How RUST can destroy your car and how can you SAVE it

If you are not the lucky owner of a car made of fiberglass or aluminium, you sure will be acquainted with metal eating rust on your vehicle. Even though manufacturers have come up with space-age technology to deal with the team action of water and air, rust is something that comes up as a silent assassin to ruin your car. Rust is like ageing lines on the face, it quickly disfigures the car and brings down the value substantially. Let’s find out how to deal with rust.

How does rust happen?

How RUST can destroy your car and how can you SAVE it
Rust happens to iron or its alloys due to oxidation. When iron comes in contact with water and oxygen, a chemical reaction takes place. Iron chemically oxides and forms a red substance, that is known as rust. The rust makes the metal weak and destroys it completely if not stopped in time.

What manufacturers do to prevent it?

How RUST can destroy your car and how can you SAVE it
Manufacturers apply multiple layers of anti-rust coats before applying the final paint on a modern car but sometimes a small chip or scratch on the paint can expose the metal and the rust cancer takes over immediately.

How to prevent rust?

How RUST can destroy your car and how can you SAVE it
1. Quickly cover the surface with paint or if the paint is not available, use a thin coat of oil to coat the exposed surface. It will keep air and water away from the metal, slowing the process of rusting. The exposed metal should be cleaned and treated with an anti-rust coat of iron oxide, after which, paint should be applied as soon as possible to remove any possibility of rust on the body.

2. Also, pollution deposits on your car can remove the paint and expose the metal. It is advised to wash the vehicle at least once every week to keep the car free from any polluting residues. Wax based polish can be used to form a layer between the paint and the harmful pollutants in the air.

3. If the car is fairly new, galvanising can be done to the underside of the vehicle. Galvanising puts a layer of zinc, which doesn’t oxidise as iron on the metal surface. It makes the life of the body much longer.

4. Keep the inside clean and make sure that any spilled liquid is cleaned thoroughly. Rust can also attack from the inside of the car.

How to deal with rust?

How RUST can destroy your car and how can you SAVE it
Now that the rust has just resurfaced out of nowhere on your beloved vehicle, you should act as quickly as possible on the affected area. Even a microscopic rust and take the shape of a devil in a matter of few days.

  1. Rust should be removed completely from the metal surface by scraping the metal with a sandpaper or other grinding tools.
  2. When the new layer of metal comes up, apply primer on it and the second coat of body coloured paint on the car.

Keeping your car rust free is not easy but it sure keeps the value of your car at top notch. Also, some day, rust will pierce all the defence mechanism that you have put to reach the body of your car. You can delay it as long as you can by regularly inspecting the car.

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil Nag, senior feature writer at, channels his expertise and enthusiasm into insightful car reviews and test drives. (Full bio)