Rust control treatment, frequently referred to as rustproofing, is a process of spraying a rust-inhibiting chemical on the underside and inside of your vehicle’s body, as well as any other rust-prone areas. Rust control may make your car last longer and save you money.

VW's body with rust

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A saving, not a cost

With today’s higher prices for everything from auto insurance to gasoline, most of us are watching our spending. We may not be able to buy a new car every three or four years, which is where rust control can help. Having your vehicle sprayed annually may well double its lifespan, saving you thousands of dollars. Here’s how:

  • Your car will last longer, delaying the need to buy a new one.
  • If your vehicle is paid for and you keep it for 10 years, you can avoid years of car payments–a potential saving of from $20- to $40-thousand or more.
  • Maintenance costs are lower and your car looks better.
  • Resale value increases.

“If you buy a vehicle and plan to keep it for more than four years, consider taking it to a reliable rust control business to be sprayed every year,” suggests Freeman Young, president of Krown Rust Control Systems. [See krown.com for more info.] “And check to make sure that the process is environmentally safe and the technicians are properly trained.”

After purchasing a house, a vehicle is probably the biggest item most people ever buy. So it makes good financial sense to prevent rust from causing premature deterioration.

An annual rust control treatment for an average car costs about $110 before tax and does not void your manufacturer’s warranty.

Safety is an added benefit

Without proper protection against rust, a vehicle’s metal body can begin to corrode after just a few years. Rust usually starts in weaker areas such as spot welds (newer vehicles have as many as 2,000 of these places where metal parts are welded together.) If left unchecked, rust can also harm the mechanical parts that are essential to the safe running of the vehicle such as the gas tank, electrical connections and brake lines.

“As soon as your car starts getting rusty, the overall integrity of the vehicle is compromised,” explains Young. “Treating your vehicle with a rust control product every year actually makes the frame stronger and protects the moving parts. The fact is that rustproofing equals safety.”

Tips for keeping your car like new

You don’t have to buy a new vehicle every three or four years if you take proper care of the one you’ve got. Young offers these tips for keeping your automobile looking its best and performing well for many years:

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  • Have your car treated annually to prevent rust, preferably beginning soon after you buy it.
  • If your car has already begun to rust, don’t despair. As long as it isn’t bad enough to require body work, a rust control chemical can still penetrate the rust, preventing further oxidization and stopping the spread of corrosion.
  • Find an environmentally safe product, preferably one that has a hydrocarbon (oil) base.
  • Insist on watching the technicians to make sure they do the job knowledgably and with care. (For example, they should spray the rust control product into hidden areas such as the top of the gas tank.) If they won’t let you watch, take your business where the service is better.
  • Keep your vehicle clean and, during the winter months, salt-free; clean the wheel wells frequently with a power washer.
  • Promptly touch up door dings, scratches and rock chips, which are opportunities for rust.

—News Canada

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Filed under: Car Maintenance