Newer cars still susceptible to rust from salt - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Newer cars still susceptible to rust from salt

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

Over the past decade, plastic has replaced metal on the exterior of many cars, but that doesn't necessarily mean newer cars are immune to rust from road salt and grime.

The Brown Body and Paint Center has had a very busy start to 2013 -- mainly due to snow-related collisions from late December.

But rust can be as damaging as an accident -- silently eating away at the body.

Robert Alexander, the manager at Brown Body and Paint Center said, "it's always been the lowest 6" of automobiles. Mainly, that's where they're assembled, and where a lot of the welded seams are, and where a lot of the salt and dirt and moisture will collect and stay in those panels. When you get dirt on the inside of those panels, and it stays moist, that's when you have lots of problems.... There are more chemicals they put on the roads when they pre-treat, by all means, may be more harmful than the salt they put on the road afterwards. They spray it on wet, and it gets on the undercarriage of the cars, it may even penetrate even worse than the hunks of rock salt will."

Newer cars may appear to be more resilient, with more plastic and less steel, on the outside.

Robert added, "Cars are designed a bit better, corrosion protection is better, and the assembly of vehicles is better, and even the materials they're built with are better now."

... but even late models are not immune, as steel is still present underneath the plastic shell.

Robert advised, "When you wash your car, it may look great on the outside, but underneath, there are lots of crooks and crannies and pockets where dirt and moisture collect. If you don't do anything to keep that clean, you'll get the most damaging type of rust."

Sometimes the least visible things are most critical.

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