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Car windshield being scrapped

How to Protect Your Car From Rust This Winter

Car rust happens to the best of us. You can do many things to keep it at bay, but none of them are foolproof. Winter rust protection can range from almost-free to $1,000s depending on your vehicle, climate, and parking situation. 

Many newer cars come with 100,000-mile rust assistance through the car warranty. The reason for this is even if the paint has rust prevention treatments, the underbody of a vehicle can still contract rust.

There are preventive measures you can take – no matter what kind of vehicle you drive. These measures will slow the oxidation of the most fragile, oldest cars and trucks to the newest. 

With these tips on protecting your car from rust this winter, you will be equipped to treat your car or truck within your budget and be free from rust stress worries.

Clean Your Drains

Every car and truck has drains throughout various locations. These drains are designed to keep water from collecting in places on your automobile, known to be problematic and cause rust. 

When a drain gets clogged with dirt, leaves, and things like pine needles, they start to do exactly the opposite of what they were put in for. If you ever hear water sloshing around inside your doors and fenders, this is likely why. 

To find the drain on your car, you will have to visit the manufacturer’s website or check your automobile manual. In most automobiles, you’ll find the drains along the bottoms of the doors, in the floors, in the tailgate, and at the bottom of the automobile’s fenders. 

Wash Your Car

It may seem counterproductive to wash your car with water to remove problems like snow, but washing off the snow and the salt that collects with it is a preventive measure to help defend against rust. 

Dirt, mud, and sand will also wear away at whatever protective rust finish you have. A touch-free car wash is best compared to the drop cloth kind since it’s not wiping against your automobile’s finish. If you can find a car wash with an undercarriage wash, that’s definitely worth the extra money.

Clean the Inside

You might not think rust is going to happen on the inside of your car – but it can! Moisture and salt can get tracked inside your vehicle, leaching through the carpets. Eventually, this can lead to rusting out the floor from the inside. 

It’s good to invest in some rubber floor mats made to protect your floors from all-weather materials. Vacuum the interior regularly to keep salt and sand from working their way through the carpet and steel. The last thing you want to see is the road underneath you, literally. 

Oil Undercoating

If you live in any state that sees harsh winters, you’ve probably also witnessed many older cars on the road that have survived decades of the harsh winters. Want to know the trick of the owners? They undercoat their automobile with oil. 

Owners of these older automobiles pressure wash the underside of their car or truck, fill their sprayer up with oil, and coat the underbody, frame rails, and fenders. Chain oil for chainsaws averages about $5 a gallon. This oil has some adhesive properties, so it will stick to whatever you spray it on, leaving behind an oil film rather than a drippy mess. 

For this reason, chain oil makes excellent undercarriage rust preventative for those harsh winter environments. 

If you’re not feeling up to doing this yourself, there are companies out there that will oil your truck or car for you. 

Inspect Your Wheel Wells and Bumpers

Your wheel wells and bumpers need frequent inspections during the winter months. Wheels can be common trouble spots when it comes to areas where rust develops. Wheel wells tend to become extremely dirty, making it difficult to see, so car owners tend to neglect inspection. 

Tire manufacturers recommend you rotate your tires every 6,000 miles, so when the wheel is removed, use a flashlight to check the wheel well, or ask the mechanic to do it for you and ask them to wash away any buildup. 

Where Things Meet

Your car or truck is likely to rust where two pieces of metal meet – especially if they rub. Rubbing of metal pieces will wear away the paint’s protective coating, which will allow for rust to form. Take time to inspect your automobile, paying close attention to the area where surfaces meet. 

You’ll be looking at areas like the door frame, hood, and trunk. Look for signs that the paint is bubbling. This will be your problem area, and you’ll want to have it taken care of before it gets worse and rust forms. 

Dents and Dings

While inspecting your car, if you come across any dents or dings while trying to protect your car from rust this winter – don’t put off having those taken care of. Cold and moisture can turn an average dent into a rust bucket of a nightmare. Dents can warp the metal, weakening it or exposing raw metal in areas where the paint has broken. If you notice dents or dings on your ride, Contact JM Dent Repair today!

Despite all your efforts to protect your investment, dents are sometimes simply out of your control. Don’t worry — at JM Dent Repair, we know how much it means to you to get your car looking new again, and that’s why we’re trusted in the Lafayette area for affordable paintless dent repair.

Paintless dent repair eliminates the worry of a color mismatch or uneven fading, and preserves your vehicle’s appearance and resale value. If you’re driving a leased vehicle, it also helps you avoid expensive “wear and tear charges” on your lease return. Contact us for a quote and see why we’re the best around.


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