Rust can be a real off-putter for potential buyers and owners of classic and rare cars. Rust is common with older models and especially those that are imported as there are minimal layers of protection from the factory paint job.
Combining this with harsher climates and roads being treated with salt in the winter, it can be dangerous if not treated correctly. These measures go a long way in protecting and preventing corrosion – saving you the hassle and money in the long run!
What Causes Rust?
Simply put, rust forms when acidic liquids and water attack the metal structure of your vehicle. Steel corrodes and iron reacts with the oxygen in the air and moisture breaks down its chemical formula, forming rust spots.
What Can be Done to Prevent Rust Corrosion?
Keep Your Car Clean
Dirt building up can start a whole host of attacks on your vehicle’s bodywork. The dirt can start eating away at the protective layers – such as clear coats and underlying paint. This over time can expose the bare steel structure of the vehicle and cause rust.
Washing the exterior whilst adding a wax layer can not only make your car look incredible, but it also helps add and maintain protective layers to the bodywork. It’s important to also clean the wheels and underbody of the car where it is exposed to the most dirt whilst travelling on wet and muddy roads – but more on this later.
With visible signs of paintwork fading over time it may be necessary to either have a re-spray or a touch up paint job. Sometimes the paint can be chipped or flake off in a minor scrape, which exposes it to the elements and can begin a rust patch – which will only spread over time and grow larger.
Use Car Underbody Protection
The most exposed part of the car needs protection. Japanese cars which have been imported often undergo this, as in Japan underbody protection does not take place.
According to Mark from Preserve Protect “Either by using a converting agent to change the rust into a more stable compound, then protecting it using a wax spray and an underbody coating product to aid in enhanced protection.” It’s important to note several layers are used in the factory paint job (primer, base colour coat and clear coat) and a DIY touch up may not be the best in protecting from rust.
Take Care in Winters
The harsh climates in the winter can cause damage to the paintwork. Especially when salt hits the vehicle which can not only damage the paintwork on impact, but it can also eat away if left dirty. Regularly keep an eye on the bodywork and rinsing more often in the winter months to prevent corrosion from starting will help massively.
Wax your Vehicle
As highlighted earlier, this adds a protective layer to your bodywork, but it also makes your car look fresh and clean. With your car out in the sun every day, UV rays are always hitting it, causing paint to fade over time and reducing the overall value of your vehicle. Twice a year is the recommendation but the more regularly you wax the better.