Is rust proofing worth it in Canada?

8 minute read Published on Feb 7, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

Is rust proofing worth it in Canada?

Car maintenance is incredibly important if you want to ensure the longevity of your vehicle, and one of the most important forms of maintenance is rust proofing. But what is rust proofing and how does it work? That’s what we answer today.

Rust in cars

First, let’s dive into the topic of rusting in cars. For those who don’t know, rust is what you get when iron, oxygen, and water mix together. Thus, rust can occur practically anywhere on the body of a car, since the majority of a car is made of metal. Rust on vehicles is sometimes visible, located on the car’s surface. However, it can also be hidden. For instance, it’s not uncommon for oxidation to occur inside the car, such as on the inner part of a panel:

Three types of rust on cars

If you want to limit rust, you first need to know where to look for it. Rust can occur anywhere on a car, as it forms when metal is exposed to water and oxygen for a long period of time. Certain climates, the presence of salt, and a lack of proper winter car maintenance can all make your car more likely to rust. Regardless of these factors, there are three main types of rust that you will find on cars. Knowing these can help you identify the most likely location of rust on your vehicle:

Surface rust

Surface rust is rust that forms on the top layer of your car, e.g. on your car’s paint, most often near scratches.

Scale rust

Scale rust is the result of surface rust that has not been taken care of. This type of rust is usually more corrosive and can even strip pain, leaving bare metal exposed.

Penetrating rust

Finally, penetrating rust is the third and final type of rust. It is the most dangerous of the three, as, if left untreated, it can impact the structural integrity of the car.

Where to find rust on cars

The most common places that rust occurs on cars are as follows:

Beneath your car

Underneath your new car is one of the most common places that you will find rust. Specifically, you should take care to regularly check the frame rails, wheel wells, exhaust, and suspension. Everything from the bottoms of the doors to the tailpipe is at risk of being exposed to moisture and thus at risk for rust.

Around your car

Assess the perimeter of your car, including the doors (both inside and outside), the trunk, pull up the carpet to see for yourself, and the windshield, which can be prone to leaks. To learn more about the importance of checking for leaks, contact BrokerLink.

Signs of rust in a car

If you aren’t sure whether your car is rusting or not, there are a few signs and symptoms you can look out for. Paying attention to these signs is especially important given that not all rust is easily visible:

Bubbling paint

If you notice bubbling under the paint in your car, this could indicate the presence of moisture, which could mean rust. Paint bubbles when it has lost contact with the panel underneath it, whether due to air or water. Take care to have your car serviced as soon as possible if you notice this, as if left untreated, it could lead to rust.

Puddles on the floor or in the trunk

A damp or moist floor or even full-on puddles are a clear indication that rust could be in your car, or on its way if it isn’t there already. Look carefully at the floor of the trunk and on the carpets in the front and back seats of your car for signs of water damage.

Dents in the frame

If your car is scratched or dented, pay close attention to these areas as rust is often more likely to occur where paint is exposed.

What is rust proofing?

Now that you know a little bit more about the types of rust that occur in cars, as well as where to find them, let’s move on to a discussion of rust proofing. Rust proofing is the process of coating your car in a certain chemical compound to prevent it from rusting.

This chemical compound essentially acts as a barrier between the body of your car and external elements, such as water and oxygen, both of which are required to form rust. Depending on the type of rust proofing substance being used, it may be applied all over your car or just to the bottom of your car, one of the spots where rusting is most common.

Although rust proofing is not mandatory, it might be worth it, especially if you frequently drive during the winter. Snowy conditions, especially when mixed with salt, can increase the odds of rusting in your car.

The benefits of rust proofing your car

There are a number of benefits that may come with rust proofing your car - first and foremost the fact that your car is far less likely to rust. However, when your car is free from rust, there are even more advantages. These include:

Rust proofing can extend the lifespan of your car

The first benefit of rust proofing is that it can extend the lifespan of your car. Just as purchasing new tires or keeping your oil levels topped up can ensure your car’s longevity, so too can keeping it free from rust. The less rust on your car, the longer it may last, which means not having to pay for a new car before you want to.

Rust proofing can reduce repair and maintenance costs

Second, rust proofing can keep repair and maintenance costs low. When your car has rust, it can cause major issues, including electrical or mechanical issues. However, when it’s rust-free, you are less likely to encounter these issues, which are expensive to fix. Thus, rust proofing can save you money in vehicle repair and maintenance costs.

Rust proofing can increase the value of your car

One last benefit of rust proofing is that it can significantly increase the value of your car. All cars depreciate in value but not at the same time. To avoid unnecessary depreciation, keep your car in tip-top shape through rust proofing. When it comes time to sell or trade in your car, you will likely get more money for it if you applied rust proofing. In fact, this could even be a selling point.

Types of rust protection for your car

If you’ve decided that rust proofing is a step you want to take, let’s consider the different types of rust protection available for cars in Canada. There are three main types, each of which is explained below:

Grease rust proofing treatments

First, grease-based rust proofing treatments are the most effective and also the most expensive. Grease treatments are typically performed in the year following the purchase of a new car. This type of treatment usually lasts the entire lifespan of the car, with minimal touch ups. Grease rust proofing treatments may be offered at car dealerships and auto body shops.

Oil rust proofing treatments

A second type of rust proofing treatment is an oil-based one. This is the most common type of treatment in Canada and is relatively affordable. That said, oil-based treatments are not as effective as greased-based ones and may need to be applied every year. How this type of treatment works is that holes are drilled in the framework of the car, allowing the mechanic to apply the treatment to internal parts of the car where salt and calcium build ups often occur. The holes are then sealed with plastic caps.

Electronic rust protection treatments

Finally, an electronic rust protection treatment is another option. This rust proofing method is when an electrical current is used to prevent the formation of rust.

How long does rust proofing last?

This depends on the type of rust proofing treatment performed on your car. As mentioned above, grease-based rust protection treatments may last the entire lifespan of your car. However, oil-based rust proofing treatments do not last as long and may need to be performed every year. Ultimately, several factors will impact how long your rust proofing treatment is effective, including how often you drive, the type of vehicle you drive, how well you maintain your car, and the climate or weather conditions that you drive in.

Is rust damage to cars covered by auto insurance?

There are many types of auto insurance out there, but unfortunately, most car insurance plans do not cover rust damage. Instead, rust is viewed as a normal part of the wear and tear of a vehicle, and wear and tear is something that no insurance companies cover. The only circumstance under which rust damage to a car might be covered is if the rust was the result of an insured peril covered by the comprehensive coverage portion of your policy, such as flooding or other weather-related risks.

Conclusion: Is rust proofing worth it?

Now that you know a bit more about rust proofing, is it worth it? Ultimately, each person’s answer will be different, and it is up to you to decide whether rust proofing is right for you. Although rust proofing has many benefits, it can be costly, depending on what type of treatment you choose. It also may not be a permanent solution, which can make it an inconvenience for car owners.

That said, it can prevent rust from forming on your car, which as we all know, can wreak havoc on both the outside and inside of your vehicle. For advice on whether to rust proof your car, contact BrokerLink. We can offer more insight into how rust proofing works, and if insurance covers it. We can also provide you with a free insurance quote and explain the benefits of rust proofing for those with a car lease.

Reach out to BrokerLink

If you want to help deciding whether to rustproof your car, contact BrokerLink. We can offer an expert opinion on the benefits of rust proofing, and even provide advice on what type of rust proofing treatment is right for you and your vehicle. Plus, as insurance experts, we can also explain whether your car insurance policy will cover all kinds of damage, including rust damage, damage from pot holes, and more.

Since car insurance is mandatory in Canada, you must ensure that you have a high-quality policy that meets local laws in your province. We can help you find all kinds of coverage, including comprehensive car insurance, collision car insurance, third party liability car insurance, and more. We also have experience finding policies for a wide range of drivers, from student drivers to senior drivers. Further, if you want to save money on your car insurance coverage, you’ve come to the right place. Any one of our licensed insurance advisors can suggest all kinds of ways to save you money on auto insurance, like buying multiple auto insurance policies, bundling home and auto policies, installing winter tires on your car, and more.

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