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Everything You Want to Know About Rustproofing

Trust No Rust: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Rustproofing but Were Afraid to Ask

Rustproofing. To many drivers, it’s considered an afterthought. To others, there’s a negative connotation associated with the salesperson pressuring them into adding undercoating for an extra $1000 before signing a new lease at the dealership. Wherever you fall on the scale, we wanted to give you the facts on what rustproofing provides your car and how it works. After all, Ziebart invented the process of rustproofing.

What causes a car to rust?

Rust occurs when oxygen and iron come in contact and begin an oxidization process, creating what we know as rust. Water helps speed this process up. When road dirt, grime, road salt and other corrosives take their toll on the waterproof barriers the manufacturer puts into the steel and iron, the oxidization process can begin. This goes double for puddles created by road salt splashing on your undercarriage. Thankfully there are ways to protect your automobile.

Do I need to rustproof my car?

There are a few factors to consider in order to determine whether you should rustproof your car. The first is the amount of time you wish to drive and own the car. If you wish to extend the life of your vehicle beyond the span of the manufacturer’s warranty, rustproofing is something you should consider.

There is also the age of the car to consider. If your car was made before 2006, you will absolutely want to invest in a yearly rustproofing treatment to prevent your vehicle from rusting on the road.

Cars manufactured after 2006 are made of a combination of galvanized steel, which contains a coating of zinc. This reacts differently with water and greatly decreases the chances of rust occurring.  Nevertheless, paint chips, scratches and salt still wreak havoc on your car over time. You need to think about rustproofing long before you’re about to surpass the manufacturer’s warranty.

Finally, consider where you live and drive. If you’re in a province where winter can be brutal and road salt is practically considered a condiment, you should think about rustproofing. The same goes for any climate where rain and humidity are part of the regular weather patterns.

So, seeing as you may feel you may fall into the above-mentioned categories, what kind of rustproofing treatments should you consider? Ziebart offers several different options for drivers depending on their needs.


What is it?

Undercoating treatment is a thick, abrasion-resistant sealant that repels moisture and protects the vehicle’s structural base from road debris such as salt, rocks and sand.

How long does it last?

An undercoating treatment will protect you for a year. We recommend having your vehicle inspected and having a coat reapplied if necessary once a year for optimal protection.

PENETR-OIL® Rust Protection

What is it?

Penetr-Oil® Rust Protection treatment uses a dripless and odourless lubricating agent with rust inhibitors that have effective penetrating power. The agent is applied to the underbody, joints, folds, seams, spot welds and body panels of your car using precise specifications from the manufacturer. We use a clean process that does not harm the environment and is safe for all rubber, plastic and electrical circuits.

How long does it last?

You can combine your treatment with an 8-year warranty against corrosion perforation and you benefit from an annual inspection/reapplication and strict monitoring. That means you can rest easy, knowing your ride is safe for years to come.

Permanent Rust Protection

What is it?

Ziebart’s Permanent Rust Protection consists of a tough rubberized undercoating applied to the underbody of your vehicle to protect the entire metal structure. The protective sealant keeps out air, moisture, salt and road debris. To protect the upper parts, we apply our paraffin-based wax coating to the inside of your doors, side panels, inner fenders, hood, trunk, seams and joints of all critical spots, for lasting protection.

How long does it last?

Our Permanent Rust Protection is supported by a 10-year national warranty, conditional on annual inspection and touch-ups/re-application to vital areas. This ensures maximum protection using strict monitoring.

Tips For Preventing Rust

Although a proper rustproofing treatment done by a professional is your best bet for keeping rust at bay, there are some things you can do to help keep your ride running smoothly.

1. Wash Your Car Regularly

Beyond the joys of having a clean car, washing your vehicle regularly removes road grime and salt that can cause corrosion of the waterproof barriers. Don’t forget to hose down the undercarriage every so often. The undercarriage is a spot that is often overlooked but is also the area that is most affected by grime and road salt.

2. Fix Paint Chips

Your car’s paint serves as more than eye candy. It creates a waterproof barrier that also blocks UV rays. Thus, when small chips occur from rocks and small road debris, you leave the metal exposed and susceptible to rust. Invest in a touch-up pen from your car’s manufacturer (they usually sell for about $20) and fix paint chips promptly.

3. Treat Rust Spots Quickly

Should you discover rust on your car, they key is not to panic.  Take care of it. When caught early, surface rust can be repaired, and the process can be stopped. With proper preventative care such as a rustproofing treatment and yearly inspections, rust doesn’t need to be the end of your vehicle’s career.

4. Wax Regularly

If you don’t regularly wax your car after washing it, this might be one more reason to make it a regular task. Waxing your car not only makes it shine in the sunlight, it also creates a barrier between your paint and the sun’s UV rays as well as grime, salt and acid rain. It can also protect from paint chips, scratches and dirt. As an added bonus, because the dirt is stuck to the wax barrier rather than the body of the car, it makes the next car wash even easier.

Rustproofing is an essential treatment for anyone who wishes to keep their car on the road long after the warranty expires. Although dealerships may try to push expensive options when you buy a new car, these aren’t the types of treatments you want to invest in.

The best investment you can make for a vehicle you want to keep for years to come is a rustproofing service performed by professionals that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. If the service is backed by a warranty, you can rest easy that you’re dealing with professionals.

Finally, think of rustproofing like you would an oil change or switching seasonal tires: a part of car maintenance that helps ensure older models will continue rolling for years to come.

To learn more about rustproofing service and what would be right for your vehicle, visit our store locator page and talk to an auto expert.