Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

How to prevent rot in older cars?

Hi. I'm currently driving a Fabia, but really would like to move into something older and more interesting, as well as simpler and easy to fix.

My problem is that with an older car, even as young as the late 90's, you get rust and rot failures on the MOT.

So, My question is, what are the best preventative steps you can take when your car HAS to live outside, all year round... And is there any way to stop rust getting worse, or at least slow it down, with out major panel work?

Asked on 5 April 2013 by RobDon

Answered by Dan Harrison
If the car's of reasonable quality and not prone to rust through poor steel (Mercedes-Benz, I'm looking at you), there are plenty of things you can do to prevent the spread of grot.

1) Clean the car once a week.
2) Wax it with good quality Carnuba paste at least once every two months
3) Get it up on ramps at least annually and get it Waxoyl'd
4) If practical, and it's not a daily runner, invest in a permeable outdoor cover.
5) Deal with any stone chips immediately - if your car's not galvanised, these turn into rust blisters very quickly indeed.

When washing your car, always ensure you clean out any muck from the wheelarch area, around the sills, and especially from any drain holes, as if these get blocked, they are rust magnets...
Similar questions
My car is starting to show spots of rust despite how much I care for it - what's the best way to stop it spreading shy of respraying or new panels?
Regarding recent letter about garaging wet cars. Of course they deteriorate very quickly as there is no air circulation to evaporate the water - ideal conditions to encourage formation of rust. For many...
My mechanic says that all modern cars are trouble, so I now long for an older and really well-made car with a dash clock that I can look at anytime I like. I'm now considering a diesel W124 - maybe from...
 

Ask Honest John