it has gone beyond a surface level, but you should never ignore it. Address body panel rust quickly to prevent the need for an entire panel replacement.
Is Body Panel Rust Fixable?
Most of the time, body panels are repairable through sanding and repainting. However, if body panels have experienced penetration from rust, they usually need replacement.
Repair Urgency: Moderate
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