In some regions rust on the undercarriage and body of a car is a real risk. Salt on the roads or in the air is the most likely culprit. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent rust issues.
1. Undercarriage Treatments
For those that live in areas where icy roads are salted or near the ocean, an undercarriage rust treatment is a must. The underside of the car is most exposed to salts when driving. Most cars only have bare metal on the undercarriage, which is most susceptible to rust. An auto tech will lift the car so the entire undercarriage is accessible, then they will apply the coating to every exposed part. Coatings may need to be reapplied every few years.
2. Ceramic Coatings
The metal body panels of the car are also prone to rust. The best way to protect these is to have a ceramic coating applied. The coating protects the paint against the small abrasions that can lead to rust formation, plus it makes the finish look much shinier and nicer. A ceramic coating last for several years, so the need to reapply it is infrequent.
3. Wax Applications
If a ceramic coating isn't an option, regular waxing can also help protect the body panels from rust. Much like a ceramic coating, wax creates a protective buffer between the paint and the outside elements. If there are small scratches, wax fills them in so that rust can't form. The main drawback with wax is that it is temporary and will need to be reapplied every month or two.
4. Frequent Washing
Even with coatings for rust prevention, washing is one of the single best things you can do to reduce the chances of rust. In coastal areas, plan to wash every two to four weeks to keep the rust at bay. If road salts for ice are the issue, wash the car or at least rinse it off whenever temperatures rise above freezing. Pay special attention to the undercarriage when washing, as this is where the greatest rust risk lies.
5. Paint Chip Repairs
Finally, stay on top of small repairs. On the body panels of the car, areas with scratched or chipped paint are most at risk of rust formation. Once rust begins on a small chip, it can spread beneath the surrounding paint. Clean and repair chips with touchup paint as soon as you notice them and the risk of rust will be greatly reduced.
Contact an auto shop like Protect MI Ride to learn more about car rust prevention.