Corrosion is not to be taken lightly. Rust may appears when metal is exposed to moisture and, when left unchecked, can damage critical parts of the vehicle. Fortunately, rustproofing treatments are an effective way to prevent corrosion or even slow down its progression.
However, there are still questions about the practice. For example, do you have to apply treatment every year? Do you need to rustproof a new car? What about fat or oil treatments? Are electronic rustproofing devices effective?
Here’s everything you need to know about rustproofing for your car.
Why is my vehicle rusting?
Good question! Rust is an electrochemical reaction that may happen when:
- Water is exposed to the bare steel of your vehicle or gets trapped.
- A combination of salt, calcium, and other corrosives on winter roads mixes with the water on your vehicle.
How does rustproofing prevent corrosion?
A rust prevention treatment involves applying a layer of oil or grease to the metal components of the vehicle that are prone to corrosion. These include cavities or parts directly exposed to bad weather; in short, wherever rust is likely to develop.
This rust oil or grease protection creates a physical barrier between metal and the outside elements (water, salt, corrosives), preventing the electrochemical reaction from occurring.
How often should I rustproof my car?
The frequency of the treatment depends on several factors.
First, learn about the vehicle’s level of protection. Well-protected cars will be fitted with protective plates in strategic places, such as the bottom of the doors, the vehicle’s underside, exhaust components, etc. A trained mechanic can advise you on your vehicle’s risk to develop rust.
Where you live and how you use your car will also influence how often you may need to visit a rustproofing shop. A vehicle that is used regularly near salt water will be more prone to rust. A vehicle traveling more than 50,000 km per year has a higher risk of rusting than one that does not travel much. Parts deformed by impact or paint chips revealing bare metal will be among the first to produce rust.
According to Testingauto.com, for an average, mid-range, newer vehicle in Canada, good practice is to treat the vehicle at least once. Then watch for signs of corrosion every year.
Tip from the Allstate Good Hands Advice Team: When changing your summer tires to winter tires with the car on the lift, take the opportunity to check the parts that are most prone to rusting:
- Exhaust systems and pipes
- Coil springs
- Floor panels
- Frame and subframe
- Areas with peeling paint
- Door hinges
Should I rustproof a new car?
A brand new car may not need rustproofing treatment, depending on the factors listed above and the level of vehicle protection.
Take into account the anti-perforation warranty offered by the vehicle’s manufacturer. If this warranty is short and you want to keep the vehicle for a long time, you may want to opt for regular rustproofing treatment.
Does electronic rustproofing work?
Since corrosion is an electrochemical reaction, electricity can – in theory – be used to stop or slow the progression of rust on a car. The “cathodic” anticorrosion protection uses a negative electrical charge applied to the metal.
According to Car Help Canada, this process works in laboratories in optimal conditions, but you will have to wait a few years to see if it really works on your vehicle. It’s important to do your research on the specific devices you’re considering and evaluate their real-world effectiveness.
Rustproofing treatment is important to consider if you want to keep your vehicle for more than five years. Keep in mind that rust remover products do not cure corrosion; they merely mask its appearance and can slow down spread.
Work with an automotive shop that you trust and specializes in rustproofing. And, when it comes to resale value, a corrosion-free car is always better!
Disclaimer: This information has been provided for your convenience only and should not be construed as providing specific legal or insurance advice.