Preventing automotive rust can be tricky. How knowledgeable are you when it comes to preventing automotive rust? Take this quiz and find out!
Rust not only makes your car less attractive, it can cause serious damage if left unchecked.
Rust is iron oxide, a molecule consisting of two iron atoms and three oxygen atoms. It's the product of an electrochemical process called corrosion.
To create rust, three factors must be present: an anode, a cathode and an electrolyte.
An anode is a piece of metal that will readily release electrons under the right circumstances.
Cathodes are metals that will accept electrons.
Electrolytes are liquids that facilitate the movement of electrons.
There are several points on your car that are more susceptible to rust. For example, your car's engine, frame, chassis, exhaust system and trunk compartment can develop rust. Optional equipment, like trailer hitches, can also fall prey to corrosion. Rust can even attack painted surfaces on your car.
Some substances make it easier for rust to form on your car. One of the most common is salt. While water can act as an electrolyte, it's not very efficient at carrying electrons. Salt water is much more effective. An object that might rust slowly under normal conditions will rust quicker if it's in contact with salt water.
Iron oxide forms easily and vehicles can develop rust in any region or environment. Cars in harsher environments or near oceans may be more susceptible to rust than cars in dry regions, but no vehicle is completely immune.
One good way to protect your car's paint job is to wash your car every two weeks and apply a wax coating once a month. Take this time to examine your car carefully. If you see any signs of scratches, bubbling or flaking, you have a problem. Bubbles can be a sign of rust forming underneath the paint and scratches or flaking can allow moisture to begin the oxidation process.