With all the salt, sand, and dirt on the roads in wintery conditions, the risk of rust damage to your vehicle is higher than the rest of the year.If left without repair, rust can eat away at your car’s structure, and even get into your engine bay, which can cause issues with the vehicle’s performance. With these preventative tips, you can save yourself the time, money, and stress of rust repair before it becomes a problem!

Maintain

In the winter, salt from the roads can really add to the wear and tear on your vehicle. But how do you stop it? By keeping up with your regular maintenance, even things you may think are only for warmer weather, like car washes. Although it seems pointless to keep up with car washes in the snowier season, it’s important to at least get your vehicle a rinse as often as possible to remove salt buildup and reduce the potential risk of rust. You can also boost your protection by getting your car waxed seasonally. Wax adds an extra layer of protection to your paint job and keeps it looking new, preventing fading and adding that shine. At least twice a year, you should give your vehicle a good wax to reap these benefits, not only for your paint job, but for rust prevention as well. 

Clean

It’s a simple tip, but keeping your car clean is an easy way to prevent rust. From top to bottom, undercarriage included, dirt, sand, ice melt, and sediment can wear through protective layers of wax, clear coat, and paint, which will leave your car vulnerable to rusting. Most of your local drive-through car washes will do the trick in cleaning every inch of your car. 

But it’s not just the outside that needs your attention. An interior left unclean can also provide an opening for rust buildup in your car. That spilled soda from your lunch can seep through the carpet of your floor until it reaches metal, and rust can happen before you realize it. Make sure to clean any spills, mopping up any excess liquid, as soon as you can. 

Watch

Rust can pop up without you knowing, and it could be too late before you find it, so keeping an eye on your car is important. You should look out for places that can hold water, like a truck bed or a leaky trunk. If water continues to gather in these spots, it can compromise the protection your car has against rust. Also, make sure to watch your paint job, wheel wells, and spots where water might build up. If you see your clear coat or paint flaking, chipping, or peeling, this is a sign of susceptibility to rust. When your paint job is damaged, the elements have easier access to the metal of your car. As soon as you notice problems with your paint, it’s time to check in with us at Graham Collision to get a touch-up.

Stay safe this winter, and don’t let those pesky winter sediments like salt, ice, and sand get in your way of keeping your car looking great.