Protecting Your Car From Rust: Important Dos And Don'ts

Rust is one of a car's worst nightmares; all it takes is a small area of rust to quickly turn into a large area of corrosion and damage. Not only is rust unsightly and detracts from the value of your car, but rust in certain places (such as your engine) can even affect your vehicle's performance. Fortunately, there are plenty of tips you can keep in mind if you want to protect your car from rust damage.

DO Take Special Climate Precautions

If you live in an area that sees harsh winters or even in an area close to the ocean, you'll need to take special precautions to protect your car from rust. That's because salt, which is used to treat snowy/icy roads and also found in sea water, can cause or even speed up the spread of rust on your vehicle. Therefore, if you live in such a climate, you'll need to be extra diligent about having your car (including its underside) washed regularly to remove salt.

DON'T Overlook Rust Sealants and Undercoating

Many auto shops these days offer undercoating services and rust sealants, which are designed to provide an extra layer of protection for your car against rust. If you've discounted these in the past, now may be the time to re-examine your options. These can be especially worth the money if you live in a climate where your car is frequently exposed to salt. You may even be able to save some money by purchasing the spray at your local auto supply shop and applying it yourself.

DO Clean Up Spills Inside Your Car Right Away

When most car owners think of rust, they think of exterior elements causing it. However, if you have a spill in your car that isn't quickly cleaned up, it could ultimately seep down to your car's exterior and cause rust. Therefore, it's important to clean up any dry spills inside your car as soon as you can, even if it's just water.

DON'T Forget to Check for Rust Regularly

Finally, be sure to inspect your vehicle regularly for signs of rust so you can repair them before they become a major problem. Some specific areas to check for rust include:

  • the undercarriage of your vehicle
  • the trunk and engine 
  • your car's exterior

Small spots of rust can be easily patched and repainted, but larger areas of corrosion may require professional repair. To learn more about rust protection, contact an auto shop near you.