With fall firmly in place, vehicle owners are or should be preparing for the winter season to come. In addition to scheduling the installation of winter tires, this can also entail getting a rustproofing treatment.
There’s simply no way around it: at this time of year and for the coming months, acid rain, humidity, salt spread on roads and other seasonal factors all help create a firestorm of conditions favourable to corrosion. So what can owners do to protect their vehicle against this scourge?
First of all, keep in mind that all new vehicles receive a rustproofing treatment at the factory. That said, corrosion can start to manifest itself in as little as five years. The age of your car, then, should be the first factor in deciding whether you need rustproofing in the first place.
Then the question of how long you plan on keeping your car enters into the equation. If you intend to hold on to it for several years, rustproofing becomes advantageous for a number of reasons. For one thing it will increase its resale value when you do decide to sell it or trade it in. What’s more, over a period of seven or eight years, it will spare you having to have certain parts replaced, for example brake hoses, electrical connectors, even lower body panels. If you’re leasing a vehicle for three or four years, on the other hand, and don’t intend to buy it outright afterward, you probably don’t need to invest in rustproofing.
4 rustproofing options
VitroPlus/Ziebart is one of the best regarded names in the rustproofing treatment domain. The company offers four different rustproofing solutions tailored to different needs and budgets:
- 1. Undercoating — No part of the vehicle is more exposed to humidity, dirt, grime and salt, and more difficult to reach to clean regularly, than the undercarriage. You can have a coating applied that keeps the underbody components watertight. This is the minimum recommended treatment against rust for all vehicles.
- 2. Sound barrier — This thick coating is four times more resistant than undercoating, and is applied on all visible parts under the vehicle. In addition to acting as a protective coating, it also insulates the interior from noise and vibrations caused by the tires and by sand, pebbles and spatter coming off the road (sound reduction can be up to 60%).
- 3. Annual rust protection — Offering full protection according to the particular specifications of the vehicle, this is a very effective one-year solution to slow down existing corrosion and prevent new rust areas from forming. The treatment is applied even to joints, solders and difficult-to-access spots, without damaging rubber and plastic trims or electric circuits. In general, this product does not leak and is not toxic for the environment.
- 4. Permanent rust protection — Offered for new as well as used vehicles (under certain conditions), and guaranteed for 10 years by Ziebart, this paraffin-based treatment gives the best results of any treatment on the market. In addition to the oil, a protective coating is applied to the interior of the chassis, specifically on the doors, side panels, inner fenders, hood, trunk, joints and soldered areas. To be sure, this is the costliest option, but you won’t need to get another rustproofing treatment for as long as you own your vehicle.
Whichever option you choose, you shouldn’t put off getting the treatment done: rustproofing applications penetrate surfaces more effectively when the weather is still warm, as the pores of the metal surfaces are more open at that time.
For more information, you can consult our comprehensive guide to rustproofing treatment.