Rust is a threat to any car owner who loves his vehicle. No one wants to see the telltale browning of rust begin to take hold on the edges of a car’s doors, bumper, or underside. It will ruin the look of your car and, if left unchecked, it can ruin your car’s functionality too. What is rust, and what can you do to stop its advancement on the body of your car?
Why Do Cars Rust?
Rust is simply the oxidation of metal, a chemical process that occurs with metal objects under certain conditions. If a car is kept in a carefully controlled environment, the lifetime of its metal body is very long – longer than our lifetimes. Cars are meant to be used, however, so most of them are exposed to the elements sooner or later.
When metal cars are exposed to oxygen or water, they begin to corrode, or rust. Salt is another chemical that will cause the metal to begin to break down. Most newer cars are coated with steel as a protection against rust, but eventually rust will take hold – especially in a state like Michigan where rain and snow are common and salt is used to make the roads passable in winter. Water and salt together is a terrible combination for a car’s body.
What Can You Do To Stop Rust?
There are two ways that owners can keep a car from rusting. The first is to keep your car clean and waxed. A thorough cleaning will remove salt and other road chemicals from the metal so they cannot further corrode it. Wax creates a protective layer between the metal and everything else and also repels water.
Clean your car before you wax it. All of those tiny particles of dirt, gravel, or salt will scratch the metal surface as you rub the wax on if you do not wash them off first. Do not use a wax that says it cleans and waxes at the same time. You want to use a gentle wax instead. When you wax, be careful not to get wax on the plastic or rubber parts of your car. The wax will damage them. The easiest way to make sure you are waxing the parts of your car that need it and avoiding the parts that do not is to use a paste wax.
The second way to prevent rust from forming on your car is to fix any dings, dents, and scratches right away when they happen. Do not wait. Water and chemicals can seep into the scratches and under the paint and begin to corrode the metal. The paint on your car is the first defense against rust, so if the paint is damaged, that defense is gone. In fact, if rust forms underneath the paint, it will make the rest of the paint peel and bubble. Delaying repairs puts your car at risk for additional damage.
If you have a minor accident or someone slams a car door into yours and damage occurs, take your car to the body shop right away. Make sure the body shop you choose uses quality paint. The paint matters. Again, it’s the first defense against rust. Once a car has begun to rust, it’s more difficult to repair it.
At Star Collision and Star of Rockford we have decades of experience repairing paint, fixing scratches and dings, and restoring cars to like new condition. We even repair cars that have rust damage. In cases where the rust has eaten away sections of the body, it’s much harder and much more expensive, but we can do it. We advise our customers to take a proactive approach to avoiding rust, though, by cleaning, waxing, and repairing their cars when necessary.
If we can help you detail, fix, or repaint your car, call us! That’s why we are here.