How To Protect Your Truck from Rust
Your truck is part of your family. It’s big, sturdy, and always ready to take you where you need to go. You don’t need to put your truck away or worry about it when winter comes because it’s built to weather the storm. Your kids and dogs love jumping into it when it’s time to go on a trip. Your wife loves the cabin space. You smile when you have the wheel in your hands.
Taking care of your family is a priority to you, and if you consider your truck a part of the gang, paying monthly insurance alone isn’t enough. Rust can destroy your vehicle. As rust builds, it can ruin body panelling and can eventually reduce the structural integrity of the entire frame.
Preventing rust from happening in the first place is the best way to protect your truck and extend its life. The following tips will help you keep your vehicle in top shape:
1. Keep an Eye Out
One of the most common places for rust buildup is the wheel wells. Wheels are a muddy, dirty place in general; it’s hard to see where the trouble starts. Many tire manufacturers recommend rotating your tires every 6,000 miles to lengthen their lifespan. When you remove your wheels, clean them out and use the opportunity to give them a thorough check with a flashlight.
Other common places for rust buildup are metal joints – any place two pieces of metal meet. Friction between surfaces will wear away at any protection given by the paint. When the paint is rubbed off, the rust will creep its way in. Check your doors and the area around your trunk or hood.
NOTE: Bubbled paint on your edges could mean there’s rust forming underneath!
2. Bottoms Up!
Out of sight, out of mind. The bottom of your car deals with the worst of the road and it can build up dangerously without your knowledge. If you live in a place like Canada, all of the salt and chemicals that we use to treat snow and ice will increase the chances of rust formation.
Make sure you don’t neglect the undercarriage when you clean your truck and take a thorough look for rust the next time you raise it to change the oil.
3. Stay Clean
Your mother was right: having regular showers and keeping clean is important- but this is also true when it comes to the maintenance and care of your vehicles. Although dirt itself doesn’t cause the formation of rust, buildup of mud, gravel, bird droppings, or sand will wear away at the paint, wax and clear coat protection of your truck, leaving it vulnerable.
Give your truck a wash at least once every three weeks to reduce the chance of friction and abrasion, and even more frequently in the winter due to salt build up. Splurge on a wax treatment at least twice a year to seal the deal and keep the paint fresh.
4. Get Rid of It
Finally, if you do spot some rust buildup anywhere on your vehicle, make sure you remove it immediately to prevent it from spreading!
- Scrape off the rust using a sharp razor blade or a piece of very fine grit sandpaper.
- Once you’ve removed the material, apply a Rust Arrestor carefully to the affected area. Rust Arrestors can be purchased at any auto or DIY store like Canadian Tire or Home Depot.
- Let the Rust Arrestor dry completely. You may need to apply a secondary primer on it before fixing the paint, depending on the brand you’ve used.
If you are as vigilant in protecting your vehicle from nature’s metallic pox as you are about taking your multivitamins regularly, your truck is guaranteed to live a longer life. In the meantime, you should also find out what kind of car matches your personality – maybe a truck owner isn’t what you were destined to be!