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Summer is here - a great time to rustproof your classic

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For many owners of old, vintage or classic cars, the very mention of rust is enough to fill them with fear. The reality is that there are certain circumstances that make older vehicles susceptible to rust. Thankfully by taking appropriate action, a car owner can dramatically reduce the chances of having to deal with corrosion.

Rust is the common term for iron oxide to describe the process when iron or a metal containing iron that is weakened due to being exposed to oxygen and moisture for a long period. This process is commonly evident on day-to-day items such as door hinges, bike chains, and padlocks when exposed to outdoor weather conditions.

How you can help avoid need for rust treatment

Normal Usage

The first thing to know is that rust is just waiting to happen, almost stealth like in the way that it seeks out vulnerabilities in the metal. Even during normal everyday use, mud, dust and of course water all conspire to diminish the vehicles exterior properties.

Of course, the initial shiny finish of a car is normally enough to keep rust and corrosion away. Regular washing and an application of a decent wax or polish is a great way to keep your pride and joy looking its best. However, this is not really where the issue lies.

The potential for rust is dramatically increased once the top layer of paint is damaged, factors to look out for here are:

Stone chips

Scratches

Scuffs

Any of the above will give rust the opportunity that it has been waiting for. Once the protective top layer is broken then moisture and air fight to breakdown the steel, with rust becoming the inevitable outcome if the area is left untreated.

Starting Point

To avoid these corrosion issues it is vital to quickly start a rust treatment on the damaged areas. This means cleaning the vehicle thoroughly and taking the time to look at each panel as closely as possible. Some areas like the wheel arches and sills are worth paying closer attention to as they are more prone to picking up stone chips or other damage.

Once the offending area has been identified it should be treated. This is best carried out with the initial use of a rust inhibitor. Put simply, this will help to stop the rust from having an opportunity to develop further into something more sinister. Only after this rust proofing treatment is carried out should you be in a position to touch in the offending area.

Regular Process

An effective rust prevention strategy is to make cleaning your vehicle a regular occurrence. Without this it is likely that mud and other dirt will serve to cover up the likes of stone chips, allowing rust to form.

Over time, what started out like a small chip or scratch can easily turn into something that detracts significantly from your cars appearance. An expensive panel repair is looming for situations like these. Sadly as this type of damage won't have started as a result of an accident it is extremely unlikely that insurance will offer a solution, leaving the owner having to foot the bill.

Avoiding motor vehicle rust doesn't have to be a big issue. Following these simple suggestions regarding rust prevention will go a long way to keeping your car rust free.