How do I prevent rust damage?



I live right by the ocean in South Florida. I recently had to trade in my old car due to heavy rust damage to my brakes, caused by the salt air (this shortly after I lost the exhaust system to rust). Our other family car has also suffered rust damage, though not as severe.

I now have a '97 Lexus. How do I prevent the same thing from happening again? I am currently rinsing the brakes and undercarriage a few times a week with a hose, but I don’t know how effective this will be in the long run.

Will rinsing work? Is there a product out there I can use? I’ve thought of buying car and tire covers, but my innate laziness makes me wince at the idea of putting them on every evening and taking them off every morning.


What youre doing is just fine, it makes a big difference. Once a week would be just fine. Itd be easier to go to a car wash that washes the undercarriage.

Tire covers only help with sun damage to tires. It wont make much of a difference as far as corrosion goes. The salt air can get to the brakes just as easily, if not more easily, from the back side of the tire.


Agree with you that keeping the car clean and dry will go a long way. In industry cathodic protection is used to protect pipelines and other items which are made from carbon steel. You can now buy these kits for your car as well. They are selling well in in the Northern “rust belt”"around the Great Lakes where large quantities of road salt are use for de-icing. The system uses battery power to put a charge (low voltage)on the body so rusting is greatly reduced. Major auto supply stores and auto-electric shops should carry the item. The cost is several hundred dollars, but it is worth protecting a car as good as a Lexus.


Move to upstate NY and then try to keep the car from rusting!!

Rotors will ALWAYS rust. I don’t know how they could possible be damaged to the point they needed to replaced because of rust. 3 seconds after your first stop all the rust is gone.

Exhaust systems rust no matter where you live. If you drive short distances the water that settles in exhausts never get completely burned off. So drive short distances is NOT good for exhaust systems. Since 97 or 98 manufacturers started using stainless steel in their exhaust systems. I replaced the exhaust on my 98 pathfinder at around 200k miles.

The best thing you can do is wash the car once a week. Not much else. But your rust problems is insignificant to other parts of the country.


“I live right by the ocean in South Florida.” This lifestyle choice means your cost of living is about double that of someone living in the middle of Oklahoma. Vehicle life is guaranteed to be short in tropical salt air conditions. One of the MANY things they forget to mention in Florida real-estate brochures…


Thank you for your editorializing on my “lifestyle choices”. I could be snarky and point out that my salary is about double it would be in the middle of Oklahoma. But I am much too big a man to sink to that level.


You must be a real-estate agent! Wait. A ten year old Lexus? That’s not suitable. You need a new Benz.