Rust is like a plague. It can corrode even the most robust metal if given a chance. This makes learning how to prevent rust on car from spreading a top priority to avert wear and tear.
The good news is that you can stop and prevent rust from eating your vehicle parts for a long time.
Nevertheless, despite the many tweaks you can use, using the correct products and following the recommended steps is non-negotiable. Also, there is no set age for a car to rust.
Don’t worry. This article will take you through every aspect of how to prevent rust on a car from spreading. But first, let’s understand the types you can expect.
Types of rust on a car
- Surface rust: It affects dents on the top layer of car panels. It is the first you may notice when corrosion kicks in. Attending the affected areas is crucial to avoid the spread and maintain the car’s glamour.
- Scale rust: It occurs after neglecting a car for long, causing corrosion of the body panels. Road salt is a major culprit to speed up and spread rust to other parts of a car.
- Penetrating rust: It is the most damaging type of them all. It occurs because of overlooking the need to prevent surface and scale rust.
How to Prevent Rust on Car from Spreading
How you prevent rust from spreading depends on its location on the car. Use the following tweaks:
1. Wash with clean water
Some people forgo washing their cars, leave alone using clean water. This gives rust ample time to accumulate and spread to different panels.
A wise approach is to form a habit of cleaning your car with clean running water after several days.
If you live near the ocean, washing every day will be better. Don’t use household soap—it will stripe off the bodywork wax and leave it vulnerable to rust. Use car wash shampoo instead.
Also, avoid dirty water since it often creates room for dirt particles to stick on the paint or wax. Be sure to use a pipe cleaner to dry the remaining water on the holes after washing.
2. Buff, wax, and paint the affected areas
Whenever rust penetrates beyond the surface, use an aggressive abrasion device such as a grinding wheel to bright the metal. This is called buffing and requires the car to be clean and dry.
Ensure you mask the headlights, moldings, taillights, plastics, and any other part you want to buff.
Start buffing to remove oxidation on scratches and rusted panels. Apply the buffing compound and spread it around the car.
Once the surface gains a hazy look, wipe with a fiber towel, and repeat the process using polish. Now wax the surface to give it a mirror-smooth wet look—wait for it to dry a little before wiping with another fiber towel.
You can also apply primer paint to prevent rust from retaking and penetrating the surface. But again, confirm you don’t leave any paint bubbles behind—they often contain a mixture of water and air, which explodes to cause rust.
3. Avert scratches
You may wonder how you can prevent scratches, yet some accidents are inevitable. Fine, it is understandable, but you can do the following:
- Avoid parking under leaking roof gutters. The water often contains rust from the roofing.
- Avoid parking over pools of rainwater. The water often has rust-causing contaminants.
- Avoid roads that are under construction or maintenance. Pebbles can stick in the wheel wells, causing rust.
- Avoid placing heavy stuff on the car hood. They may dent the surface and create room for rust.
- Cover your car when parking for a long time in areas with birds. Their droppings have chemicals that can destroy the paint and cause rusting.
4. Note weak spots
Beyond checking the external bodywork, pay attention to the wheel wells, exhaust, suspensions, doors, frame rails, and areas around the windscreen.
Be sure to assess the undercarriage, the engine, and the connection points of the side mirrors. You can use a flashlight to check for signs of bubbles or cracks since they are significant causes of rust.
5. Use rust converters and inhibitors
Of course, you will often see small rusted surfaces or scratches that don’t require you to buff or wax the car.
What do you do instead? Well, apply rust inhibitors and convertors. Achieving this will prevent corrosions from spreading. Use:
- FDC Ultra Rust Converter:This will turn rust into an inert coating, preventing water and air from entering the bodywork. You may need to scrub and apply a second coat of the convertor if the affected areas are deep.
- Rust Preventive coating: This is the best substance for cars in snowy climates. It dries fast and leaves a hard surface free from moisture and cracks. It is unnecessary to paint after applying unless you wish to enhance the finish.
Frequently Asked Questions on Rust in Vehicles
1. What causes rust on a car?
Rust is a reddish-brown coat that develops on iron after oxidation. This happens when iron reacts with water, salt, and oxygen, leading to corrosion.
2. What can I do if rust reaches the Swiss cheese stage?
Choices are limited, but you can patch-weld the affected area or replace it with another panel.
3. How much does it cost to repair rusted panels at a garage?
This depends on the extent of damage to the bodywork of your car. You can expect to pay anywhere between $36 and $200 per hour.
4. How can I prevent rust from reoccurring in my car?
Applying a WD-40 coat is the best shot to ensure you protect and keep the car parts dry in all weather conditions. Use a nozzle to apply the WD-40 coat in small parts.
Now that you know how to prevent rust on a car from spreading, why not get to work and fix what you can handle?
After you are done, ensure you seal the product containers and store them for later use.
Doing this will prevent them from degrading. For the other panels that need specialized attention, get a certified mechanic to fix the problems.
Note, the quicker you address the rust problem, the greater the chances of restoring the original look of your car.