There is nothing worse than seeing rust on our cars because that's a signal that we are not paying attention to the important details. To find a brown spot on the fender, a bubble in the paint on the bottom of a door, floors soaked suddenly after hitting a puddle, these are situations that scare us because they imply that something is not right and that we should invest money to solve it before it's too late.
But the truth is that there are many beliefs about rust and how it happens, if it can be controlled or not, and reasons that cause it. According to Dinitrol, "rust is the common term name for iron oxide to describe the process when iron or a metal containing iron that is weakened due to being exposed to oxygen and moisture for a long period. This process is commonly evident on door hinges, bike chains, and padlocks especially when exposed to outdoor weather conditions", meanwhile, How Stuff Works explains that "Because rust only needs an anode, cathode, and electrolyte to form, cars are susceptible to it. The metal in your car can act as the anode and cathode. Water is an electrolyte. If the climate is humid enough, your car can develop rust even if it's under cover."
So today we will talk about certain urban legends that exist regarding rust and some factors that we should take into account regarding this issue. In this way we can avoid it in the future and give better care to our vehicle.
20 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, (or even a few). A high-quality rust-proofing job should last up to ten years.
19 True: Rust Proofing Is Ideal For Any Vehicle
Investing in the rust proofing process is always a good option because it helps to prevent rusting of iron and steel objects.
Luckily, rust proofing is a procedure that can be applied to any type of vehicle, and even though most cars built these days aren’t going to completely rust out like you’d see decades ago, in any case, is always important to give the necessary care to our car at home with the right products.
At the moment when we begin to notice signs of corrosion, we can apply this type of procedure. In this way, we will be significantly lengthening our car's life.
18 Not True: Rust Is Irreparable
How many times have we heard the deadly phrase "if you already have rust on your car you can't get a rust proofing?" Too many. But this is a common myth in the streets, the reality is that although the car has signs of oxidation, it can be fixed.
We must also remember that there are different types of rust proofing, so depending on how severe our case is a specialist can tell us what the best option is.
According to Mighty Auto, "a new rust spot can be grinded down and retouched so that it is not an issue. Now granted, if a rust spot is allowed to build and grow, there may not be much that can be done. Still, if caught early, a car can be salvaged and rust can be repaired."
17 True: Most Surface Rust Happens When Paint Breaks Down
Small details matter and the first sign that surface rust can occur is when the paint is broken down by mechanical damage or otherwise.
This is the most common oxidation problem in cars and the easiest to solve.
Popular Mechanics suggest, "it's best to correct surface rust as soon as you see it. The fix is not unlike general paint repair. Start by using an abrasive wheel or sandpaper to cut through the paint and corrosion until clean, bright metal is visible. Next, apply primer, followed by paint, then clear coat. Buff to blend the finishes."
16 Not True: Cars Must Be Rust Proofed Before Rust Appears
If your vehicle has already developed rust in various parts of the body, do not panic, you still have several solutions available to solve the problem. What many people do not know is that although a process of oxidation has already begun in the car, the process can still be slowed down by using rust proofing. Also, when we apply this type of techniques in our car, even when there are already rust features in the body, we help to protect the parts that are in better condition.
Moreover, it is always advisable to ask a specialist what is best for our specific case. In that way, we can prevent the rust from spreading further.
15 True: Waxing A Car Before The First Snowfall Is A Good Idea
Sometimes the solutions to future problems lie in the basics. What many people do not know is that applying wax to our vehicles with some frequency and washing them helps not only to make the car look clean and highlight the color, but also we are helping to extend the life of the paint.
And when it comes to rust, if we make sure to properly apply wax on our vehicle before the first snowfall, we are helping to create an extra layer of protection before the change of season, so we slow down the rust creation process.
14 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."
13 True: Rust Can Occur Anywhere On The Body Of The Car
Unlike what many people think, oxidation can occur on any part of our vehicle, and often in less visible areas. A common myth is that oxidation always occurs on the surface of the body where we can notice it instantly.
The truth is that rust travels through the body of the car, and if we are negligent and we do not pay attention to the signs of early rust (in addition to taking care of our vehicle with the right products) we'll face severe problems that will not only affect the look of our car, but also, will cost us a lot money.
Noxudol explains that "once rust comes in, it spreads quickly to other parts thus leaving car owners with a major concern about how to stop rust effectively."
12 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.
11 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.
10 Not True: We Can’t 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.
9 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 water’s 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.
8 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 aren’t 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, won’t see much benefit in rust proofing save for a slightly higher residual value. If you plan on owning you’re a vehicle for the long haul, rust proofing may contribute to maintaining your vehicle for longer."
7 True: Galvanized Steel Is Widely Used By Car Manufacturers
Galvanization is a term that has lately become popular among manufacturers due to the results. So, let me put you in context, the iron in a car reacts with oxygen to form rust which is iron oxide.
This oxidation process can be prevented by coating the iron with a suitable non-reactive element. When this element is zinc, the process is called galvanization.
The process is pretty low-cost, that's why many automakers are working with it. Besides that the coating of zinc protects our car 100% from rusting because oxygen and zinc don’t react like iron and oxygen do, so galvanized steel doesn’t rust.
6 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.
5 True: A Vehicle's Lifespan Can Be Increased
Usually, the life of a car is between 8 and 15 years, but with the necessary care it can be extended. If we invest time in taking care of our vehicle, we do not expose it to changes of severe climates without the necessary protection, wash it when it is due and with the necessary products, we will be able to expand its useful life and save a few thousand dollars.
Doing things such as waxing our car quite often, treating the undercarriage with an anti-corrosion oil from a car parts store, washing the vehicle, and avoiding splashing into puddles or getting near salt trucks will help us to avoid corrosion.
4 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 you’ve 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 car’s underbody. The easy thing to do is to wash underneath your car with a pressure washer or automated car wash."
3 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."
2 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.
1 True: Rust Drops A Car's Value
Cars are an investment. They aren't just to transport us from one point to another, so we must take care of every detail from mechanical performance to aesthetic.
Rust is like cancer for vehicles and if we do not take care of the small details it will not only cost us more than buying a new vehicle, but at the moment we decide we want to sell it, the value will decline, and this is because nobody will invest in a car that has corrosion problems because the investment of money to fix those problems will be more expensive than what they paid initially for the car, and that's why sometimes prevention is better than a cure.