The Truth about Electronic Rust Protection

Rust proofing truthIf you are in auto sales college and thinking about a career selling cars and car parts, you will have heard much of the discussion on rust protection and whether or not it is truly necessary. To get to the root of this discussion, a car dealer should understand where rust comes from. Rust is the result of an electrochemical reaction. When oxygen and water come into contact with the metal surface of a vehicle, oxidization begins to occur, which ultimately causes corrosion. Road salt, which is distributed onto roads in the winter to provide traction, accelerates rust production because it increases the amount of dissolved electrolytes in the water, corroding the metal even faster. Car owners living in winter climates are constantly worried about cleaning road salt off their vehicles at the end of the day, to prevent rust from occurring. Products like electronic rust protection claim to stop this chemical rusting process, but many in the industry dispute the legitimacy of these products.

What is Electronic Rust Protection?

Despite cars lasting longer and longer these days, an automotive service technician will notice that people often resell their car after around five years, in order to buy a newer model. To get a good price for their vehicle, the owner takes careful measures to ensure its longevity, such as guarding against corrosion from rust. Although many vehicles these days are manufactured with corrosion protection, there are a range of aftermarket kits to rustproof the car once the factory-made product has grown weak. One such device is an electronic rust proof protection system. This little device can be easily installed by a mechanic, and works by issuing a weak electric current throughout the metal of the vehicle. This current interferes with the charge between the metal and oxygen, thus stopping rust from forming. These devices are often offered by dealerships, or can be bought at an automobile retail store.

Does it Work?

Electronic rust protection has received mixed reviews from customers. While many will enthuse about its capabilities, there seem to be an equal (if not larger) segment who claim the process is overpriced and ineffective. While rustproofing your vehicle is definitely encouraged, sprays and waxes are often the more recommended options, and have been proven to work over the years. Experts pursuing automotive careers do not believe there is substantial evidence regarding the efficiency of an electronic rustproofing system, or that it works better than other options like waxes.

The technology itself is based on the models used on the bottom of boats. In addition to other arguments, many say that electronic rust protection for cars therefore only truly works when fully submerged in water. There are to date no official reports which show that cars with electronic rust proofing have less corrosion than they would without the device.

What’s your take on rust proofing products and devices—are some more effective than others?

Categories: ATC News, Montreal
Tags: auto sales college, automotive careers, automotive service technician

  • Cris Horton

    Just like most things that we want answers to in this day and age, “Google it”, seems to be widely relied upon. In this case, the opinions of this article as it applies to Cathodic technology are absolutely spot on. Cathodic technology relies on a protective flow of electrons to protect the metal that can only be provided by a completed circuit. In short, your cart would have to be submerged in water. Thats why they use it successfully on boats, bridges and underwater pipelines. Many companies have tried to pass this same technology off as a way to protect automobiles. It doesn’t. However, back to the Google thing. The internet also has a way of branding products with the same claims of protection as being the same in function. There is one system out there that has been proven to work. It is not a cathodic system. The name of the system is Finalcoat. They, like a host of other companies made claims to prevent corrosion on automobiles in Canada over 15 years ago. The Canadian Commissioner of Competition through them all out, siding with benefits offered by spray on solutions that could prove some protection. Canadian Auto Preservation, Inc., the inventors of Finalcoat where the only providers that challenged and won, putting them back on the market in Canada. A Dr. Digby McDonald, a professor specializing in electrochemical science, was able to test and prove that Finalcoat technology works. Long story short. Finalcoat has been doing business for some 20 years in Canada and in the US. In Canada, this technology outsells traditional spray on. Yes, there is good information to be found on the internet, but probably more misinformation. Do some research on your own specific to Finalcoat.

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