Many of us spend huge bucks on car body repair due to annoying rust. However, rust is always present when there's metal to oxidize. It means we can't totally sweep rust away from our vehicle forever. Rust can easily spread throughout your car in a couple of months, because of poor car care knowledge. But the reality is, we can protect our vehicles from rust. Our cars, like our homes, need to be treated and maintained. Here's a few tips of mine to preserve your car for a lifetime:
- Make it as clean as possible. Cleanliness is a good start for maintaining your car. Give your car a general wash after using your car, especially under the chassis if it is always exposed to dirt from the road. Under the chassis is the most expensive and hard part to repair if rust affects it. So always try to keep it as clean as possible.
- Protect the exposed metal. Any exposed metal can be affected if left untreated. There are many metal-preparation chemicals available in our local paint suppliers nowadays. These chemicals will protect the metal from rust and will prepare it for paint application. If anti-rust chemicals are not available, you can use acrylic epoxy primer to cover the exposed metal. Clean the surface first of dust and moisture before applying acrylic epoxy primer.
- General under chassis paint job. As I said, the area beneath the chassis is most prone to rust. The best possible move to prevent rust here is to have the under chassis painted. If you have a brand-new car or if it is just a couple of months old, you'll need to repaint the under chassis after a year for maximum protection. There are a lot of under chassis paints to choose from at local auto supply or paint supply stores.
- Strip off old paint. Most of us, we just put another coat of new paint over the old one when we give our car a paint job. Doing this will save us money on the paint job, but not on the body repair. If this is your 2nd layer of paint, it is still ok. The disadvantage of this is that rust will gradually grow under the old paint, until such time you'll find out that beneath that good-looking paint, rust is eating up your car. Stripping off old paint every time we put on a new paint application will help us avoid this. Rusty metal can be cut before adding a new paint application.
- Don't let your interior carpet get wet. Wet interior carpet takes a lot of time to dry. It usually takes a week to become totally dry. If your carpet is often wet, this will result in rust formation. The floor is the least maintained area because of the carpet covering it. To avoid rust formation, you should peel off the carpet every 6 months and check if there's rust forming at the floor. Use a steel brush to clean off the rust and apply acrylic epoxy primer to it. 4 to 5 layers of paint is best for complete protection.
Our car is one of the most precious investments that we have. We should protect it from major damage like rust. As a car enthusiast myself, I advise everyone to treat our cars as our friends; if we practice some very basic car maintenance, they will take good care of us and our family on the road as we travel.