In Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, there are plenty of reasons to count ourselves lucky. We’re close to the mountains and the ocean, and the seasons are mild (how amazing was the fall this year?!). And while our winters are long and wet, they are relatively free from that white stuff that falls from the sky.
Snow is great! Who doesn’t love the odd snowman here and there? But an entire season of snow can bring a lot of challenges with it, and one of the worst ones is the salt on the roads the city uses to melt it. You know what salt does to a car? It eats away at the paint job and quickly causes rust, sending many otherwise perfectly fine vehicles to the junk yard.
Rust is caused by the electrochemical breakdown of iron-based metals called oxidation, and depending on the size and scale of the problem, it can range from easy and DIY to very costly to fix.
But wouldn’t you rather not have to make that decision? In other words, why not do what you can to prevent and protect your car’s paint job from rust damage in the first place.
If you live in the Lower Mainland, you’re already doing a really good job. Congratulations! You’re chances of rust damage are naturally lower than many other parts of the the country, especially when we have a snow-free winter. But don’t rest on your laurels! There is still more work to be done.
The next step to prevent rust from eating away at your car’s paint is to wash, dry and apply a protective wax coating on a regular basis. Some people find this inconvenient and expensive, but why not learn to love it? Waxing your car pays off tenfold in terms of rust protection.
Keeping the body of your car clean is obvious but to really prevent rust from taking root, make sure the underside is getting a thorough cleaning, too. Equally as important and not as obvious is making sure all the nooks and crannies get some attention. This includes drain holes along the bottoms of doors and panels. These help rainwater flow out and are a prime place for water to pool and eventually cause rust to form. Don’t forget all the seams, too. Really get in there and give them a good, detailed cleaning.
We’ve been harping on winter problems, but let’s not forget that the summer can be equally damaging to a paint job, breaking it down and creating weak spots that can quickly turn into rust.
In the summer, keep your car’s paint job free from tree sap and limit its exposure to harmful UV rays. Bird droppings are a year round problem and also should be immediately dealt with. Car paint can only withstand so much of these things before the chemical reaction begins to break down, so do what you can to avoid them.
Removing all the salt, dirt and grime from city driving is a really important step in preventing corrosion. As is tackling things like droppings and sticky tree sap, and keep your car out of the sun as much as possible.
If you do notice spots of rust, it’s best to deal with them quickly and while they are still small, because rust can grow quickly and become a major problem before you know it. If you need help with rust eating away at your car’s paint job, bring it into auto body repair specialists Super Euro in Vancouver to have a look at it.