Preventing rust on your car can be a rather simple task if you possess the knowledge of how to do it. Most people know that it takes much more to remove rust than to prevent it. Preventing rust on your car might take a mere half an hour every week, and will probably only cost a few dollars for the cost of water, soap, and a can of rust proofing; whereas, removing rust could take up to 8 hours per rusted area, and could run you up a bill in the thousands, even by doing it yourself. It should also be known that rust spreads faster than an email virus; once the smallest area has rust present, the larger area around it will soon be rusted, and so on.
With all of the negative effects of rust being mentioned, it seems like a pretty good idea to prevent it from beginning, doesn't it? However, for some reason, we all see over 50 percent of cars driving around with rusted quarter panels, doors, and floorboards. This rusty trend can be attributed to a lack of knowledge, time, and effort for preventing rust; or a combination of all three factors for that matter. This article is designed to provide you with the knowledge of the most basic skills to prevent rust on your car; if you utilize all of these skills, you will surely not see any rust throughout the entire life of your car!
Wash Your Car Regularly
This is one of the most overlooked methods of rust prevention known to man. Many of the dirty chemicals that we cannot see somehow make their way onto your car when you are driving. These chemicals, when left sitting on the body of the car, eat away at the wax, clear coat, and paint of the car. Unfortunately, once these three layers have been eaten away, the only thing left is the metal. These three layers provide protection for the metal that is found on the body of the car from rust inhibiting particles; once these layers are gone, these particles can freely eat away at the metal on your car.
Fortunately for you, these dirty chemicals take about 4 days to accumulate enough (assuming that you drive as much as the average person) to begin eating away at the protective layers. That means that if you wash your car roughly twice per week, they should never be on the body long enough to begin eating away! Your main focus should be ensuring that every area of the car gets washed, including the underbody, roof, and bottoms of the bumpers. In addition to preventing rust, washing your car makes it shiny and look good. Wash your car regularly to maintain the metal's protective layers and prevent rust.
Dry Your Car Regularly
This is the least known tip in rust prevention. Liquids sitting on the body of the car can weaken those protective layers of wax, clear coat, and paint that the last paragraph spoke about. In order to prevent this you should make every effort to dry the car whenever it is possible. It is obviously not a feasible task for everyone to keep their cars dry at all times as some people don't store their cars in the garage; however, they should make every attempt to keep the metal as dry as they possibly can. This doesn't mean going outside with a towel every 10 minutes on a rainy day; however, it may mean drying the car after a wash, or drying it once it has stopped raining. Dry your car whenever it is possible to maintain the protection on the metal that the layers provide in order to prevent rust.
Clean Interior Spills
This follows the same rule as the previous paragraph about drying your car; sitting liquids promote rust through the deterioration of the protective layers. The worst part about interior spills is that they can sometimes be liquids other than water which may contain even more rust inhibiting chemicals in them. What I would recommend is carrying a small shark vacuum (that has the ability to vacuum liquids) in the trunk of your car, along with a small towel. By doing this you are prepared for nearly any spill that could occur in the interior of your car; you could suck up the bulk of the liquid with the vacuum, and then dry the excess liquid with the cloth. Interior spills are the main cause of rusty floorboards and interior body parts; clean them up as soon as they occur and you will have no problem preventing rust from forming in the interior of your car.
Salty roads...don't we love them? Well we love them because they eliminate the slippery ice that can cause accidents; however, the fact of the matter is that they are horrible for preventing rust from occurring on our cars. Salt eats away at the metals of our cars in the same way that it eats away at the ice on the road! There are 2 ways to go about preventing rust through avoiding salt. The first way is to avoid salt coming into contact with your car entirely. This means storing your car throughout the salty season of the winter; many people purchase a second car and use it as a "winterbeater". The second way is to remove the salt quickly after it comes into contact with your car. This method will allow you to drive your car throughout the winter; however, it will also make the car wash your best friend. In order to do this effectively you must wash your car every day that you drive it while coming into contact with salt. This may seem annoying, but it allows you to only purchase one car, and drive it solely throughout the year. Whichever option that you choose, avoiding salt partially or entirely will help to prevent rust on your car.
Use Rust Proofing
This is the most commonly used method of rust prevention as it is advertised as being the most effective. It usually has a hefty cost associated with it when done professionally but can be well worth the cost if done correctly. Rust proofing contains chemicals that counteract the effects of rust inhibiting particles, making it much harder for them to eat at the metal of the car enough to actually begin to rust. A cheaper alternative would be to purchase a simple rust proofing spray can and do it yourself. One of those spray cans will cost you about $16 in most automotive stores, and will effectively cover one section (similar size to a door of the car) of the car. A professional rust proofing job will run you up about $500 in most provinces in North America; however, this involves rust proofing the interior of your doors, roof, trunk, and hood...areas that would be extremely hard to reach if you decide to do it yourself. Whichever option you choose, the professional or do it yourself method, be sure to use rust proofing on throughout your car to prevent rust from forming on the metal of your car.
Rust can be 10 times harder to take out than to prevent entirely; moreover, a little bit of extra time, effort, and money will pay off throughout the long run as they will prevent rust on your car. Of course it is easier to simply purchase the car and just drive it without worrying about the rust. However, this short term mentality will prove to put you in last place in 7 years when your best friend, who had used rust prevention methods, is cruising with smooth metal while your car is covered with rust! Use rust prevention methods if you plan to keep your car longer than 5 years as they will save you money, time, and effort over the long run!