How To Check For Rust and Should You Buy A Car With Rust?
When it comes to buying a car, one of the first things you should check for is rust. Rust can and will cause major issues for cars new and old so it’s important that as a prospective buyer that you check for any before you purchase the vehicle, or you may face problems in the future.
What causes rust?
Rust or iron oxide if you want to give it its proper name occurs when the car’s metal reacts with water, oxygen or iron and this causes the metal to corrode. It is usually caused by a mixture of things such as neglect of the vehicle, rain, exposure to poor weather and the location your car is generally left in.
How to check for rust?
To check for signs or evidence of rust, you should always start at the bottom of the car. This is because this is where rusting is most common. If you can, get the vehicle to a mechanics so that you can check the underside of the vehicle. This area of the car contains a lot of essential parts and corrosion here could weaken the integrity of the vehicle’s structure too. Alternatively, you could use a mirror to check.
Where does rust appear?
The door areas tend to get hit by a lot of water, so check them thoroughly, the bases and the hinges. The exhaust system is another aspect that is susceptible to rust, so you will need to look at this too. Anything that is made of metal and will be exposed to water, iron or oxygen is at risk, so you need to be thorough. Wheel arches, under the bonnet, in the foot wells and under the spare tyre, these are all places you should be investigating for signs of rust.
So, should you buy a car with rust?
It will probably come down to how much rust there is and the location of it. Sometimes small spots of rust will appear in little patches on the body work of a car. Some people refer to this as a sort of cosmetic type of rust. While it doesn’t look great, it will stay localised, and it can be repaired.
Some rust will occur in areas that are tricky to fix or are indeed unfixable. If an area of the vehicle is completely rusted, then this is a major issue and should give you cause for serious concern.
If the car’s chassis is heavily rusted, it poses safety risks. The structure of the vehicle will be compromised with material liable to break off or snap. You and your passengers may be in danger as you may not be as protected in the event of a crash as you would be if the car hadn’t been weakened by rust.
Safety is the key, but also some rusting on a certain component such as the exhaust can lead to extremely costly repairs further down the line. So you could spend a lot on a car and then have to shell out again to have parts replaced due to rust being present.
What to do?
When you come to buy a car, you need to check for rust thoroughly. If the vehicle has patches of rust that would be classed as localised and just cosmetic, it can be easy to fix, so it wouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker. Serious rusting in important areas should make you question whether you should be buying the vehicle as it can be detrimental to the safety of those travelling in the car.