ASK GARY: How do I keep my car rust free?
We’ve had a rough winter, and while I know we all want to just put the snow and cold behind us, there is a covert danger to our vehicles this weather can cause. Rusting is rarely a factor on our minds, but while rust protection has improved, the dangers remain pressing –once rust develops, it’s extremely difficult to remove and fix. Vehicular body paint is an effective prevention against rust, but does not cover the entire car.
Salt accelerates rust formation, and should be removed in order to minimize risk. When the temperature is below freezing, brush off any snow and slush on your vehicle, especially around the tires. Park outdoors in order to keep leftover ice and snow frozen –parking indoors will melt it, freeing the salt to start causing damage. Once the temperature rises above freezing, wash your car –at the very least hose off the body and spray down the undercarriage.
Rust depletes the integrity of the body, reduces resale value, and is just plain unsightly. The major places of rust formation include the undercarriage, wheel wells, and front area of your car, which catches flying debris on the road. On the car’s body, chips and cracks in the paint point to trouble, so touch it up with car paint the moment you notice it. Keeping your car waxed also adds another layer of protection between its body and the elements, reducing the likelihood of rust formation.
Because road salt, a major cause of rust, is seasonal, keep in mind that your maintenance schedule depends on the seasons as well. Winter means all-out war against rust, and you should take as many precautions as possible against it. Keep a watchful eye during the first weeks of spring for any rust damage from winter, and enjoy the well-earned summer months. At the end of autumn, prepare for the winter months by getting your car waxed, and ensuring that all rust has been dealt with.
Get ready, spring is coming in a few weeks!