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Let's be more crafty than rust

Let’s be more crafty than rust

Let's be more crafty than rust

It’s almost already October and you may have just realized that winter is coming and, with it, the arrival of road abrasives that will be hard on your vehicle? The recommended solution: a rustproofing treatment.

Although it is recommended to do these treatments  when it is hot and dry – more especially between June and September – it is still not too late to see a specialist to treat your car against rust. Especially if your car sits quietly in your garage between its travels.

Many believe that parking indoors during the winter helps protect our vehicle from damage caused by abrasives, but it’s quite the opposite. The heat and humidity caused by heating activate the chemical reaction of calcium on the steel. Thus, without treatment, rust can appear more easily and quickly.

It is recommended to wash your vehicle frequently if the weather permits, in order to remove salt residues that can accumulate under the bodywork.

Why treat your vehicle against rust

Among the reasons why many thousands of Quebecers religiously treat their cars each year, the first is to preserve the aesthetic aspect, of course, but did you know that corrosion, if it becomes important, may also damage some parts of the vehicle’s structure (such as the anchor points of the suspension).

The role of the rustproofing is to prevent corrosion from forming or to prevent it from spreading if rust has already begun to settle.  Obviously, this increases the life expectancy of the vehicle and maintains its value, an important factor when comes the time to resell it.

Car engines today are very resistant – some engines can easily last 300 000 km – so it is important that the bodywork also lasts as long.

The different treatments

Here is some useful information regarding the available treatments:


  • Liquid oil is able to reach most nooks without the need for a very precise application.
  • Unlike semi-solid oil or grease, the oil does not dry and continues to spread long after application.
  • It is more quickly “washed away” especially by rain, snow and splashing of the road (salt, gravel, dirt, etc.).
  • No annual treatment necessary. However, an annual inspection allows to apply the product only where it is missing (under the car and in wheel arches).
  • Costs from $85 to $140


  • Less viscous than grease or the so-called “permanent” treatment, the semi-solid oil contains an additive – often wax or paraffin – that allows it to solidify once sprayed.
  • As it eventually thickens, it spreads less, over time. The accuracy of the application therefore matters more than the quantity.
  • Annual treatment recommended by some workshops. Otherwise, application of the product where it is needed may be sufficient.
  • Costs from $70 to $150


  • Grease is the least common treatment on the market. It adheres effectively, but its texture prevents it from dispersing as freely in the remote and vulnerable corners as the oil treatment. Warning: It tends to accumulate in certain places, for example in the bottom of the doors. It can then plug drain holes, retain moisture and promote corrosion rather than delaying it.
  • No annual treatment required. Inspection every two or three years is recommended for touch-ups under the vehicle and in wheel arches that are constantly in contact with salt, gravel, etc.
  • Costs from $208 to $475


  • Often made of wax or silicone, teflon or polymer, this type of coating hardens almost immediately as it is applied. It then forms a thin layer of protection that prevents moisture, salt and road splashes (salt, gravel, dirt, etc.) from reaching the treated surfaces.
  • The application of this type of product must be done on a new or almost new vehicle because the walls must be as clean as possible.
  • Designed to last a long time, this treatment is not effective for life. Retouching is needed after a while, especially under the car.
  • Costs from $309 to $1200


  • Presented as small boxes, its operation is based on what is called “cathodic protection”.
  • The effectiveness of electronic rustproofing has never been proven. At the “Association pour la protection des automobilistes” (APA), more than 50 vehicles equipped with this type of device were inspected, and all were as rusty as unprocessed vehicles, said George Iny, president of the organization.


Being equipped with an advanced electrical system that should not be covered with oil or grease, manufacturers do not recommend to treat them with the products mentioned here. It could damage important parts of the car, such as high voltage cables.

Which cars are most resistant to rust

Data collected for 17 years by the “Association pour la protection des automobilistes “(APA)

Excellent resistance

  • AUDI (A3, A4, S4)
  • VOLKSWAGEN (Golf, GTI, Jetta, Passat)
  • VOLVO (V70, S60, XC70)
  • BMW (Series 3)

Good resistance

  • LEXUS (ES, RX)
  • HONDA (Accord, Fit, Odyssey)
  • ACURA (LT)
  • TOYOTA (Camry, Highlander, Prius, Sienna)
  • MAZDA (Mazda 3 – after 2011)

Pretty good resistance

HYUNDAI (Accent, Tucson, Sonata)

Very low resistance

  • DODGE (Caliber, Avenger, Grand Caravan, Journey)
  • CHRYSLER (Town & Country, 200)
  • JEEP (TJ, Wrangler (until 2017), Patriot, Compass (until 2017)
  • SUZUKI (Swift, Grand Vitara, XL7)
  • MAZDA (MPV, Tribute, Mazda 5 before 2010, Mazda 3 before 2009)

Check out Protégez-vous’s rust record (2006-2016), which evaluates more than 160 models.

Jackie Beaudoin, Leclerc Insurance and Financial Services
Source :   SAAQ, Protégez-vous