Ominous brown spots of rust can lurk on your vehicle if it’s been used for several years—or if it’s been sitting for several years. And unfortunately, a car wash isn’t the cure. Though a healthy rinse can help delay the inevitable, it’s essential to understand all the different reasons for rust on vehicles to combat corrosion.
Neglect comes from a few things: neglecting routine car maintenance and storing an old vehicle. If you fail to follow a regular maintenance schedule, you’re more susceptible to rusting and corrosion. Ignoring your car’s basic needs will make the issues grow worse.
Storing a historic car and never restoring it can also contribute to its rust problem. If you have plans to restore an old vehicle, finish the project to help cut back on the rust eating away at the metal.
You can’t stop your car from getting wet in the rain—but there are steps you can take to protect it from rust. Rust most often occurs when the car’s iron materials come into contact with moisture. Protect your car in a garage (or use a car cover) to help slow the oxidation process. It’s also beneficial to apply a wax coating so any moisture can roll off your car without getting absorbed.
The use of road salt saves many vehicle owners from slippery roads and hazardous driving conditions. While salt does act as a layer of wintery protection, it can also eat away at your paint and cause rusting over time.
Your tires will kick up salt, and it can sit in the underbody of your vehicle and eventually begin eating the metal. Since salt gets spread on driveways and roads, it can find its way into hard-to-reach places. Rust typically doesn’t appear until it’s eaten through the metal.
There are many different reasons for rust on vehicles, and sometimes they’re extremely difficult to fight. One of the more common places corrosion shows up is vehicle restoration projects, specifically vintage military vehicles. Don’t panic if you’re facing rust or corrosion; there are many ways to prevent it from happening.