Even minor auto body damage can become a major problem if it begins to rust. Whether you are saving up for a repair or waiting for an insurance settlement, you need to take some steps to avoid the damage from becoming worse. The following guide can help you minimize the chances for rust while you are waiting for your repair at a shop like Freeway Auto Body Ltd.
Tip #1: Wash Often
You may be tempted to let your car get dirty since the damage has already left it looking less than pristine. This may not be a concern during hot, dry weather, but it can become a problem if salt is added to the equation. If you live near the ocean, wash your car weekly and rinse the damaged areas thoroughly to remove any salt residue. Make sure you dry the area after washing, too. If winter roads are salted in your area, you will also need to wash the car each time the temperatures are warm enough to allow it.
Tip #2: Touch-up Paint Flaws
You may want to use some touch-up paint on any paint damage while you are awaiting the main repair and repainting. Unsealed metal is more likely to suffer rust, so covering it with touch-up paint can provide instant protection. If you don't want to attempt a color match, you can use a clear paint to at least seal the metal against rust. This won't hide the damage, but it will protect the panel until you can get the real repair.
Tip #3: Use Some Wax
Waxing the car after washing it will provide a temporary seal against rust. Just coat the damaged area well with a clear, waterproof wax product. Although wax won't protect as well as paint or sealer, it may be the best option if you are waiting on an insurance settlement and are afraid any attempts to repair the damage could reduce the amount of the payout.
Tip #4: Garage Your Car
Keeping the car under cover as much as possible can help prevent rust, especially in wet climates or areas with salty air, such as near the ocean. Park in a garage whenever possible to protect your car from the elements and the moisture that leads to rust oxidation. Also, make sure you dry off the damaged areas after parking inside if you have been driving in the snow or rain. Rust won't occur in a dry environment, but it can form very quickly if there is any moisture present on the damaged panels.