Why Rust Prevention Is An Important Part Of Car Maintenance

Rust may be your car's nemesis. It forms quickly and damages the structural integrity of your vehicle. Water and salt work together to erode the exposed components of your car over time. Thankfully, you can prolong the life of your vehicle with rust inhibitors and staying up-to-date with maintenance.

How Rust Works

Rust is formed on your car as soon as iron and oxygen come into contact with each other. This chemical reaction transforms the metal it affects into iron oxide, or rust. Water and salt work together to accelerate the rusting process in most vehicles. Your car is frequently exposed to these elements during the winter months, or if you live close to the ocean. As soon as rust forms on your car, it's quickly able to eat away at the metal and can spread quickly.

The Best Tool For The Job

One way of preventing the spread of rust is to use a rust inhibitor. These products work to protect your vehicle by doing a few things. First, rust inhibitors contain chemicals to help expel the water where rust is found. A rust inhibitors other function is to keep rust accelerators, like water and salt, away from the body of your vehicle. These inhibitors do this by forming a barrier to prevent oxygen from meeting the iron of your vehicle.

Rust inhibitors are best used before you ever spot rust on your car. Rust is capable of spreading once it has infected the metal of a vehicle. This means if you use inhibitors after rust is present, you have to scrape off the rust first. Using rust inhibitors as a rust preventative will keep rust from infecting key structural elements of your car.

How Zinc Can Help

Zinc is found only in some rust inhibitors, but it's great at stopping rust in its tracks. Zinc is frequently used to prevent corrosion on bridges, because zinc will sacrifice itself to the rust. When a zinc coating is applied to the car, initially the zinc will rust. This may seem counterintuitive, but the rust between the outside of your car and the zinc layer turns into a protective barrier that blocks further rust from forming. In order for this rusting process to be successful, the zinc layer must be thick enough to survive the initial rusting process.

Regular car maintenance inspections can ensure any damage caused by rust is caught early, preventing more expensive repairs down the road. By using a rust inhibitor containing zinc, you will be able to protect your vehicle and ensure it's running strong for years to come.