Wherever you live, if you don’t take precautions to prevent your vehicle from rust, you’re going to have issues. But in Hawaii, where you’re never far from the ocean and the salty air, if you don’t protect your car from rust, it won’t be long before you need to come into the shop to get a major rust problem fixed.
Fortunately, if you know how to take care of your car from the beginning, the issues you have with rust (if you do have them) will be simple for us to repair at our auto body shop. To help you avoid major rust repairs, here’s a quick list of things you can do to avoid rust on your vehicle in Hawaii.
Wash Your Car Regularly (and With the Right Supplies)
Lots of people mistakenly think that washing your car is all about looks, but it’s also very important for the long-term health of your vehicle and its paint, especially when it comes to rust issues.
When salt air from the ocean sits on your car for weeks on end, it has even more time to eat away at your paint. Even worse, the rust can extend to your fuel and brake lines as well as many parts of your vehicle’s body. The important parts under your hood, such as electrical connectors, are vulnerable to rusting as well.
Regularly washing your car will prevent sea salt from building up. Just remember to use a car washing soap—dishwashing soap and other solutions won’t protect your vehicle’s finish as effectively. Also, don’t use scratchy or dirty sponges and be sure to wash your car as soon as possible if you’ve been near the beach.
Apply Wax Each Year to Protect Your Vehicle from Rust
Wax provides protection from both the sun and salt which, as you know, are especially strong in Hawaii. Everyone on the island should apply wax to their car at least once or twice per year for the best protection possible. When you wax, do it in the shade and make sure your car is dry. Apply thin coats of wax and use a clean, poly foam wax applicator. When it’s time to buff the wax, use a microfiber towel.
Have Your Vehicle Inspected At an Auto Body Shop
There are many parts of your car, especially the undercarriage, which are susceptible to rusting caused by Hawaii’s salty air. Even if you do crawl under your car, check the tire wells, inspect under the hood, and more, chances are that without the trained eye of a pro, you might miss something.
So bring your car in for a regular inspection at an auto body shop. The sooner you find out that part of your vehicle is rusting, the sooner you can take action to repair that rust before it does more serious damage.