Identify rust on your car and what you can do about it

If you’ve ever bought or owned a used car, you should be aware of the dangers of rust. Rusty cars may be sold cheap and some people assume that rust is easily fixable. The truth is that rust is a progressive condition, and it only gets worse the longer it goes untreated. If you spot rust on your car, get it fixed right away – no matter what shape the rest of the car is in. In this article we’ll show you how to identify rust on your car and what you can do about it.

Rust on car

How long does it take for rust to form on a car?

There’s no real rule on when a car is likely to rust unfortunately, due to the varying conditions each car is subjected to. On average, most vehicles remain on the road for around a decade, which could be deemed as plenty of time for rust to appear. Luckily most cars are equipped with rustproofing materials that help prevent rust from forming. The vast majority of cars that end up rusting are older than 10 years, so chances are you’ll never have to worry.

What Causes Cars to Rust?

Cars often rust due to a lack of maintenance, or the climate they’re kept in. Rust can form when iron produces a reaction to oxygen and water. Essentially rust forms because of the following 3 key factors:

  • moisture
  • oxygen
  • time

Moisture however is the root cause of rust forming on a car.  If you live in a wet or humid place, you may have already noticed rust appearing on your car.  Leaving your car out in the elements too can lead to rust spots. Your driving style can also be a factor in accelerating rust formation, so be sure to avoid driving off road or through deep puddles.

What different types of rust are there?

There are three main types of rust found on vehicles: surface rust, scale rust, and penetrating rust.

Surface rust is the visible rust you’d see on the upper layer of your vehicle, likely caused by damage to the vehicle’s exterior. If caught early you should be able to stop this type of rust from getting worse.

Scale rust forms when corrosion on metal surfaces is left unprotected for a long period, slowly corroding the metal. This rust is well on the way to spreading further and going much deeper beyond the surface.

Penetrating rust is the next stage of the rust process. It’s likely to be the most damaging type of rust and can likely mean replacement parts to resolve.

How can you assess your car for rust?

To assess your vehicle for rust, the most common places you can look for rust would be the body panels, chassis, exhaust system, brake components and suspension system. Rust can also form in places not usually visible without looking underneath the car, so it’s always wise to keep to your service schedule so that any signs of rust can be assessed and acted upon sooner rather than later.

Get in touch with MCM Garage and we can help assess and prevent any rust on your vehicle from getting worse. If it needs repair then we can also provide a quote to resolve the issue. Don’t leave it until it’s too late. Contact us today on 01761 415 501 or fill out your details via our online contact form.