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Rustproofing questions? We’ve got answers

Wheels.ca expert Eric Lai tackles warranties, DIY jobs, best products and more

Published October 18, 2013
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Rust. It’s as inevitable as winter storms and salt on the roads. Rustproofing helps, but is often a source of confusion as well. Check out Wheels.ca expert Eric Lai’s rustproofing video (below) and his answers to your top rustproofing questions:

Will aftermarket rustproofing void my new car warranty?  No.  In fact, many car dealerships that sell rustproofing actually send the vehicles out to aftermarket shops for treatment.  Properly applied rustproofing will not void the warranty.  However, to avoid possible automaker disputes, you may want to stick to professional applications during the warranty period, rather than do-it-yourself.

What’s your view on electronic rustproofing?  In past, some devices were banned by the Competition Bureau.  Personally, I’m not convinced these expensive devices work and don’t use them.

Would a (DIY) do-it-yourself application be just as good as a pro treatment?  Probably not, as your spray can with a short straw simply can’t access closed areas, such as inside doors and fenders, as well as the specialized applicator tools the pros use.  You could remove the inner door panels to thoroughly treat inside each door, but that’s a lot of extra work.  Don’t go beneath a raised vehicle unless wheels are chocked and proper jack stands are used.  Relying on the jack alone could be deadly.  Protect floor from drips and overspray.

What product should I use for DIY?  Rust Check light oil (red label) and the Rust Check Coat and Protect thicker formulation (green label) are available at Canadian Tire.  These are the same products used by Rust Check shops, but in aerosol cans.  Don’t use penetrating oil products as these evaporate and provide virtually no long term rust protection.  Also, avoid rubberized undercoating products that might encourage rust as it tends to crack over time, allowing water to enter and become trapped next to bare metal.  Other commercial rustproofing products are available, but may require a spray gun and compressor to apply.  I believe Krown also sells rustproofing oil in aerosol cans.

What product do you use?  I’ve tried Perma-Shine and Krown in past, but for the past dozen years I’ve had my vehicles treated by a Rust Check shop in Mississauga.  It’s a messy job, so I leave it to the pros.  Light oil is used on the body panels and a thicker no-drip product is sprayed on the underbody.  The underbody coating doesn’t dry out and is self-healing (if scratched, the surrounding oil will recoat the area).  In fact, my auto mechanic was so impressed with my car’s underbody rustproofing that he took his own vehicle, an Acura MDX, to the same shop for treatment.

Video:

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