- Keep in mind that a lot of chassis rust can be traced back to traveling on winter roads or spending a lot of time near the ocean. Since the amount of salt in the air is high near the ocean and people use salt on the roads to melt ice in the winter, these locations end up with the most prominent rusting problems. Rust is oxidation caused by oxygen and water, but the salt acts as a rusting catalyst to the water, according to AutoMedia.com.
Keep the salt off your car's chassis to help prevent rusting. Since simply not driving during salty conditions is probably not an option for you, you will have to use other preventive measures to avoid the development of your own personal rust bucket.
- Be determined not to let salt rust your car. That's really all it takes aside from running water and a garden hose.
Get the salt off your car as soon as possible. If you have been out driving on icy roads treated with salt, make sure you take the car through a car wash that has an undercarriage wash cycle or else use a nozzle attachment to spray underneath your car with the hose at home.
When rinsing at home, pop the hood and rinse off the parts of the chassis that may not be adequately rinsed off by spraying underneath.
If you live in this environment (actually known as The Rust Belt) or you live in a coastal area, it is a good policy to wash your car entirely, including an undercarriage rinse, at least once per week to help prevent rusting.
- A more complicated task than simple rinsing is to use a protective coating on the chassis. There are a number of products available for spraying on the car chassis to prevent rust.
The idea behind these products is to coat the chassis with a material that will keep the elements that cause rust from making contact with the actual metal of the chassis. In other words, salt, water or oxygen will be unable to penetrate this barrier.
Find an auto shop that specializes in applying a chassis coating or else you can attempt to do it yourself. Remember that the material used to coat the chassis is a thick but flexible, tough and sticky substance that will require a lot of precaution, including taping off or otherwise covering certain parts of your car and yourself.
Clean the spray guns used to apply the coating immediately following use to avoid damage to the device, according to ExtremeHowTo.com.
If you decide to try it yourself, remember to thin down the coating according to the manufacturer's suggestions. After you have everything covered and ready to go, apply the substance with the gun from about 10 inches away using a constant movement. You do not have to do a perfect job, as the results are not going to be readily visible, but make sure to apply the coating from every angle so that the elements will be unable to penetrate it.