You see that brown colour appearing at the edges of your car and you know that its time you took better care of it. In simple science: When oxygen, water and salt combine at the surface of a metal, rust forms. Pretty simple, right? Though the formation is quite easy, it’s the removal that we all hate. How does one exactly go about removing rust when you don’t have the dough for getting a regular car wash?
For some people like me, a car represents one of my most valuable belongings, which most people take for granted. Your car is not going to stay in the same condition as the day you drove it from the dealer. Yes, its beauty will deteriorate with time but with a little care and proper maintenance; you can keep its overall appearance intact. Now I’m not saying that you are that crazy guy on the block who shouts at kids for touching his car and keeps a handkerchief in his pocket to wipe off every speck of dust. Just take a little extra precaution and you will see for yourself that your car will look better.
Below are some tips that will help you stop rust from attacking your car:
Wash and Wax After Every Two Weeks
Two words – Humid weather. The problem with rust is that it depends on where you live.
Do you live near the ocean?
Does it rain often in your area?
If this is the case, then it’s better to wash your car every two weeks. Often people get this done once a month, which gives rust plenty of time to get into all the nooks and crannies. Buy a small bottle of car wash and use only that. If you initially thought about washing the car with household soap, then I suggest you think again. The problem with soap is that it does not stop rust. In fact, it gives more room for algae to grow in the car paint. It strips off your previous wax job and leaves your car vulnerable to the rust. Once you have washed and waxed your car, open the car doors and let the water drain from the rocker panels and bottom of the doors. Then, use a car cover to keep the dust away.
Protect the Car from Scratches
Alright, I admit that this is something that is not in your hands because an accident can happen any time but there are other things you can do to stop rust, such as:
- Park the car under shade to avoid bird drippings (Bird drippings have certain chemicals that destroy the paint job and leave scratches for the rust to set in)
- Do not park close to other cars in the parking lot
- Do not place heavy stuff on the hood or trunk of the car
- Avoid driving over potholes and roads that are under construction (Often pebbles fly and get stuck in the wheel wells)
- Avoid parking over gutters or areas where water is gathered (The water often gets to the car and causes rust, which weakens the bottom from the outside)
Find the Weak Spots
In order to stop rust, you need to know about all the small areas where it can reside. Take a flashlight and check the following parts:
- Under the body mouldings and trim
- The connection point of the side mirrors
- The entire surface under the vehicle
- Wheel wells
- Every nick and crack
For an extra safety measure, use a pipe cleaner to remove any water that might have remained after washing the car. The biggest sign of rust is bubbles in the paint. When these escalate to scratches and dings, the rust spreads. Next stop is the undercarriage and then finally the engine.
Coat the Rust Probe Areas with WD-40
Now that you know what to do to stop rust with simple household tricks, it’s time to make sure that your efforts were not in vain. After washing and waxing come coating. Then use WD-40 to help prevent rust even further. This lubricant does not just prevent rust but protects your car in all weather conditions and keeps the parts dry. It penetrates the areas on a deep level and prevents them from oxidizing further.
After washing the car, spray the areas that are prone to rusting with WD-40. Be sure to follow the instructions and keep away from tyres as WD-40 is slippery! For small parts such as the nuts and screws in the wheel plate and engine connection, use a thin nozzle to apply a thick and precise coat and wipe away drip marks.
Take Precaution According to Changing Weathers
Humidity is not the only weather condition that causes rust. If you recall, when it snows, you use salt to shovel the ice from your driveway and pave yard. As the weather changes and becomes warm, the ice melts and there is abundant of salt in the air. This salt clings to the undercarriage and slowly eats away the surface. As a result, when you wash your car, there’s a possibility that water might flow inside and gather in the form of a puddle. Therefore, make sure that your car is always parked in the garage and if you don’t have one, park it on an elevated area, under shade when it snows.
Investing in a car wash after every two weeks might not be possible in your paycheck but a little time out of your schedule every now and then to wash your car can stop rust and maintain its beauty for a long time. The important thing to remember is that a simple car wash and wax will not guarantee you a rust free car. You need to use a lubricant such as WD-40 for this job. With a coating of WD-40 to the necessary areas. Please note that you will need to re-apply regularly and avoid getting WD-40 near the tyres or any other part of the car that you don’t want to lubricate.