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One of the largest investments in any family is your car. You buy it looking sleek and polished and then over time, it starts to wear, loses its color, and becomes rusty. Rusting occurs on the body, the undercarriage, the chassis, floorboard, and even the exhaust system. The good thing is that all that can be repaired.  A good paint and body shop can take an old bucket of bolts and make it new again.

Why does a car rust?

The first thing to understand is what has caused your car to rust. Rust is corrosion of metals due to the exposure of iron, water, or oxygen. The moisture, iron, and water induce a chemical reaction on the metal of your car called oxidation which causes rusty spots. If you live on the seaside, then your car will rust even faster compared to others because these conditions accelerate rusting. It’s not only about the moisture in the air but also the salt that comes from the ocean water. A season change is also an enemy to your car, especially a drastic change to winter. This snow-filled season will lead to the emergence of rusty spots that can cause further damage if not repaired upon detection. Rust will ruin the overall image and physique of the car, lower its resale value, and ultimately corrode the structural body parts. 

What is the repairing procedure?

To salvage the car, it is taken through a process called rust-proofing. This procedure is done in two ways depending on the level of damage. There is mild rusting and then severe rusting. 

Mild rusting involves superficial damage where the corrosion is only on the surface and has not extended deeper into the body parts and mainly occurs on scratched paint or a dent. This type requires minor repairs. Maaco does the abrasive repair that entails using sandpaper or an abrasive wheel to rub through the corrosion. The next step is to apply a primer, then paint, and coat with a top clear coat. Maaco experts blend it to make it smooth and then wax and polish with quality wax to give it a shiny finish.

Severe rusting occurs when the rusting process has penetrated deeper parts of the body and has caused more damage. The metal is mainly corroded and the structural components weaken in a way that could lead to a car breakdown in case of a collision. This is when Maaco does a full makeover that involves cutting out the corroded metal body section and replacing it. If the body panel is extensively damaged, it is entirely removed and replaced. The next step is sanding, priming, and painting the replaced part with the same color as the rest of the car. The final step is to wax and polish to give the car that fine and highlighted look.

Major misconceptions about rust on cars

  • Rustproofing must be done regularly

There is a myth that once you rustproof your car, you have to keep on doing it regularly. The secret is to get a credible company to perform that procedure. Maaco gives an assurance that the rust-proof will last for several years (up to 10 years).

  • Some vehicles do not require rust proof

Any type of vehicle requires a rustproofing procedure to maintain its physical condition. Even if modern cars have a slower rate of rusting, this procedure is necessary to lengthen the car’s lifespan.

  • The paint will prevent a car from rusting

Some bit about the myth is true but eventually, the paint breaks down due to road salt or chemicals, and the oxidation process begins to take place. This is the most common type of rust, called surface rust, and it is the easiest to solve. Rustproofing can only be done before a car rusts.

Rustproofing can be done even when the oxidation process has started to take place. It helps slow down the damage and even protect the body parts that have not been affected. Maaco will offer professional advice on what techniques to use in rustproofing an already affected car and prevent the spreading of the corrosion. 

  • Waxing plays no role in rust protection

This is false. Maaco always advises its clients to include waxing in the procedure. The wax will provide an extra layer on top of the paint that will slow down the access of corrosive conditions to the car body and make the paint highlighted and cleaner. 

  • Rusting only occurs on the surface of the body

Rusting can occur on any car body part provided it was exposed to corrosive conditions. This type of statement is misleading because it makes car owners negligent of other crucial parts. Once rusting occurs, it travels through other car body parts if it is not repaired. As I mentioned, car exhaust systems, undercarriage, and even the bottom of the door are not immune to the rusting process.

  • You shouldn’t rustproof after winter

Winter is the season that most cars are prone to rust. It is not proven that rustproofing during winter will affect the overall procedure. Maaco advocated for rustproofing at any time as long as the car is thoroughly cleaned. The main hindrance to this procedure is dirt build-up and salt, not the weather.

  • You can rustproof your vehicle

There are a lot of products in the market labeled rust-proof, but it is always wise to consult with a specialist. Professional help will ensure that the coating is applied to 100% of the body, rather than just the surface.

  • Frequently washing a car induces rusting

This is false. Washing a car is a good way to remove corrosive chemicals on the surface. Maaco advises you to wash your car frequently especially during winter when you have driven on salty roads because this will help prevent rusting rather than not washing at all.

  • Preventing is more expensive than repairing

Maaco advises its clients to invest more in prevention because the repair expenses are much higher. Rusting can result in more damage that demands more financial harship. Here are some ways to prevent your car from rusting:

  1. Wax your car every 6 months with good quality wax.
  2. Repair any dents or paint scratches quickly before they extend further.
  3. Give your car a professional wash that reaches the undercarriage as often as you can. This is a must-do after you have driven your car on a salty road.
  4. Let Maaco give your car professional detailing to fish out and protect any potential damages.

It is important to take note of the small damages that happen to your car and repair them. Allowing your car to rust unattended will cost you more than purchasing a new car in the near future. Also, you will not be able to resell your car because its value has reduced, and no one will invest in a damaged vehicle. These are all reasons why you should repair the rust in your car before it gets too late.