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The Top Ways to Prevent Rust

Did you know that it only takes a few days for rust to form?

While metal might be able to keep buildings standing tall and tools sharp, it’s no match for this pesky patina. The unfortunate thing is that most metal objects will always be prone to rust. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the cars we drive.

We can’t change the chemical composition of metal and prevent this reaction from happening. Rust is just as inevitable as the sun setting every day. However, there are some things we can do to prevent rust from forming making our vehicles looking like a junk car.

Here are some of the most effective ways to prevent rust and protect your car.

What Causes Rust?

Rust is a chemical reaction referred to as oxidation. Oxidation occurs at the molecular level. It’s a reaction between iron and water molecules.

Due to opposite charges, iron loses some electrons to the oxygen atoms. This creates a compound called iron oxide, or in common vernacular, rust. This rust doesn’t just form on top of the metal, it changes a thin layer of the metal to create the oxide.

It may seem like a simple solution, right? Just keep your vehicle protected from oxygen and water. However, as you can imagine, it’s almost impossible to do so because these chemicals are present everywhere you go. 

Even in the desert, there is a certain percentage of moisture in the air. The air already has about 21% oxygen content. Rust is therefore inevitable for any metal that contains iron, even in the driest climates where there is almost no rain.

Rust doesn’t just look ugly; it weakens the strength of the metal overall. Given enough time, rust thins metal to the point where it is no longer able to support heavier loads. That means that a rusted car is more likely to bend and break.

You may have realized that there is an easy solution to preventing rust. Mainly by covering this metal to prevent the reaction from ever happening. 

How to Prevent Rust

Typically, the main barrier that prevents rust from forming on your car is the paint. However, just like with tires, this paint will wear down over time. Once the paint has cracked, peeled, or started to blister, it creates a hotbed for rust to form.

You must do everything in your power to protect the paint. If you notice any bare patches or sections where the paint is losing adhesion to the surface, it is time to touch up or repaint the vehicle.

However, there are a lot of small things you can do to prevent rusting cars in the first place. Let’s cover just a few:

  • Clean Your Car: Dirt and grime tend to speed up the process of rusting
  • Store Your Car in a Dry Place: Keep your car parked inside during wet weather to reduce rusting
  • Wax Your Car: Waxing gives your car a temporary barrier that keeps out oxygen and water
  • Repair Scratches and Dents: These expose the bare metal to oxygen and water, so you should seal them as soon as possible
  • Apply an Undercoating: This is a protective coating that a professional can apply to your vehicle
  • Remove Salt: Salt may accumulate on the bottom of your vehicle while driving in snow
  • Avoid Wet Areas: Avoid parking your car in puddles or beneath water runoff from the rooftop
  • Rinse Off Your Vehicle in Winter: Winter exposes your car to lots of extra dirt and salt, which may not be apparent from just a glance

Extra Things You Can Do to Prevent Rust

While the above is a good start, there are still a lot of small things you can do to extend the lifespan of your vehicle’s metal. These extra little details will take more time, but in the end, it will be worth it because you’ll save yourself the cost of an expensive repaint.

The following are just a few things you can do to further extend your vehicle’s lifespan:

  • Detail Your Vehicle: Every few months, go through the effort of cleaning all the nooks and crannies from grime
  • Remove Bed Liners: Bed liners in the truck bed could be trapping moisture, so make sure to remove them and clean beneath them
  • Protect the Inside of Your Vehicle: Use floor mats and other protective rubber coatings to keep moisture out
  • Protect Exposed Metal: Use metal protectors in a spray form to protect exposed pieces of metal, such as the tailpipe or tailgate
  • Keep the Inside of Your Vehicle Clean: Believe it or not, moisture from the inside of the car can leak down and lead to rusting in the undercarriage

The important thing is that you’re consistent with caring for your vehicle. Rust often only forms when people are neglectful with their regular, weekly care. Just taking the time to rinse off your vehicle every couple of weeks in winter can make a huge difference in how long it lasts without rust.

Sell Your Junk Vehicle With All Car Buys

Rust is the price we pay to have beautiful, durable vehicles. Every homeowner needs to learn how to prevent rust to make their car last as long as possible. Simple things such as regular washes and applying wax or undercoating can keep your car rust-free for many years to come.

However, if rust is only one of the signs that your vehicle is too far gone, then you might have a lot of trouble trying to sell it. That’s when you need to visit All Car Buys. We buy junk cars that no one else would even touch.

Visit our website today and see if you can sell your junk car.