In part 1 of these articles we looked at why things rust and the chemistry of rusting. In this article we will look at some of the ways we can prevent rusting taking place and how to deal with rusted components. If the rust has gone too far then the car parts will need to be replaced, and although obtaining replacement parts online is relatively easy, it is better to prevent rust in the first place.
We have already shown that for rusting to take place there have to be three components present. These are iron, water and oxygen. If we can exclude any one of these then we will prevent rust. We also know that if the water is more acid and contains things like dissolved road salt then rusting will be more rapid.
One way to prevent rusting is to isolate these components, for instant using paint. Paints keep out moisture to a large extent, but they are not impenetrable by moisture. Good quality car paint will prevent moisture penetration for many years, but eventually, as it is subject to the rigours of heat, cold, surface abrasion by dust and atmospheric pollution it will become less resistant and allow moisture to penetrate. One way of helping paint maintain its protective properties is by refreshing the surface using wax.
Regular waxing of car paintwork is highly recommended and to ensure that this is maintained you should never allow the paint surface to become hydrophilic, it should always be hydrophobic. You can tell if this is the case by looking at water droplets on the paint surface. If they form tiny separate water droplets then you have a hydrophobic surface and are protected against rust, if the water droplets smear out into a film then the surface is hydrophobic and re-waxing is required.
The best way of waxing your car is to use a hand applied proprietary car wax rather than a wax additive in a car wash which are not as effective. First you should ensure that your car is spotlessly clean. Take a damp sponge and either smear it with wax or apply wax to the car surface. Apply the wax evenly over a section of the car. Let it sit for a few minutes, then polish it away.