December 5, 2023

There is nothing worse than seeing rust on our cars because that signals that we are not paying attention to the essential details. To find a brown spot on the fender, a bubble in the paint on the bottom of a door, floors soaked suddenly after hitting a puddle, these are situations that scare us because they imply that something is not right and that we should invest money to solve it before it’s too late.

Updated April 2022: We may not think about rust as often now that modern cars are better at protecting against it, but it still plagues every machine. While certain facts about rust are simply myths, there’s an equal number of facts that end up being true. We’ve updated this list to include even more facts and myths about rust.

But the truth is that there are many beliefs about rust and how it happens, if it can be controlled or not, and the reasons that cause it. So today, we will talk about certain urban legends that exist regarding rust and some factors that we should take into account regarding this issue. In this way, we can avoid it in the future and give better care to our vehicles.

Related: 5 Cars That Are Notorious Rust Buckets (And 5 That Never Rust)

23 True: Ceramic Coating is More Permanent Than Wax

Applying Ceramic Coating
Via: Canva Pro

Waxing is great at preventing rust, keeping that shine, and maintaining the quality of the paint. There’s another more permanent option for those who don’t have the time or patience for waxing frequently – ceramic coating. While you may think ceramic coating is costly, it’s a far cheaper process than having to repair rust once it starts.

Ceramic coating doesn’t just protect the paint, but it can be applied to virtually every surface to provide a hydrophobic barrier that stops corrosion before it even begins.

22 Not True: WD-40 Isn’t Enough to Prevent Rust

Popular Science

WD-40 is marketed as a rust preventative, and many swear by its rock-solid properties of WD-40. Indeed, WD-40 is a thin product capable of filling even the smallest cracks or imperfections. It’s recommended for bike chains for this purpose and does an excellent job at preventing rust for this application.

Now, more WD-40 formulas exist than ever before, and the specific nature of their uses aids in a wide variety of tasks, even rustproofing a car. Truckers, ATV owners, and even the hardcore F-250 workhorse owners use WD-40 to prevent rust for their rides even in the harshest of conditions.

Rust Holes Via Wikimedia Commons:Hannes Grobe
Via Wikimedia Commons:Hannes Grobe

Corrosion is never a fun experience. Roads corrode, battery terminals, teeth, and even cars. The corrosion process on cars, rust, doesn’t just turn the vehicle an odd orangish-red color; it literally turns the metal to dust. As oxidation occurs, the metal itself breaks down, and the atoms begin to break from their bonds.

Whenever there is a rusty car on the road, look for the holes. That’s where the metal has fallen away, and part of the car went through a similar process as when Thanos snapped his finger and dusted everyone.

20 Not True: Rust Proofing Is Required Annually

No rust here
via Car Understanding

There are two types of people concerning this problem: those who believe that it is unnecessary to apply rustproof to our vehicles and those who think it should be done too often. And the golden rule is simple, nothing in excess is good.

The important thing is to get a company and qualified personnel to perform this type of procedure on our vehicle. If the person does it correctly, the result can last a couple of years. A high-quality rustproofing job should last up to ten years.

19 True: Rust Proofing Is Ideal For Any Vehicle

AMC Javelin circa 1968
YouTube/Stapleton 42

Investing in the rustproofing process is always a good option because it helps to prevent rusting of iron and steel objects.

Luckily, rustproofing is a procedure that can be applied to any type of vehicle. Even though most cars built these days aren’t going to completely rust out like you’d see decades ago, in any case, it is always essential to give the necessary care to our car at home with the right products.

At the moment when we begin to notice signs of corrosion, we can apply this type of procedure. In this way, we will be significantly lengthening our car’s life.

18 Not True: Rust Is Irreparable

Rusty 1969 AMC Ambassador 343 sedan

How many times have we heard the deadly phrase, “if you already have rust on your car, you can’t get rustproofing?” Too many. But this is a common myth in the streets; the reality is that although the car has signs of oxidation, it can be fixed.

We must also remember that there are different types of rust proofing, so depending on how severe our case is, a specialist can tell us what the best option is.

According to Mighty Auto, “a new rust spot can be ground down and retouched so that it is not an issue. Now granted, if a rust spot is allowed to build and grow, there may not be much that can be done. Still, if caught early, a car can be salvaged, and rust can be repaired.”

17 True: Most Surface Rust Happens When Paint Breaks Down

faded paint (turtlewax)
via : turtlewax

Small details matter, and the first sign that surface rust can occur is when the paint is broken down by mechanical damage or otherwise.

This is the most common oxidation problem in cars and the easiest to solve.

Popular Mechanics suggest, “it’s best to correct surface rust as soon as you see it. The fix is not unlike general paint repair. Start by using an abrasive wheel or sandpaper to cut through the paint and corrosion until the clean, bright metal is visible. Next, apply primer, followed by paint, then clear coat. Buff to blend the finishes.”

16 Not True: Cars Must Be Rust Proofed Before Rust Appears

Rust Proofing

If your vehicle has already developed rust in various body parts, do not panic. You still have several solutions available to solve the problem. Many people do not know that although oxidation has already begun in the car, the process can still be slowed down by using rustproofing. Also, when we apply this type of technique in our vehicle, even when there are already rust features in the body, we help to protect the parts that are in better condition.

Moreover, it is always advisable to ask a specialist what is best for our specific case. In that way, we can prevent the rust from spreading further.

Related: These Are The Reasons Why A Collector Paid Almost $200,000 For An Iso Grifo-Shaped Pile Of Rust

15 True: Waxing A Car Before The First Snowfall Is A Good Idea

Applying Ceramic Coating
Via: Canva Pro

Sometimes the solutions to future problems lie in the basics. What many people do not know is that applying wax to our vehicles with some frequency and washing them helps not only to make the car look clean and highlight the color but also we are helping to extend the life of the paint.

And when it comes to rust, if we make sure to properly apply wax on our vehicle before the first snowfall, we are helping to create an extra layer of protection before the change of season, so we slow down the rust creation process.

14 Not True: You Shouldn’t Get Rust Proofing After Winter Has Started

driving in snowy roads

Each change of season can become the worst enemy of our car, and of course, drastic weather changes do not help with rust. And although winter can become one of the most complicated seasons for rustproofing our vehicles, there is no evidence that will affect the results regarding the quality of the process.

13 True: Rust Can Occur Anywhere On The Body Of The Car

Brakes: The only way to stop properly.
via: reddit

Unlike what many people think, oxidation can occur on any part of our vehicle and often in less visible areas. A common myth is that oxidation always occurs on the body’s surface, where we can notice it instantly.

The truth is that rust travels through the body of the car. Suppose we are negligent and ignore the signs of early rust (in addition to taking care of our vehicle with the right products). In that case, we’ll face severe problems that will affect the look of our car and will cost us a lot of money.

12 Not True: New Cars Have Rust Protection

new car rust proofing

What happens is that most of the cars we see today on the market have plastic covers around the body of the chassis to reduce wind resistance and improve fuel economy.

However, that does not prevent large amounts of moist dirt from accumulating between the vehicle’s undercarriage and the plastic covers, which helps encourage the creation of corrosion over the years.

When we compare them with the vehicles of previous decades, we can say that modern cars have an advantage over corrosion, but that does not make them immune; it simply takes longer to develop.

11 True: It’s Best To Correct Rust Quickly

AMC AMX Mike Hall
Via: EG Auctions

When we find oxidation on the surface, it is best to try to solve the problem as soon as possible. Sciencing explains that “structurally, surface rust is not a problem and depending on the metal’s thickness and alloy composition, a level of ‘passivation’ may be reached.”

The longer we wait, the worse the damage to our car, and it will take longer to solve the problem. Besides, it is essential to remember that it takes less time and money to fix the affected area in the early stages of oxidation. In this way, we will prevent it from expanding throughout the vehicle.

10 Not True: We Can’t Rust Proof Our Own Vehicle


Technically, yes, we can; there are products on the market, such as rustproofing kits specially designed to apply to our vehicles and prevent rust from the comfort of our homes.

However, it is always advisable to visit a specialized center in town that can offer a quality results with professionals trained in this type of problem.

In general, these centers have elevators for vehicles that allow easy access to the underbody area, making the application of the protective coating at 100%. The products mentioned above are ideal as a precautionary measure, but when oxidation is already seen, it is best to go to a specialized center.

9 True: Rust Can Appear Faster Depending On Where We Live

Rust by Ocean via Wikimedia Commons
via Wikimedia Commons

This idea may have never crossed your mind, but our car may be more likely to develop oxidation depending on where we live. This is mainly due to climate. It’s not the same for a person who lives in the tropics as for an individual who lives in a country with different seasons.

But one of the worst enemies of a car is salt. It’s one agent that speeds up corrosion since it improves water’s ability to carry electrons. Hence, people who live near beaches are more likely to have vehicles that suffer faster corrosion than a person living in the city.

8 Not True: Rust Proofing Isn’t Worth It


Some people argue that this type of procedure is a complete waste of money, but the reality is that when we talk about rust proofing, there are no simple answers; it is not black or white, and by this, we mean that each case is different.

And the fact is that nowadays cars aren’t going to completely rust out like their predecessors.

Moreover, Readers Digest explains that we need to consider the length of time we will own our vehicle. If you plan on owning your vehicle for the long haul, rustproofing may contribute to maintaining your vehicle for longer. Those with a short-term lease won’t benefit from rustproofing, saving for a slightly higher residual value.

Related: This Is The Best Rust Remover Spray

7 True: Galvanized Steel Is Widely Used By Car Manufacturers

Manufacturing plant
Via: Carlos Aranda, Unsplash

Galvanization is a term that has lately become popular among manufacturers due to the results. The iron in a car reacts with oxygen to form rust which is iron oxide and by combining iron with other materials it can be protected.

This oxidation process can be prevented by coating the iron with a suitable non-reactive element. When this element is zinc, the process is called galvanization.

The process is pretty low-cost; that’s why many automakers are working with it. Besides that, the coating of zinc protects our car 100% from rusting because oxygen and zinc don’t react like iron and oxygen do, so galvanized steel doesn’t rust.

6 Not True: Repairing Is Cheaper Than Preventing

Rust Repair
Via Youtube/Maxresdefault

People usually do not think that the cost of repairing damage by oxidation is always more expensive than investing in products or processes to avoid it. And this is because after we find rust traits, whether mild or severe, in our vehicle, we will probably need to incur other repair expenses.

Therefore, preventing is better than curing. It is better to invest early in products that help us take care of our vehicle than wait for the rust to appear and try to solve it.

5 True: A Vehicle’s Lifespan Can Be Increased

Rusted 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline
Via Gargling Gas

Usually, the life of a car is between 8 and 15 years, but with the necessary care, it can be extended. Suppose we invest time in taking care of our vehicle. We do not expose it to changes in severe climates without the necessary protection; wash it when it is due. With the required products, we will be able to expand its useful life and save a few thousand dollars.

Doing things such as waxing our car quite often, treating the undercarriage with an anti-corrosion oil from a car parts store, washing the vehicle, and avoiding splashing into puddles or getting near salt trucks will help us avoid corrosion.

4 Not True: Washing A Car Frequently Makes It More Prone To Rust

tunnel car wash
Via: Community Car Wash

Some people have the mistaken perception that washing a car regularly is not a good idea because it can cause damage to the paint and corrosion problems, but in reality, it’s the opposite. We eliminate all those impurities that stick to the body and can cause corrosion over time by washing our car.

Washing a car regularly, especially in the winter after you’ve been driving on salted roads, is an excellent way to keep our car as rust-free as possible. Going over this salt could spray it deep into your car’s underbody. The easy thing to do is a wash underneath your car with a pressure washer or automated car wash.

Rusted White Car

Here’s How To Fix Rust On A Car Safely

Read Next

About The Author


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *