Understanding How Rust Can Harm Your Car

Rust can be the nail in the coffin for many cars. It impacts a car’s appearance, lowers its resale value, and can make it unsafe to drive. By ignoring any signs of rust, you can lose your car much sooner than you would ever want.

It’s essential to understand the damage rust can cause to your car. In this article, we go through how rust can harm your car and how to avoid it.

How Does Rust Form?

Rust is caused by corrosion, a chemical reaction that happens when iron metal is exposed to oxygen and moisture for a long time. If water cannot make contact with any exposed metal, the surface will be safe against rust.

Rust can occur anywhere on Earth, but some places make it optimal for rust to occur. While living near the beach can be desirable, there is a higher chance of rust due to the environment’s increased salt and humidity.

The most significant source of water is rain. This is why it is important to cover your car if you live in a place that has a lot of rain or look into getting a professional to apply an anti-rusting coating to avoid the chance of rust.

How Does Rust Negatively Impact Your Car?

Rust damages a car by eating away at the body and chassis, which can cause structural damage and failure over time. When this happens, your car can be considered unsafe to operate.

Your car’s paint provides protection against rust by preventing water from touching the bare metal on the body of your car. If your paintwork is damaged in any way, the exposed metal will likely rust. 

While rust on the exterior of your car is concerning, internal parts rusting is an area of even more concern. Water or condensation inside the engine cylinder can cause excessive wear once it comes into contact with the engine’s pistons. Modern lubrication systems can prevent this, but you need to make sure not to expose the engine to the elements or use low-quality fuel. 

Additionally, the electrical systems in modern cars and electric vehicles can be affected by rust. Usually, these complex parts of your car are well-protected. If water happens to find its way inside your vehicle, you are at risk of the electronics shorting out, causing your car to stop operating entirely.

Impacts Value

Rust can have a substantial negative impact on the value of your car if it is extremely rusted. Small spots of rust can be treated, but it can still lead to your car’s devaluation compared to if it were in good condition. Both in resale and trade-in, rust affects the value regardless of how you decide to sell your vehicle

Compromises Structure

When surface rust is left for too long, it can advance and impact the structure of your car. Taking care of rust immediately can prevent it from spreading further and corroding the metalwork.

Rust can eat away at the internal parts of your car and may affect:

  • Body panels
  • Chassis
  • Wheel wells
  • Fuel tank housing
  • Engine mounts

Repairing rust before it spreads saves you a lot of money in the long run. Investing in your vehicle now and preventing structural damage is worth not having to spend thousands in the future.

High Damage Costs

If you choose to ignore signs of rust early on, the damage done with time can cost you. If rust affects any costly components like your suspension, transmission, or drive train, you will need professional help to completely replace these systems of your car. You’ll likely pay upwards of £1,000 for welding, replacing entire panels, or fixing your car’s frame or engine.

How to Stop and Prevent Rust on Your Car

  • Wash and inspect your car regularly By keeping your car clean, you remove any corrosive materials like dirt, salt, or road grime that can cause rust on any exposed metal. Keep an eye out for rust, even if the spots are relatively minor, and address them with sanding, priming, and repainting.
  • Use wax and anti-rust coatings A quality car wax will create a barrier to protect your car from moisture, dirt, and other environmental substances. You can apply anti-rust coatings in more vulnerable areas for extra protection.
  • Dry after rain and washing After rain or washing, make sure to dry your car thoroughly to completely remove any moisture that can sit on the surface of your car and cause rust.

Auto Body Repair After Rust in the UK

If you’ve spotted some rust on your car or have extensive rust damage, you’ll want to find a quality auto body shop to take care of it as soon as you find it. At Caversham Coachworks, we take care of everything from insurance, crash, and car body repairs to dent and scratch repairs, among other services.

As the leading independent vehicle repair centre in Berkshire and Central Oxfordshire, we promise to offer exceptional service and quality work. Let us help you make your car look as good as new.

Talk to one of our specialists today or use our free and easy estimator tool.

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