Will My Car Rust?


Stated plainly, yes - cars rust. Manufacturers have improved their methods - and they do offer some limited warranties but ultimately rusting is inevitable - Just ask Mike Staples, who works as the undercoating and corrosion department head for Automotive Protection Services in Fairfax, Virginia. He sees cars and trucks of all makes come through his shop where he manages two drive on lifts doing rust remediation work, applying cavity wax and undercoat.

"We follow a simple process - clean the underside of the vehicle first - most folks know that salt will cause rust, but they forget that mud, dirt, and road-grime  will also lead to rust on a frame rail and floor pan."

A young man, Mike's enthusiasm for his work comes through when he talks about it; "When I first started I really didn't know that much about cars, what makes them work, or what makes them fail - once you have the truck on the lift it's important to know where to scrap, where to spray undercoat and which areas to leave alone."

Not shy to dive headfirst into a difficult job which involves a lot of rust remediation work. Scrapping off flaking rust, with putty knives, and then grinding metal with a wire bristle brush isn't most folks ideas of good work - but Mike sees satisfaction in it. "I can see my labor when I'm done - my efforts have meaning."

Mike does wonder why more folks don't appreciate the value that his hard work can afford a car owner? "When I see a car come into our shop for an inspection that was undercoated 10 or 15 years ago, and the underside looks brand new - no rusting at all - I know that what I'm doing is protecting people's cars, I think Yeah- this stuff totally works - everyone should do it!"

Does your hard work, need to make you dirty? "I don't mind getting dirty - it's like a badge of honor - I've earned this dirt under my fingernails and on my face."

Indeed you have, Mike.