If you own a classic car, you want it to keep it in the best condition you can, whether to protect your investment or just to show your pride. Unfortunately, lurking beneath the surface of some vintage vehicles is rust, which can mar their appearance and decrease their value. If you are not sure how to prevent rust from taking over your retro ride, besides using a car cover storage bag, these five tips can help you keep rust at bay.
How To Identify Early Signs of Rust
Rust is just a four-letter word for iron oxide, but whatever you call it, it can damage your classic car. The two main culprits of rust are water and air, so you can imagine that your vintage car is under constant assault. Look your car over regularly from top to bottom to look for these early signs of rust:
- Bubbling or flaking paint
- Pitting on the surface of paint
- Scaling along doors and joints
- Etching in paint from dings, dents, and scratches
- Build-up of dirt, road salt, or other particles on undercarriage and wheels
The more often you visually inspect your classic car, the more likely you are to spot these warning signs before they become big headaches.
How To Stop Rust From Spreading
If you have discovered the dreaded rust on any part of your classic car, it is time to act before it worsens; do not just tuck your vehicle under a California car duster and hope it goes away. You may be able to sand down, paint, and seal small spots, but anything larger than that may require the assistance of a professional. Hopefully, you have a classic car professional that you turn to for advice about repairs; if so, he or she can handle this job or direct you to a body shop that will. Unless you have a lot of experience working on older cars or removing rust, you should leave rust removal to the pros.
How To Stop Rust From Forming
Because moisture and oxygen make the perfect rust storm, you should be vigilant about shielding your classic. Here are five suggestions from classic car experts to thwart corrosion, especially if you keep your vehicle in long-term storage:
- Thoroughly clean your car on the regular, especially the wheel wells and underside that is more likely to have a buildup of dirt or road salt.
- Wax your car, taking care to focus on those crevices and joints where rust tends to form.
- Store it properly, preferably out of the elements where you can use a dehumidifier and ensure good air flow for a dry and well-ventilated environment.
- Invest in quality custom fit car covers to prevent dust and dirt from settling on the paint on your impeccably cleaned and waxed retro car.
- Start it up every so often and take it out for a spin. Letting your classic car sit idle for too long invites rust in other places, like the brakes or, even worse, the engine.
Preventing rust is something every classic car owner should prioritize to keep your car running and looking great. Turn to a professional you trust to examine your car before and after storage to make sure you have not missed any areas of concern.