You see that unsightly brown colour appearing at the edges of your car and you know that it’s time you took better care of it. In simple science: When oxygen, water and salt combine at the surface of a metal, rust unfortunately forms. Pretty simple, right? Though the formation is quite easy, it’s the removal that we all hate. So, how exactly do you go about removing rust from your car?

First things first, it’s important to remember that your car is not going to stay in the same condition as the day you drove it from the dealer. Yes, its beauty will deteriorate with time but with a little care and proper maintenance; you can keep its overall appearance intact. With a little extra precaution, the results will speak for themselves!

Below are some top tips from WD-40® that will help you stop rust from attacking your car:

Wash and Wax After Every Two Weeks

The problem with rust is that it depends on where you live. If you leave near the seaside (lucky you!) or it tends to be typical British rainy weather, it’s always best to wash your car every two weeks. Often people get this done once a month, which gives rust plenty of time to get into all the nooks and crannies. Simply buy a small bottle of car wash and use only that. If you initially thought about washing the car with household soap, then we would highly advise you not to. The problem with soap is that it does not stop rust. It gives more room for algae to grow in the car paint. It strips off your previous wax job and leaves your car vulnerable to corrosion. Once you have washed and waxed your car, open the car doors and let the water drain from the rocker panels and bottom of the doors. Then, use a car cover to keep the dust away.

Protect the Car from Scratches

Although this can sometimes be out of your hands as accidents can happen at any time, but there are other things you can do to stop rust, such as:

  • Park the car under shade to avoid bird drippings (Bird drippings have certain chemicals that destroy the paint job and leave scratches for the rust to set in)
  • Do not park close to other cars in a car park
  • Do not place heavy stuff on the roof of your car
  • Avoid driving over potholes and roads that are under construction (Often pebbles fly and get stuck in the wheel wells)
  • Avoid parking over gutters or areas where water is gathered (The water often gets to the car and causes rust, which weakens the bottom from the outside)

Find the Weak Spots

To stop rust, you need to know about all the small areas where it can reside. Grab a torch and check the following parts:

  • Under the body mouldings and trim
  • Connection point of the side mirrors
  • Antenna
  • Sunroof
  • The entire surface under the vehicle
  • Wheel wells
  • Every crack

For an extra safety measure, use a pipe cleaner to remove any water that might have remained after washing the car. The biggest sign of rust is bubbles in the paint. When these escalate to scratches and dings, the rust spreads. The next stop is the undercarriage and then finally the engine.

Coat the Rust Probe Areas with WD-40 Multi-Use

Now that you know what to do to stop rust with simple household tricks, it’s time to make sure that your efforts were not in vain. After washing and waxing comes coating. Then use to help prevent rust even further. Our fast-acting lubricant will not only prevent rust but protect your car in all weather conditions and keeps the parts dry. It penetrates the areas on a deeper level and stops them from oxidizing further. After washing the car, spray the areas that are prone to rusting with your handy blue and red can. Be sure to follow the instructions – and keep the WD-40 product away from tyres! For smaller parts such as the nuts and screws in the wheel plate and engine connection, use WD-40 Multi-Use Flexible Straw. Thanks to the bendable straw you can get to those hard-to-reach places to apply your thick and precise coat. Be sure to wipe away drip marks.

Take Precaution According to Changing Weathers

Humidity is not the only weather condition that causes rust. When it snows, we use salt to shovel the ice from your driveway. As the weather changes and becomes warm, the ice melts and salt is abundant in the air. This salt clings to the undercarriage and slowly eats away the surface. As a result, when you wash your car, there’s a possibility that water might flow inside and gather in the form of a puddle. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that your car is always parked in the garage and if you don’t have one, park it on an elevated area, under shade when it snows.

Top Tip: Investing in a car wash after every two weeks might not be possible in your budget but a little time out of your schedule now and then to wash your car can stop rust and maintain its beauty for a long time. The important thing to remember is that a simple car wash and wax will not guarantee you a rust free car. You need to use a lubricant such as WD-40 for the job. Please note that you will need to re-apply regularly and avoid getting WD-40 near the tyres or any other part of the car that you don’t want to lubricate.

Rust is a problem that never truly goes away, whether on your car or in any other part of your home or garden. And, of course, even the best prevention can sometimes still lead to rust, but thankfully we have a guide for that: How to Treat Rust on a Car. Or find more of our handy rust guides on the WD-40 blog!