Rust prevention


#1

i live in salt country. in maine roads are heavily salted and i regularly hose out my car, especially the wheel wells and quarter panels. is this a waste of time or worthwhile?

my car is a 2001 subaru, still ostensibly rust free


#2

It may be worth it on a Honda or Toyota too; they’re the worst when the car gets older. Making sure water doesn’t accumulate in the fenders by checking in the trunk is good too.


#3

There are trade off’s to doing it, but I would guess that on the average it is beneficial. Of course many, including myself who don’t bother have cars that are also rust free. (I have a 2002 VW) Modern cars of all makes are far less prone to rust than the older cars. Sometimes we don’t give the car industry credit for what they do right, it sort of gets hidden under all the things they do poorly.


#4

Yes, this should help. Also, wash the bottoms of the rocker panels below the doors. Make sure drain holes are open. You may need your mechanic to find them and clear any blockages. Modern cars are far more rust resistant than their predecessors 30 years ago.


#5

Get as much salt off the underside as possible as often as possible. And don’t keep the car in a heated garage: Keeping the slush and gunk frozen greatly slows down the chemical reaction that creates rust.

(All these months, and they STILL haven’t added proper navigation features to the board??? Geez!)


#6

It may be worth it on a Honda or Toyota too; they’re the worst when the car gets older

I think that can be said for the pre-90’s Hondas and Toyotas…but they’ve been very good sinc the mid 90’s. Wifes 96 Accord had virtually NO rust when we gave it away this past summer with OVER 200k miles on it. Her 87 Accord however…the wheel wells rusted out in about 8 years. Her 1980 Datsun was rusted pretty good in just 5 years. My 98 Pathfinder doesn’t have any rust on it and it has OVER 300k miles.

To the OP…Yes keeping the undercarriage clean is a good way to help prevent any rust. I do mine once a week.


#7

We know to take rust advice seriously from a NH resident. Hartford CT would know too.


#8

Cars are more rust resistant now because of a 1970s class action lawsuit by “Rusty Ford Owners” which started in Canada and spread to the US. Fords used to be the worst for rust before this. Washing off the salt is always a good idea, provided the car has a chance to dry out afterwards. Some imported cars are still not very rust resistant.


#9

The worse Domestic manufactorer for rust in the 70’s was Chyrco. They didn’t believe in inner fender wells and every chryco I ever saw in Upstate NY the front fenders near the top were rusting out after 2 years.

And the Japanese were FAR WORSE then domestics. They’ve ALL improved since the 70’s.


#10

The worse Domestic manufactorer for rust in the 70’s was Chyrco.

Oh yeah. Back in '81 I was shopping for my first new car, and looked at either a Horizon or an Omni (they were basically the same car). Opened the driver door, and Rust City! I didn’t need to test drive it – I knew it would be rusted to death within a year.

The Subaru I bought wasn’t much better, even with Rusty Jones “rustproofing”. The car rusted out huge holes by the time it folded up when rear-ended in '88. The Acura Integra that replaced it didn’t fare much better – it needed extensive rebuilding underneath after 5 or 6 years. Eventually the computer drowned and fried itself when some hole I never found let in lots of water while driving on a rainy day. One of the major reasons I bought a Saturn in '98 was the polymer body panels: zero rust. Too bad GM recently ordered a switch to steel panels like everyone else.


#11

Oh yeah. Back in '81 I was shopping for my first new car, and looked at either a Horizon or an Omni (they were basically the same car). Opened the driver door, and Rust City! I didn’t need to test drive it

That car was so poorly designed anyways. I had one as a rental ONCE…In order for my knees NOT to hit the dash I had to put the seat all the way back…But when I did I couldn’t reach the steeringwheel…GREAT DESIGN…if you 5’1"


#12

i don’t really have any advice, but i have a 73 chevy nova, with rustshield that was sprayed inside the door pannels and most other places, and contrary to what you may hear, old cars aren’t that suceptable to rust, my only rust spots are small specs over the hood and roof


#13

Clean under the car absolutely. All the car washes I’ve ever seen ( drive through or park-in-the-machine types ) never wash under the car and the owner is fooled that all is clean. See a previous post here from a couple of days ago “brake line failure” about 131 back in car questions today. the 93 Marquis has RUSTED through it’s brake and fuel lines and I would bet that the root cause for grandma’s car with low mileage is the trapped moisture underneath. Out here in New Mexico most cars don’t have this issue and here at the Ford dealer we are amazed at the “back east” cars when they’re up on the hoist. Thr car comes in the shop all spit-shined and impressive but get it up on the rack and O.M.G.! iron oxide city ! I don’t care what kind of vehicle it is…keep the under carriage clean.