A large percentage of automotive material is steel, which is prone to react with oxygen or water, which directly translates to corrosion.
Cars are meant to be driven on roads under all conditions; rain being one of the top conditions on the list. Scientists and engineers in vehicle assembly plants seem to have mastered the art of curing chassis and body panels so well from rust but forgot about two other areas that we shall discuss later in our topic. Before heading to that, we need to understand that rust issue is a serious problem on most cars that if not well-taken care can turn into a menace to vehicle owners. Within no time, the rotting car body becomes a slingshot that throws away vehicle components and even to some extent, the entire floor can sink with the occupants while the car is on the move.
Special body treatments are usually carried out during vehicle manufacture to avoid rust. Also, body strengthening via special cross members and subframes on the chassis of the vehicle are put in place to keep the car in the required shape. Sometimes the inevitable happens and vehicles can no longer go back to the desired shape due to negligence or ignorance.
Within no time, the vehicle gets infested with rust, left, right and centre to denies occupants its initial intended comfort.
Apart from the usual causes of rust being well known, salty environments like Mombasa and its environs and Northern parts of the country can cause rust.
Other factors to consider are:
Some car manufacturers prefer batteries in the hood while some prefer them in the trunk. Regardless of the position, batteries can sometimes cause rusty spillage which corrodes the entire lipping of the fender or a chassis depending on where it’s mounted on the car.
There are multiple causes of battery spillage. From unclamped, overfilled, overcharging or just reacting batteries.
The most common mistake I have seen people do is trying to wash out a battery while it’s still on the car. All those white deposits seen on top of your battery are pure acid. Assuming that it’s just normal dirt and washing it while it’s still sitting in its position is doing the vehicle more harm than leaving the whitish deposits.
Many of the battery mounting points and carriers I have seen are all rusty due to this reason especially the ones in the engine bay.
How I wish all car batteries would be fitted in the trunk and wound with a special plastic that collects acid spillage and directly drains outside without coming in contact with any metal. For maintenance-free batteries, you may not experience acid spillage but the terminal reaction is also corrosive.
The best way to overcome the above issues would be to wash out your battery away from the car.
2. EXHAUST SYSTEM
Stainless steel exhaust systems are not very popular in mass-produced cars. A good number of cars still use conventional steel pipes.
When engines are started in the morning, condensation of combustion gasses happens.
If you cover just short distances between office and work, or if you are just naturally an extremely slow driver on the road, you risk losing your entire exhaust system due to corrosion.
Condensed combustion gasses rely on two factors to get out of exhaust systems.
An increase in exhaust pipe temperature ensures evaporation of condensed gasses naturally into the atmosphere.
Another way of increasing the rate at which condensed gasses leave the exhaust system is by driving fast. By so doing, all the water is forced out of the exhaust pipe due to the high pressure produced during faster engine movement.
If condensed gasses are not forced out, they then settle inside the exhaust, hence causing corrosion within the system thus weakening the silencer and the catalytic converter or even the entire exhaust pipe, as shown in the main picture for this article.
It becomes worse if one is operating in the coastal region as we had mentioned earlier because the rust would come from inside and outside of the exhaust pipe at the same time.
Most hybrid cars that cover short distances suffer from exhaust pipe rust because at the low speeds, it’s not the engine running the car but the auxiliary batteries. At this time, the exhaust gas temperatures will not increase and at the same time, no forces to push out said water due to lack of exhaust pressure because the vehicle is being propelled by the battery pack.
For hybrid cars, driving of above 40km/h or long-distance drive of about 50km is recommended once every week to ensure all the condensed water gets sprung out or evaporates within the system to reduce high chances of rust formation.
By Vincent Saleh