Does electronic rustproofing work?
February 10, 2010 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Do you have any experience with using consumer-grade electronic rustproofing for your vehicle? Does it work? Do the units last? I’m particularly interested in any feedback with respect to the CounterAct electronic rustproofing unit. (By way of background, I’m trying to compare the CounterAct with Krown spray-on rustproofing.)
posted by Dasein to Travel & Transportation (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If I had my corrosion notes from school, I'd be a lot more helpful in answering, but from my memory, these guys are all pretty much charlatans. From a corrosion textbook I have handy: "To be suitable for anodic protection, an active-passive alloy should exhibit a broad range of passivity and a low passive corrosion rate in the process solution. These favorable circumstances are somewhat rare. Furthermore, the necessary electrical equipment is complex and expensive to install and maintain, and if control is temporarily lost, corrosion can be disastrously high should the control potential stray into the active region. Thus, anodic protection is not as widely applicable as are other corrosion mitigation methods, such as coatings and cathodic protection."

Layman's terms: to be helpful, this type of protection must apply the correct voltage to push the voltage in the metal to a certain region where the corrosion rate is inherently low, known as the passive region. This varies by type of metal, and is difficult to maintain over a range of different environments. If you're anywhere outside that passive region, you're actually accelerating the corrosion. Plus, you really need to ground it to somewhere, and cars aren't great for that.

I'd be happy for anybody with more recent or specialized knowledge to hop in and try to clear out anything I may have misstated, since this is all pieced together from a grad-level corrosion class I had about 5 years ago and I haven't done much in the area since. I do specifically remember my professor mentioning this type of thing, and saying that it's not really feasible.

Also, if you read the website, most of the reviews are awful, and their pictures seem downright miraculous. Go with a coating for corrosion protection. It's easy and cheap.
posted by This Guy at 10:32 AM on February 11, 2010

Follow-up (in case it wasn't obvious from my marking of best answer): I'm getting Krown rustproofing. The appointment's in a couple of weeks. Ask me in a few years if it works.
posted by Dasein at 4:43 PM on April 5, 2010

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