A little bit of rust is an inevitable part of motoring, especially if you are among the majority of road users who tend to buy second-hand rather than fresh from the factory. Throughout this series, we have gone over the causes, types and signs of rust. This week we take a closer look at what you can do if you spot rust and, most importantly, how you can prevent your vehicle from succumbing to rust.
If you notice rust, you may be tempted to treat the problem yourself. Whether or not you can fix your rust problem is down to a number of factors including your confidence and ability, how much time you have, whether you have access to the tools, resources and space to fix the problem yourself, and the extent of the damage. A little chip that has started to turn may well be fairly simple to fix, but a more significant rust issue will definitely benefit from professional intervention.
Some DIY vehicle maintenance can be a false economy. If your primary reason for wanting to treat your rust yourself is to save money, get a quote form a local body repair specialist first; it may well end up being cheaper to hire a professional than to buy the tools and materials to have a go yourself.
The best way to tackle rust is to prevent it. Here are our top tips for rust prevention
- Keep it clean – when you have been out on gritted roads or if you live by or have visited the sea, a quick rinse followed by a run over with a chamois will help to get rid of salt and grit residues which can lead to rust.
- Add a barrier – wax doesn’t just make your car look nice and shiny, it adds an extra barrier between your vehicle’s body and the outside air and water.
- Apply oil – have you ever wondered what the WD in WD40 stands for? You guessed it – “water dispersal”. A squirt of WD40 in moving parts and hard to reach areas will help to repel water and prevent rust.
- Keep it dry – if your car is your pride and joy, it may be time to empty the junk out of the garage and use it for storing your vehicle in the dry, out of the elements.
As with any progressive condition, the earlier you catch rust and treat it, the easier it is to fix. A minor bit of rusting is par for the course, especially with older vehicles. However, when rust starts wearing through the metal, you could find yourself in an expensive, not to mention dangerous, predicament.
If in doubt, don’t bury your head in the sand, get in touch with your local garage – if they can’t fix the bodywork themselves, they will be able to recommend someone who can.