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What causes rust on cars and how to deal with it

  • Car Care Tips
  • Samuel Green
  • 5 minutes

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Believe it or not, rust spots on a car hurt more than heartbreaks. Sadly, we cannot fix your broken heart, but we can help you get rid of those ‘evil brown spots’ from your car. Keep reading to know what causes rust on cars and how to prevent them from occurring.     

Cars are not made of Valyrian steel or vibranium, and if you’re a little careless, your car’s wicked nemesis can demolish it beyond recognition. What’s worse, if you don’t intervene, your prized possession can turn into a worthless heap of metal over time. However, by being a little proactive and following the right preventive measures, you can protect your vehicle from rust damage.    

What causes rust on cars   

We need to delve into a little bit of chemistry to explain this process. Rust is formed because of oxidation. The process in which iron reacts with water and moisture and turns into iron oxide or rust. The steel from which your automobile is made also contains iron, making them susceptible to rust. From using alloy materials to adding a highly durable coating to the steel, over the years, the automobile industry has tried and tested different methods to slow down or eliminate the rusting of your car. But, the truth is rusting cannot be eliminated, and the process is inevitable despite all these modern car exterior protections. However, you can delay or prevent the process by inspecting your car regularly and following certain preventive measures.    

Rust on near car wheels and door

Types of rust on cars  

Here are the three kinds of rust that affect your automobile:

Surface rust: This usually affects the top layer of the car and can be found in scratches, nicks, and paint damages. You can easily clear this if found early. 

Scale rust: Scale rust occurs if you don’t eliminate the surface rust. Over time, the rust on the surface can corrode the body panels and strip the paint of other parts, leaving the bare metal exposed.  

Penetrating rust: This is the most dangerous and damaging type of rust. The penetrating rust develops if you let the surface and scale rust grow. It can eat away your car’s parts and panel or, worse, can even compromise the structural integrity of your vehicle.  

Reason for rust on cars  

Some of the most common reasons for car rust are mentioned below:   

Salt  

Exposure to salt can make your car more vulnerable to rust. The salt applied on the road to clear off snow can get stuck on your car’s underbody and, if not cleaned immediately, can cause rusting. You may not notice this since the parts are out of your sight. Also, if you’re living close to the ocean, the high salt content in the air can speed up the rusting process.   

Climate   

If left unprotected, rain, snow, and humidity can wreak havoc on your vehicle. Yes, cars are made to withstand tough conditions. However, if you don’t prepare or care for them over time, rust can eat away the car’s body.   

Read: Top tips for a perfect car wash in winter

Poor maintenance  

Improper car maintenance is often the main reason for rusting. Regular car maintenance can help spot the rusting at its initial stage, and you can clear it off before it worsens. Are you looking for a comprehensive car maintenance checklist? Here’s the only car maintenance checklist you will ever need for hassle-free vehicle maintenance.   

Old car with rust on its exterior

How to prevent rust   

By rustproofing your car  

There are multiple rustproofing options available today, from installing an electronic module into your to using drip oil spray. Talk with your mechanic and choose a method that best suits your vehicle’s needs. Also, consider the expenses and age of your car – you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a really old car!  

Car waxing  

If you’re looking to protect your car from rusting, car waxing is a great option. In addition to making your car shine, car waxing can create a layer of protection for your paint, protects it from attacks from contaminants, and help prevent rusting.    

Park it safely  

If you leave your car parked out in the open, dirt, grime, leaf stain, tree sap, acid rain, and other contaminants can damage your car’s exterior and make it more susceptible to rusting. We recommend you park your vehicle in a garage whenever possible or use a cover.   

Wash your car regularly  

A regular car wash can help clear off the dirt and grime as soon as possible, thus reducing the chances of rusting. If you’re adept at handwashing techniques, you can wash your vehicle at home. However, for great results, you can visit a professional car wash near you. Also, make sure you get your car’s undercarriage cleaned to clear any blocked drain holes and other contaminants that can cause corrosion. Start using the Way.com app or website to find the best car washes near you. With Way.com, you can now book affordable and top-rated car washes near you without any trouble.   

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Read our blogs for information on the best airport parking and hourly parking spots near you and the most affordable insurance for your car.


 

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