When it comes to cars, rust is the great equalizer. It doesn't matter if your car is an old beater you bought for a few hundred dollars or a brand-new luxury car you just drove off of the lot. All cars are susceptible to rust because of the materials they're made from. Whether you're trying to preserve a new car's pristine appearance or just keep your old car in one piece, rust prevention should be a priority for you. However, many people don't know how to effectively prevent rust in all parts of their cars.
Take a look at a few tips you may not have heard of that will help prevent your car from developing rust.
Measure Your Coolant Carefully
Your car's cooling system is as vulnerable to rust as many other parts of your car. In fact, it may be more vulnerable because you occasionally have to introduce water into the system. Water contains oxygen, and because of this, it can easily oxidize metal. With exposure to water, the aluminum and iron in your cooling system can turn to aluminum oxide and ferrous oxide (rust) and your cooling system will corrode.
Your best protection against this corrosion is to avoid putting too much water into your cooling system. Never put in distilled water alone, and always make sure you use a 50:50 mixture of coolant and water. The coolant acts as protectant against rust, and will prevent the metal from oxidizing and your system from developing leaks.
Choose Your Car Cover Carefully
You may choose to use a car cover to protect your vehicle when it has to sit for long hours in an open parking lot. This is an excellent idea, as it can protect your paint and upholstery from fading and protect your car from bird droppings and debris that can cause rust spots and other damage when left on the car for too long. However, there is a downside. A car cover can trap moisture underneath your car, contributing to rust development on the underside of the car – the most difficult spot for most car owners to reach and clean.
The solution is to avoid car covers made of plastic film or plastic-coated fabric. These can be useful if you're going to store your car in a closed, dry place for the winter, but they can do more harm than good if you're trying to protect your car from the weather in an open parking lot. Instead, choose a car cover made from a breathable fabric material that won't trap moisture. If possible, order one custom fitted for your car. An overly large cover may flap around in the wind, leading to scratches on the car's surface that can lead to rust spots if they aren't fixed quickly.
Use a Rust Inhibitor
Many car dealerships offer rust inhibitor treatments at an additional charge. If you're buying a new car, you may want to think about purchasing the rust inhibitor treatments. These treatments can be as much as 99% effective if applied correctly. Even if it's too late to have the dealership add in a rust inhibitor treatment, it's not too late to use one on your car.
If you're looking for a DIY treatment for rust prevention, you should look into rust inhibitor spray. Rust inhibitor sprays work by creating a protective coating on the surface of the car that prevents corrosive substances from coming in contact with the paint and metal. These sprays can also add gloss and shine to your paint job. If you'd prefer to take your car to a body shop for rust treatments, they may use spray as well, or they may apply a rust inhibitor by dipping car parts into a bath or applying the inhibitor with a low-pressure nozzle.
Rust shortens your car's lifespan and reduces its value, so it's in your best interest to avoid it as much as possible. These tips can help you keep your car in better shape for a longer period of time.