Rust, Rust, Go Away...How To Prevent Rust
In the classic car world, rust is a dirty four letter word. Rust has caused endless amounts of headaches, repairs, and eaten our classics alive. So how do you prevent rust from tearing up your priceless classic?
The fear of rust might make you want to keep your classic tucked away safely. However, not letting things move around and get up to operating temp can be just as bad for the car. If it’s in hibernation try to start it up and get up to operating temp at least once a month. This will keep the cylinder walls rust free and not allow things to build up in the fuel system.
By far the biggest cause of rust is moisture. Driving the car during a rain storm isn’t going to cause it to instantly rust. But sitting in water or letting water sit for months and years on end will. After the car gets wet make sure to dry it off completely. Take an air hose with a nozzle and blow out all the nooks and crannies of the car.
If it’s parked in the garage, keep a fan going to move air around. Another option is to run a dehumidifier. Why do California and Arizona cars last so much longer? It’s dry, so even sitting outside they aren’t being exposed to the humidity the eastern half of The United States sees.
Hold The Salt
Avoiding salted roads helps too. If you’re in an area that has to salt the roads in the winter, try to avoid driving then. If you have to, try to regularly wash off the car and undercarriage to rinse away the salt from the car.
Layer Of Protection
Adding a layer of protection can go a long way to avoiding rust. If moisture can’t touch the metal, then it can’t rust.
For a fully restored car, that would mean a nice coat of wax. We’d suggest a fresh coat at least twice a year to help keep the shine and the barrier up. If you’re still wrenching on your car, paint any bare surfaces. Paint creates the barrier to help prevent rust from ever forming.
Resistance Is Futile
At the end of the day there’s no real way to keep a car from rusting. Having the car in a 100% dry environment will help, but that also causes other issues. Reducing the moisture it sees from either not driving in wet weather or keeping it from humidity are your best bets.