The average car now costs over $30,000. The average monthly car payment is now $430 and the loans are near 6 years long on average. With taxes, fees and insurance thrown in the average monthly cost of a car is similar to that of a mortgage payment. Being that we are spending this much on our cars we need to take a renewed look at car care and treatments that will increase the longevity of these major investments. Sadly, many people neglect their cars and there is little, if any, car care done.
Rust can happen anywhere in America (it isn't just a problem for northerners). It is also easy to prevent with a little proper car care. Everyone hates rust and complains about it, but when you look at their cars, little if anything is ever done to stop or prevent it. As evidenced in clinical studies and research by the big 3 auto manufacturers, its not a question of if.
It's a question of when. Whether it is salt and snow, salty ocean air, industrial fallout and acid rain, rock chips, road debris, etc. There are many different elements of nature that exist everywhere and will do harm and weaken your car's finish and allow rust to start. The metal on your car is mostly protected by a very thin coating of paint and primer. Rust is caused by a loss in electrons of the metal and can occur as soon as the thin paint coating is jeopardized. First, to prevent rust it is best to protect your paint.
Proper car care will not only protect, but strengthen the paint. A good cleaning and waxing regimen once every two months has been proven by AAA to greatly reduce the occurrence of rust. Regular cleaning will remove contaminates that will weaken or even etch into the paint. Car wax or car polish will create a stronger, slippery surface that will be more impervious to the elements and help seal out moisture which can start the rusting process. To properly apply car wax or car polish you apply it one section at a time and allow to dry to a haze.
Then you buff it off and repeat 2 - 3 times for maximum protection. People who regularly use car wax or car polish in their car care routine have a much lower incidence of rust. If you notice a scratch or chip, nick that goes through the paint make sure you treat it properly. Get matching touchup paint by using the paint code inside your door jamb (most auto parts stores and dealers will have this matching paint or can get it for you). You will only need a small 1 oz.
bottle for most scratches. Use a toothpick so you get the paint exactly where it is needed, in the scratch, nick, etc. not all around it.
Completely cover any exposed metal. Then apply a clear coat touch up paint for best protection. This will seal out moisture and prevent rust from occurring. If you are in a jam you can always use clear nail polish to cover the exposed metal. If rust has set in, then the required car care and treatment gets more complex.
The rust spot must be sanded down and exposed. It is then treated with a anti-rust which will chemically react with the rust changing its chemical and electrostatic properties. Then it must be sanded down, primered and then painted. With the complexity of today's automotive paints it is probably best to leave complex rust and car care to the professionals (most auto body shops will be glad to do this for you and you will have guaranteed excellent and long lasting results).
As it is said, "You get what you pay for." A cheap repair is just that, and for the same matter, so is cheap or non-existant car care. Rust can be prevented and your cars finish maintained with a little proper car care and the use of car wax or polish.
David Maillie specializes in automotive safety products and information. He holds numerous patents and awards for his patented headlight cleaner and restorer. For more information, tips, and money saving products for your auto please visit: mdwholesale.com