When the highways turn slippery in many parts of Canada, road crews add salt, sand and brine to help drivers get added traction.
All the chemicals combined with road salt can create a corrosive chemical reaction that could cause your car to rust.
When it comes to rust protection, many car dealers will offer to sell you an electronic rust protection module that is usually installed under the hood and is supposed to stop rust by putting an electric charge throughout your vehicle.
In automotive circles there are still many debates as to how effective these electronic devices are.
“I was just so upset because I paid extra for paint and rust protection and I have peeling paint and rust at the bottom of my driver’s side and passenger side doors,” said Jennifer Capel of Mississauga, Ont.
Capel said when she bought her 2017 Ford Escape she purchased an extended warranty from the dealer as well as spent $903 for a rust protection module and $565 for paint protection.
When she initially contacted CTV News, the dealer did not want to cover the entire cost of repairing the paint and rust issues.
“Between the paint and rust protection that I paid for it was over $1,400 and what did it do? It doesn’t seem like it did anything,” said Capel.
Electronic rust protection devices has been around for decades and while the technology has been shown to help prevent corrosion on boats, it’s not clear how effective the electronic protection is on vehicles.
CTV News went to Centennial College in Scarborough, Ont. where students are training to becoming mechanics and asked automotive professor Garrett Nalepka if he believes that electronic rust control works.
“We have seen over time several of these companies come and go and they always claim that the electric devices are working to prevent rust, but we really don’t have a lot of evidence if they are working or not,” said Nalepka.
Nalepka said even if a vehicle did not have rust protection, most would not show any signs of rust for five to seven years as vehicles are now more rust resistant due to better steel, paint and coatings.
George Iny, director of the Automobile Protection Association (APA), is more blunt.
“The APA does not recommend electronic rust protection,” said Iny, who added “it’s overpriced, it’s the most expensive of the rust proofing treatments.
“We’ve seen it sold for up to $2,000 or $1,800 and it’s the one with the least scientific backing.”
The APA does recommend rust proofing sprays, which are sold by various commercial companies across Canada and has endorsed Krown Rust Control on it’s website.
Nalepka also recommends having a vehicle sprayed annually to try and prevent rust and credits having his 1998 Dodge Ram being sprayed each year to lasting more than 20 years on the road with 780,000 km.
“I’m a strong believer in oil sprays on vehicles, anything that is repelling moisture” said Nalepka.
CTV News also reached on to CAA and Nadia Matos, manager of External Communications said “It is very hard for us to recommend electronic modules as we have not seen any data that proves it is a viable way to reduce rust or that it works better than other options.”
“Our recommendation is to spray your vehicle every year, in the summer months with Krown Rust Control. A vehicle that is annually treated will last longer and will run better. It uses a patented method to protect your vehicle from the dangers and mechanical failure that rust can cause. This gives the owner the opportunity to keep it for an extra five years or more and to save thousands of dollars,” said Matos.
To have a vehicle oil sprayed is about $150 depending on the size of the vehicle.
After many negotiations with her dealer, Capel’s paint and rust issues were repaired under warranty.