A few years ago, researchers at the University of Windsor worked with Krown Rust Control as part of an ongoing study to provide a consumer-oriented metric for measuring vehicle rust and corrosion. The result was the creation of a Corrosion Index, which researchers would use to track the spread of rust between vehicles treated with a corrosion inhibitor, and those which were not.
Research data showed nearly seven times more visible rust on body panels and nearly four times as much rust on underbody components on non-treated vehicles.
That’s important, because rust and corrosion have direct results on your vehicle’s resale value, with many shoppers shying away from second hand cars with visible corrosion.
These days, thanks to harsher and more aggressive de-icing chemicals, car bodies are under attack more than ever.
“In the past few years, we’ve seen more and more municipalities using tackifiers when salting the roads” explains Freeman Young, president of Krown.
Tackifiers make road salt sticky, allowing municipalities to save money by salting roads before the snow falls. The tackifiers make the salt stick to the road surface, so cars don’t blow it away. They also make the salt stick to your car.
“When things get wet, you’ve got this sticky, salty mess that sticks to everything” adds Young.
Using specialized formulations, increasingly-popular salt-removal treatments are available to shoppers as part of a springtime maintenance packages. These applications are generally designed to release salt from your vehicle’s paint, body and undercarriage at the molecular level.
Krown’s salt removal treatment is called Salt Eleminator.
“It has its roots with municipalities, who use it to clean snow-removal equipment at the end of the season” explains Young.
An application of Salt Eleminator ensures your vehicle is free of salt every spring, helping further slow and eliminate corrosion all year round.
How Does it Work?
Application involves spraying a thick foam onto the vehicle surface or undercarriage, allowing it to work, and then rinsing away. After a minute, the treatment has loosened and removed salt at the molecular level, and a waxy finish is left behind as a barrier to help fend off future buildup.
Road Salt and Your Ride
The use of de-icing salts costs drivers billions per year in depreciation. Krown says that 22 million American drivers have reported salt-related damage to their vehicles in the past 5 years, and that drivers have spent well over 15 billion dollars in rust repairs caused by de-icing chemicals over the same period of time.
More than Meets the Eye
According to science, it can take 35,000 pounds of mechanical force to remove salt from metal once it’s bonded molecularly. For that reason, rinsing salt away with clean water simply isn’t’ enough. Even a vehicle that looks clean may be concealing a thin layer of corrosive salt that’s not visible to the naked eye.
Real World Implications
Auto valuation experts like Kelley Blue Book even consider rust and corrosion in their used vehicle rating system, which is used by dealers and shoppers to help determine the value of a second-hand car.
To achieve the Kelley Blue Book’s top ‘EXCELLENT’ rating, the vehicle must be free of rust.
Even achieving the lesser ‘GOOD’ rating requires that the vehicle be virtually rust-free.
Vehicles in Fair or Poor condition, which are worth progressively less money, may fall into these categories for several reasons– including the presence of above-minimal levels of rust.
Translation? Many dollars spent on rust prevention while your car is young will go right back in your pocket when it comes time to sell it, or trade it in.