Rust: Identifying And Preventing It Before It Affects Your Car

Rust is not only unsightly, it can also cause serious damage to the body of your car. Once rust begins, it cannot be stopped and will spread quickly as it eats away at the metal of your vehicle, causing irreparable damage. People who live in areas with a lot of snowy weather or near the ocean tend to be the most susceptible to dealing with rust issues. The key to having a rust-free car is to be able to recognize it and then stop it before it spreads.

Causes Of Rust

Whenever you drive over rocky terrain or when debris from the road hits the underside of your vehicle, it causes tiny nicks and scratches in the paint to form. As the paint gets chipped away, it exposes bare metal underneath. Over time, the metal will rust especially when it gets wet or affected by salt from the road after snow removal or salt from ocean water. As the rust starts to eat away at the metal, it begins to spread and can cause holes in your automobile’s body and undercarriage. Dirt and grime that sticks to your car can collect moisture. Any moisture that settles and sits atop metal is another common cause for rusting. 

How To Spot Rust

Many times, people aren’t aware that rust has affected their vehicle until there are gaping holes or even chunks of metal that begin to fall off or come loose. Often, rust forms underneath your vehicle where you don’t normally look. Be aware of your area’s weather and road conditions and monitor the undercarriage of your car every few months, particularly if the weather has been snowy or you live in close proximity to the ocean. Both of these situations have conditions that make the possibility of rust more likely. Look under your wheel wells, behind the tires, and behind your fenders. These areas are also very common places where rust starts to form.

Preventing Rust

In order to be sure that rust won’t cause serious damage to your car, you’ll need to take preventative measures to either prevent it completely or stop it from spreading further. Undercoating rust protection sealants can be applied to the underbody of your car that will provide it with a protective layer. Just be aware that these sealants can wear off over time and should be reapplied every so often depending on how badly it’s been worn down. A great way to keep rust at bay is to simply have touch up paint on hand and whenever you notice any scratches or nicks in your paint, touch it up immediately. The new paint will keep that area protected and sealed before it’s too late. Wash your car’s undercarriage and wheel wells once a month to keep it clean and free of dirt and debris. With a few simple preventative measures, you have a good chance of stopping rust before it starts.

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