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The ABC's Of Controlling Your Car's Rust
Our cars are exposed to numerous
dangers; theft, crash, abuse, improper maintenance and the like, but an
equally dangerous but more insidious risk is simple rust. Virtually every
vehicle is going to have some rust on it somewhere, sometime. The combination
of complex sheet metal work, with lots of hidden nooks and crannies, has
led to the construction of some vehicles that are notorious "rust buckets".
Many manufacturers have taken steps to slow rusting, but most of their
rust control systems have failed or proved inadequate. So the problem
remains: How does the typical car owner control rust?
There are three main
areas of a car's structure that can suffer potential damage. The areas
of concern are:
1. Engine and Trunk Compartments Corrosion and rust can cause leaks in
the air intake systems, reducing their capacity. Connectors, both mechanical
and electrical, can be very problematic, because these kinds of failures
may be intermittent and difficult to diagnose. This is especially true,
if a car is stored for more than 30 days.
2. Frame and Chassis Sub Structure There are numerous metal devices attached
to the frame and chassis structure that rust. Hinges, exhaust and control
systems, window frames, braces, bumpers, trailer hitches and various other
metal items are in a constant state of attack by water, salt, air and
3. Painted Surfaces Paint takes a horrific beating from the elements.
Lumps, bumps and scratches on the paint are the early warning signs of
rust. They turn into large bubbles that cause paint to flake off.
What do you do, in
order to deal with the threat or reality of rust?
1. Inspect: Periodically inspect your vehicle for the presence of rust,
or a weakness of the protective coating. The best prevention is to be
alert to early rust and corrosion signs that predict major problems and
2. Protect: A VpCI rust-preventative treatment or coating should be applied
to the iron to prevent, or discourage the formation of rust. It is easier
to prevent rust than to have to eradicate it. Many factors affect the
rate of rust and corrosion growth. This is why iron and steel tend to
corrode more quickly when exposed to salt (such as that used to melt snow
or ice on roads) or moist salty air near oceans.
3. Correct: If rust is detected, it must be aggressively treated to stop
it and deal with its effects. The most important step is to treat future
potential rust and corrosion sites. Cortec®� VpCI products are the answer.
How do I correct rust problems?
1. Removal and replacement of the affected metal. Ideally, replacing rusted
metal with fresh metal is the best way to have a rust-free vehicle, but
very few of us can afford the cost of new panels.
2. Conversion of existing rust. Rust conversion involves stopping the
rusting process by chemically acting on the rusted metal and changing
it into a more stable compound. It's biggest disadvantage is when the
rust converter has trapped water vapor. This is when rust converters fail.
3. Slowing and/or stopping the spread of rust. Slowing or stopping the
spread of rust is the most realistic and most economically practical.
In most situations, neither metal replacement nor rust conversion are
wise solutions. For instance, treating the inside of rocker panels and
frame rails. Both of these areas are prone to rusting, but are fairly
inaccessible. In most cases, these areas only require the use of Cortec®®
VpCI-389, which is easy to apply and will slow and even stop the spread
of existing rust. Spraying it on makes it possible to treat difficult-to-access
areas. The resulting treatment seals the surface from exposure to air
and moisture and most importantly adds VpCIs which slow the formation
of new rust and the spread of existing rust. The process is perfect for
areas which will not be exposed to direct weather.
Ultimately, Cortec®� VpCIs
will extend the life of your car with less hassle and less cost than any
other method available.