How to protect a car from rust

Rust used to be a major cause of wear and tear on cars but it’s not such an issue now. If you run an older car though, or if you plan on keeping your car for a fair few years, you’ll want to know how to protect a car from rust.
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General maintenance

Keeping the car in a clean state is the first way of making sure that it stays rust free. We recommend that you wash your car every two weeks and wax it every four months as a minimum. Make sure that you also clean the inside of the car as any liquids spilt within the cabin could cause the car to rust from the inside.


Salt can speed up the rusting process so if you live near the coast, you will need to wash your car once per week to maintain the paintwork. When there’s salt on the road during winter your car’s bodywork will naturally pick up some of it. This will also need to be removed with regular cleaning. Cleaning the wheels and the wheel wells is important when there’s salt on the road.

Rust preventing sprays

To really make sure that your car doesn’t rust you will need to buy a rust prevention spray. The key to applying this successfully is to make sure that the car’s surface is dry when you put the preventative spray on. Check the can to see if it contains a flammable liquid because if it does, you’ll need to use it when the car’s engine is off and only once it’s cooled down sufficiently. Don’t spray on the exhaust or anywhere near the engine inlets.

Car cover

A car cover is another option. This will prevent the worst of the weather affecting the car’s bodywork but you will need to make sure that the vehicle’s cleaned before you put it under the cover if you’d going to leave the car like that for a prolonged period of time such as the whole of the winter months.

Final word

If things have gone too far with your car, check out our guide to fixing rust spots.

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