Rust can ruin even the best looking car. Aesthetics is only one issue – corrosion can also affect the strength of the entire vehicle structure. What are the causes and how to prevent them?
Most metals used in automobiles are susceptible to rust. Rust is a natural process that can affect any metal object over time. The main source of corrosion is moisture – water gradually attacks the material, changing its structure and appearance. Rust can be dangerous; it makes the metal less durable and more prone to breakage, cracks and other damage.
Rust can occur on almost any vehicle. Vehicles that are not kept in a garage and travel on roads in relatively humid countries are particularly vulnerable. The problem of corrosion is also noticeable in the Polish climate. It is worth protecting against its formation – it is certainly easier than removing rust later.
In many situations the place we plan to protect against corrosion will already be covered with it. In this case, we will need to get rid of the rust that is on the item in question. First of all, we need to deal with any corrosion marks present that may be reflected on our body or other parts of the car. They need to be cleaned, replaced or chemically separated from the rest of the vehicle to prevent the rust from spreading to other parts. We need to carefully inspect every part of the car – including areas that are not visible from the outside.
One of the most commonly used methods of preventing corrosion is the use of inhibitors. This is a popular and relatively inexpensive way. Corrosion inhibitors form a protective layer on the surface of the car body or other metal parts by binding water molecules. As a result, the speed of corrosion formation is significantly reduced
Corrosion inhibitors are usually in the form of a wax or oil preparation. High fluidity allows to reach even hard to reach places. However, we must remember to thoroughly cover each point to ensure full protection against rust. This is an activity that we can usually do ourselves, but in more severe situations it may be necessary to use the help of a specialist.
Another common method is powder coating. This is a slightly less effective method, but it can be more convenient and practical. Such protection is based on the presence of resin particles in the paint, which form a hard protective layer, protecting the metal from water ingress. We can also opt for a combination of the described methods of protection, in effect significantly increasing the level of protection of our vehicle against rust.
Proper care for cleanliness of the vehicle will translate not only into better aesthetics, but also better prevention of corrosion. Dirt on the car body may promote the development of rust – it is therefore worth getting rid of it as soon as possible. Car maintenance also includes the use of the protective measures described above. It is also worth remembering to limit the access of moisture to our vehicle – after washing, we should take care to properly wipe or dry the car body. In autumn and winter months, using a garage will be a beneficial option, if we have such a possibility.
Currently sold models are increasingly equipped with a certain degree of protection against corrosion at the factory. Manufacturers are primarily focusing on using newer and more durable materials, as well as increasing the proportion of aluminum in the structure. Often you will also find covers made of felt or wax, which prevent moisture from penetrating the metal parts.
In case of large-scale problems or the occurrence of corrosion on particularly troublesome elements we should report the problem to a specialist. Often the best choice is to send the vehicle to a tinsmith. Small rust problems can gradually grow into big problems – it’s worth taking care of this aspect of vehicle maintenance the right way.
Although detailed car care requires a certain investment of time and money, in most cases it will be a worthwhile choice. Good condition of the car body will translate into longer life of the vehicle’s components, as well as increase its value when selling it. Therefore, it is worth getting appropriate protective measures which will help to stop corrosion or use the help of a specialist in this matter.