Depending on where you live in the country, the formation of rust has the ability to make or break your vehicle, and significantly lesson its life span. Whether you live in the snowy Northeast, or near the ocean, there are many reasons why your vehicle may be rusting out, and there are ways to combat the formation of the dreaded stuff. If you have wondered why it forms and how to get rid of it, take a look below.
To form, rust just needs to find an electrolyte, cathode or anode, making vehicles incredibly susceptible to it as they contain two of the above, while water contains one. While the metal of your car can act as the cathode and anode, water is an electrolyte, making it incredibly easy for rust to form if you live in a humid climate.
There are, in addition, substances which can quicken and worsen the formulation of rust. The most common is salt. Salt is an effect electrolyte, more effective than water, and vehicles that spend the majority of their time in an area that is heavily salted will be left with rusty vehicles. In the snowy climates, snow is the most common tool to utilize against snowy roads and make for safer travel, while on the coast, salt is no just in the water, but in the humid air as well. Though auto manufacturers have taken steps to prevent rust, by creating primers and paints with ingredients to ward off the formation, they are ultimately only part of the solution to keeping your vehicle rust free.
Why is rust such a big deal on cars, and should I be worried if I see some? Rust, in short, weakens metal. This is not good for the body of your vehicle, and it can lead to serious problems whether you are driving on a highway or rear ended. Anything that weakens the structure of the vehicle is a very bad thing. So if you see rust, act immediately. To prevent the formation, wash your vehicle every two weeks and apply a wax coating to the exterior once a month. Depending on where you live, you may need to go an extra step further and purchase an anti-rust spray or protective lubricant, as these will add another layer of protection.
Keeping your vehicle clean and happy is ultimately the best defense against rust. Taking action at the first sign of rust developing will also go a long way in extending the life of your vehicle. Never take rust for granted, as this slow and silent aggressor can lead to serious damage.
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