How To Protect Your Used Car From Rust Damage

Car Maintenance, Tips

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Rust Free Car

Did you just drive off the Ride Time lot in a fantastic used car? Congratulations! Our used cars are the best in Canada – and we’re sure that your vehicle will serve you well for years to come!

But, just like everything in life, ensuring that your used car lives a long, healthy life takes a bit of time, elbow grease, and know-how! If you don’t take great care of your used car, you could encounter some common issues – like rust damage.

Our cars have to put up with quite a bit of abuse over their lifetimes – and some used cars, in particular are likely to suffer some paint damage and other issues that make them more prone to rust damage.

But don’t worry! You can prevent rust (or get rid of existing rust spots) with these 3 simple methods! Whether your car is already rust-free, or you have a few problem spots, these instructions are sure to help you ensure that the body of your vehicle lives a long, rust-free life!

Method #1: Preventing Rust Formation With Regular Inspections

Inspecting your vehicle regularly is the best way to prevent rust buildup – before it becomes an issue. There are 3 primary areas you should inspect regularly to ensure that they’re clean, well-maintained, and rust-free.

  • Wheel wells and bumpers – Wheel wells and bumpers are common places where rust tends to collect – even on otherwise clean vehicles. Wheel wells are usually quite dirty and difficult to see into, so you often won’t notice the problem until it’s too late, and bumpers often rust where they’re connected to the vehicle body.

    Get your wheel wells inspected for rust whenever you rotate your tires. Whether you do it yourself, or have a professional maintain your vehicle, the 10,000km tire rotation is a perfect time to get a good look at your wheel well, and ensure that it’s rust free. Check your bumpers at this time, too – look for rusty spots where they attach to the body of the vehicle.
  • Wherever body components meet – The hood, trunk, fenders, and door jambs of your vehicle are at risk of rusting. This is because constant metal-to-metal contact can wear away paint and protective coatings, allowing rust to gain a foothold.

    Open the doors, check the trunk, and look at the hood of your vehicle for rust spots. Look for signs of paint damage such as bubbling – this could indicate rust formation beneath the paint.
  • The underside of your vehicle – The underside of your car usually takes the most punishment from debris. And in Canada, the road salt and other chemicals used to deal with the Winnipeg winter can seriously damage your vehicle’s paint.

    Get the underside of your car inspected during oil changes and tire rotations, and watch out for any signs of rust developing.

Method #2: Keeping It Clean And Rust Free

If your car is free of rust, you’ll want to keep it that way. Follow these tips to help reduce the formation of rust on your vehicle.

  • Wash It Regularly – Dirt, debris, and salt don’t cause rust on their own, but when they damage paint integrity, they can wear through anti-rust protection, and allow rust to spread.

    You should wash your car every 3-4 weeks. This will prevent the buildup of dirt that can damage your vehicle’s paint – and it will keep your car looking brand new!

  • Don’t neglect the undercarriage – This is especially important in the Winnipeg winter. You should wash the undercarriage of your vehicle every time you get a car wash – this will prevent harmful salt buildup.

    Jack your vehicle up and spray the undercarriage with a hose – or make use of an automatic car wash service for a thorough cleaning.

  • Use baking soda to neutralize road salt – Using baking soda in conjunction with your automotive soap can help mitigate the acidic effects that salt has on your vehicle, and prevent rust.

    Simply add a tablespoon of baking soda into your water/soap mix whenever you clean your car, and you’ll be able to mitigate the harmful effects of anti-icing salts.

  • “Wax on, wax off!” – Waxing isn’t just for show. A good wax-job provides an extra layer of protection for automotive paint, increasing your vehicle’s rust resistance. It also repels water – further reducing the chance of rust.

    You should get your car waxed at least twice a year – this will ensure maximum protection against rust.

Method #3: Removing Rust Spots (Before They Spread Further!)

If you already have some rust spots on your car, don’t panic! You can easily take care of them with this simple process.

  • Scrape off the existing rust – Depending on the size of the patch, you may use a razorblade or fine-grit sandpaper. Begin working down the rust patch, avoiding contact with the surrounding paint. You want to sand down to a smooth, even surface that can be easily repaired.
  • Apply rust arrestor to the patch – Over-the-counter rust arrestor is a sort of “primer” that halts the corrosion process, and prepares the rusty patch for a layer of paint. Apply rust arrestor in a thin layer on the newly-sanded rusty area of your vehicle.

  • Apply paint primer – Apply a thin layer of all-purpose paint primer – available at most auto shops – to the rusty area of your vehicle. This final primer coat will provide your paint with maximum hold. Ensure that you avoid any drips – the coat should be thin, yet complete. You should be unable to see the metal through the primer coat.

  • Apply touch-up paint – After the primer has dried completely, it’s time to paint your vehicle. Most vehicles come with a small bottle of this paint, but it can be re-ordered from the manufacturer if you provide the VIN number of your vehicle. Alternatively, many touch-up paints are available at auto parts stores.

    Regardless of how you get your paint, the process of applying it is simple. Use a thin coat of paint, and avoid any drips. Apply the paint in even, smooth strokes, and make sure that you paint all around the rusty area – even on areas where the paint is still intact.

    Give the paint time to dry – anywhere from 20 minutes to overnight – and you’re good to go!

Keep Your Car Rust-Free! Follow These Tips!

By regularly inspecting your vehicle, getting it cleaned, and taking care of small rust patches before they spread, you can ensure that your used car will live a long life (and look darn good while doing it)!
In the market for a used car? Check out Ride Time! We sell the best used cars in Winnipeg – and we can deliver our high-quality used vehicles to customers all over Canada! Visit our website today, and take a look at our stock of used cars, trucks, and SUVs!


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