Three Ways To Prevent Rust On Your Car

Do you live somewhere where rust in an issue, such as near the ocean or in a locale where they salt the roads to melt ice? If so, then rust is a real concern that can shorten the lifespan or at least detract from the value of your car. The following tips can help you prevent rust.

Tip #1: Set up a washing and detailing schedule

The best prevention against rust is to keep salt off your car, which you can do by washing it. If you live somewhere with salty air or a lot of moisture, then schedule a weekly washing. For cold winter areas, wash as soon as the weather rises above freezing. Places to focus on are the undersides of the car and inside the wheels and wheel wells. Washing the outside isn't enough, though. You also need to open the doors and clean out the metal around the edges, as well as open the hood and trunk to do the same thing. Leaving any salt residue on the car increases the chances of rust, so paying attention to details is important.

Tip #2: Repair scratches and chips frequently

Generally, rust is only an issue on exposed metal, so keeping your paint job in good repair can help prevent it. Keep a touch-up paint kit on hand and repair any small chips or scratches as soon as you notice them. The key to success is to gently sand off any rust that has started in a chip, then use a two-part touch-up kit that allows you apply color first followed by clear coat. If you can touch up right away, then apply a car wax in the interim. The wax provides a temporary barrier against moisture and rust.

Tip #3: Apply an undercoat to the car

The underside of your car tends to be subjected to more salt and moisture, so it is more likely to rust out. You can avoid this by having an undercoating applied to the underside of your car. This creates a waterproof membrane, similar to waxing, that protects your car. There are generally two options, either oil or wax undercoatings. Oil is somewhat messy but inexpensive, yet it does require periodic reapplication. Wax undercoating is long lasting and doesn't wear off as easy, so it is a better choice in areas where salt and rust is a year around concern. If you're looking for the best undercoating for trucks or cars, talk with your local auto body shop.