Rust-proof my car?
December 18, 2004 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Should I spend $250 to get my 5 year old car rust-proofed? I know that after-market rust-proofing has been discredited for new cars, but would it be valuable for a car that is old but hasn't yet started to rust? I live in Boston.
posted by alms to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total)
I don't think cars made in 1999 rust.
posted by smackfu at 8:03 PM on December 18, 2004

Don't bother. Even if the rustproofing is any good, at this point any areas of the car that are exposed to the salt are already rusting, and spraying over the top won't stop it.
posted by Doohickie at 9:36 PM on December 18, 2004

(I live in JP) – Boston is really terrible with the salt. I didn't realize how bad it was until I got a black car and it turned white on the lower half. My girlfriend and I just make sure to go to the car wash a lot in the winter, because that salt will do all kinds of damage.

We go to that full service (Allston Carwash?) place on Cambridge St. and they do a nice (kind of expensive job). One thing that's great about them though is that if it rains/snows within a certain period of your wash, you get a free wash. There are also cupons for them in all kinds of places.
posted by spaghetti at 10:05 PM on December 18, 2004

If it precipitates within 24 hours of your carwash, you get another one free. I belive you have to be part of some "car wash club" in order to do it... it involves giving them your contact info.
posted by rxrfrx at 10:52 PM on December 18, 2004

Here in the 'rustbelt' (NH) there are mechanics who will spray a coating of sticky oil (such as bar and chain oil for chainsws) all over the undersides, inside the door panels, and anywhere that rust might possibly be a problem. It costs only $50. +/-. Some suggest having it done in the fall and again in the spring (when warm temperatures speed up oxidation). On an older car such as yours, I would suggest getting all surfaces cleaned of possible salt contamination before undercoating or oiling.
Friends who oil undercoat religiously drive their vehicles on the salty roads for years.
posted by Hobgoblin at 7:41 AM on December 19, 2004

To answer Smackfu and Crash Davis: cars made in 1999 definitely rust if you live in New England. As far as Sherry Antoni's advice: she's talking about putting additional rustproofing on a new car, which I agree is unnecessary. I don't believe her that factory rustproofing will "last longer than anyone is likely to keep their car" unless she means five years (which is the average length of time that people keep new cars).

Spaghetti & Hobgoblin, thanks for those tips. I'll keep mulling, and take my car to the car wash in the mean time.
posted by alms at 9:34 AM on December 19, 2004

1999 car without rust?

My 2001 corolla was ALREADY rusty last year!

If they salt the roads, trust me, 3 years tops without rust.
posted by shepd at 3:27 PM on December 19, 2004

Wax it 2x a year, that is the best rust prevention you can get.
posted by knave at 5:13 PM on December 19, 2004

knave: Rustproofing is usually for underneath the car, inside the doorframes, wheelwells, all the places you don't wax.
posted by mendel at 6:59 PM on December 19, 2004

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