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?

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