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13 Oct 2014

Rust – The Silent Killer

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Lance Runion, Custom Auto Body, Inc.

Remember the days of rusted out two-year old cars and how we envied those that lived in Florida because their cars stayed pristine?

In the past two decades the auto manufacturing process has improved and strengthened the finish on cars and trucks so that rust seems almost a thing of the past. Rarely do we see a vehicle with rusted out fenders or bumpers.

It almost never occurs to us to have our vehicle rust proofed. After all – why bother? Rust has gone the way of transistor radios; a thing of the past.

Not so.

Corrosion Caused by Road Deicers is a Serious Threat

The manufacturing process has changed but so has the way towns and municipalities are deicing their roads. Auto repair shops are seeing resurgence in rust due to the chemicals used to keep roads clear of ice and snow.

Road salt or sodium chloride was commonly used to keep roads free from ice however, in recent years, the chemicals used to protect the roads have changed. More cities are now using Calcium chloride or Magnesium chloride, two chemicals that work before and during ice and snow storms to prevent ice from forming or to quickly clean roads for drivers’ safety.

These chemical adhere to the surface and continue to work slowly to keep roads clean. Good for the roads, bad for your car. Any vehicle with an undercarriage lower than 43” is susceptible to having road deicers splash back and adhere to your car. So unless you are climbing a ladder to enter your car or van, your vehicle is at risk.

A recent article by Fleet Equipment Magazine editor, Tom Gelinas, had this to say about the cost and impact of these new chemicals:

“The downsides to the use of magnesium chloride and calcium chloride as de-icing agents are serious in terms of the potential increase in maintenance time and costs required to address corrosion. State and local agencies often apply these chemicals prior to any snowfall, increasing the likelihood and degree of exposure to trucks and trailers. These materials are especially destructive because of their ability to cling to the underbody of a vehicle and re-crystallize as they slowly dry out…It is estimated that the costs associated with corrosion caused by anti-icing chemicals have increased more than tenfold in recent years.”

The complete article can be found at

Corrosion Concerns for Your Car

What does this mean for your car, truck or van? Take precautions because long time exposure to deicing chemicals, over the course of a winter season, can lead to corrosion of:

  • Brake lines
  • Gas line Suspension components
  • Exposed wiring

The calcium chloride wicks in to any exposed wiring, eating away and permanently damaging your automobile. Need an example? The next time you drive on the highway, check out the corrosion of the guard rails and metal bridges. Continued exposure to calcium chloride and magnesium chloride has begun to rust and corrode the zinc-rich metal.

What Should You Do to Prevent Rust and Corrosion?

There are several things you can do. In the winter months, treat your car to frequent car washes which include a high pressure undercarriage wash with water and soap. Repair any damage to your car, dents and scratches, as soon as possible so that the corrosive chemicals don’t have the opportunity to adhere to your vehicle’s finish.

However, the most effective and long lasting solution is to have your car rust proofed. There are a number of high quality products available, such as ValuGard, that offer a strong protection for your vehicle from the damages of deicing chemicals.

Custom Auto Body of North Canton offers a total body rust proofing for small, medium and large-sized vehicles. The process takes approximately two days to complete. Custom Auto Body uses ValuGard’s wax-based, anti-corrosion coatings which protect enclosed cavities and has been a proven leader in rust proofing for more than twenty years.

Contact Custom Auto Body for more information 330-499-8922.

About Custom Auto Body

Custom Auto Body is equipped with state-of-the-art auto collision repair equipment and is staffed by experienced and certified technicians to assure the standards of quality that have come to be associated with the Custom Auto Body name.

Since 1961, Custom Auto Body has been serving the auto body repair and painting needs of northeast Ohio. Our shop is independently owned and operated and staff takes pride in providing quality repair and service. Custom Auto Body is located at 7726 Whipple Ave NW, North Canton OH 44720. Call us at 330-499-8922 or click here to contact us.