Do It Yourself: Rinse off for Rust Prevention

January 10, 2012

Rust is like an iceberg. It’s size and impact can be larger than you realize.

Keeping your vehicle free of rust can prevent damages and failures. It also maintains the appearance and value of the car. At Rad Air, we do not repair auto body rust problems, but we often repair vehicle failures caused by rusted parts. You can avoid a visit to a mechanic by taking steps to prevent rust.

Rust is the corrosion of metal that occurs in the presence of moisture and salt. There are a few areas of your vehicle which are particularly susceptible to rust:

• Your Engine and Trunk Compartments – Corrosion of electrical connectors and other parts beneath the hood and trunk can cause leaks, electrical shorts and other damages.

• Chassis and Frame – The metal parts connected to the frame provide a lot of nooks and crannies for collecting moisture and developing rust. Steel hydraulic brake and fuel lines, fuel tanks and filler tubes, suspension / moving parts are most susceptible to rust and moisture damage.

• The Paint – Paint is a protective shell for your vehicle’s body. Small scratches can collect moisture and cause the paint to flake off. Eventually spots, lumps, or rust may form.

What can you do to prevent rust?

Wash your vehicle once a month to remove debris and salt. This is especially important during the winter when there is salt and salt brine on the roads. You may want to rinse off your vehicle during a warmer winter day or in the garage every two weeks.

If you take a road trip to a seaside destination, wash the car when you get home to remove salt which may have come in contact with the vehicle from water or air; gently spray or wash off the front of the vehicle and under the hood to remove the salt. Spray down the radiator and A/C condenser and all exposed items behind the grill area.

Wax your vehicle a minimum of twice per year to protect the paint.

Periodically, inspect your vehicle for scratches or rust spots. If rust has already formed, determine if it can be repaired or needs to be removed. Ask a trusted auto body shop for their professional opinions. Some products on the market can remove and repair minor rust spots. Avoid costly replacements and repairs with a simple wash and rinse!

Notice the corrosion around the brakes. Not only is there rust, a little frog has been hanging out here too!