rust proofing car

Rust Proofing Your Car: The Complete Guide

With salt and mud always an issue with Canadian driving regardless of what province you’re in, it’s always a good idea to get your vehicle rustproofed or undercoated. The best time of year to do so is in the spring, but the next best time is now! 

If you’ve never had your vehicle rustproofed, we’ve compiled this guide together to help you learn what it means and what the best option in Canada is for whatever you drive. 

How to choose a rustproofing service in Canada

Choosing a rustproofinservice or undercoatincan seem overwhelming or confusing depending on what you want to do. When deciding what to get done to your vehicle, keep these in mind: 

  • Price: The price for rustproofing and undercoating will depend on the make and size of your vehicle, and what kind of protection you’re looking for – If you’re in a harsher climate or do a lot of tough driving, you may need a different brand for your needs and the price difference might also reflect in that.  
  • Type/Brand: There are currently three main rustproofing products available in Canada, and which one you choose to go with will factor into what your particular vehicle needs and what your daily driving entails. 

Why trust us

From British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador, we all understand how hard Canadian roads and backroads can be on vehicles, especially in the winter with all of the mud, salt, and rocks. Our team spent over 15 hours reviewing and researching the main rustproofing services available across the country and what is best for you based on budget and vehicle. 

Best rustproofing services in Canada

There are currently three main rustproofing and undercoating brands that are widely used across Canada. Anything from basic family vehicles to military use – these three brands are sure to protect your vehicle and ensure it lasts. There are a few brands out there that can be done yourself, but it is highly recommended that you don’t attempt to rustproof your own vehicle, not only to protect yourself but to make sure that you don’t wreck your car. 

Disclaimer: The services are not presented in any particular order.

Krown Rust Control

Krown Rust Control needs reapplication every 12 months to ensure your vehicle is protected. It’s a petroleum-based product with rust inhibitors and no solvents. Krown also claims to be environmentally safe – containing no toxins, non-flammable, non-reactive, can be sprayed in any weather at any time of year, and is not WHMIS controlled. 

In order for the product to work, it needs to get into every nook and cranny of the underside of your vehicle. Depending on where your application is done, they may drill small holes into a few of the spaces underneath your car. After the product is applied, the excess will drip off for anywhere from 24-48 hours, but it shouldn’t cause any damage to anything underneath your vehicle and won’t be any less effective. 

Krown Rust Control remains active as it stays on your vehicle, protecting the underside from any chips, dents or scratches that can and do generally create rust spots faster. With it being an active lubricant, it constantly shifts and ‘repairs’ any spots that may get damaged, protecting it from rust or corrosion in the future. Since it’s a lubricant instead of just a coating, it gets into every crevice and ensures that door locks, brake cables, and any other small moving parts will stay coated and moving. 

Pros
  • Lubricating. 
  • Cost is $130 for smaller vehicles, and around $150 for larger.
Cons
  • It lasts for 12 months.
  • It needs to be re-done annually.

Rust Check

Rust Check is a light liquid protectant that is applied inside body sections of your vehicle with a pressurized spray. The company has been around since 1973 and has been successful as one of Canada’s main service brands customers use. 

It has a thin enough consistency to get into every tiny crevice and active additives ensure that no spot welds, joints, folds, or seams corrode or start to form rust and damage your vehicle. Rust Check works to protect metals by displacing moisture and treating all surfaces with highly effective corrosion inhibitors. The inhibitors form a bond layer on the metal surfaces, acting like microscopic umbrellas that shield everything from water molecules  ensuring that corrosion won’t even begin. 

A car battery doesn’t work without its electrolyte, just as metal corrosion won’t occur if moisture can’t penetrate or contact the metal in and around your vehicle. Rust Check Coat & Protect is an additional product that Rust Check has created, that can essentially be thought of as a thicker version of Rust Check. It’s a premium undercarriage protectant that has good adhesion to most metals and is wash resistant. Suitable for those vehicles that are in wetter climates or driving through more wet conditions, the Coat & Protect is non-dripping, and is self-healing; it won’t crack or peel. 

Coat & Protect can be used on both new and used vehicles and has a very high percentage of the same ingredients that their original Rust Check formula uses. Used together they are an almost fool-proof rust and corrosion protection system no matter what you throw at it, whether it’s off-road, wet and muddy winter slush, or having to drive around accumulating salt from the roads. 

Pros
  • Price starts at $139 for smaller vehicles, and $159 for larger sizes.
Cons
  • Warranty only covers rust that is from the inside out.

Corrosion Free

Corrosion Free is our last but not least third contender for rust and corrosion protection. Used by the military and is very well-reviewed, it can take anything you throw at it and still perform beautifully.

They’ve been incorporated since 1995 and the people and owners have over 30 years of experience in appearance and damage care solutions, including a proven track record in the rustproofing industry. Corrosion Free itself is a clear, non-toxic, solvent-free, odour-free, super lubricating metal conditioner with creeping and penetrating benefits that ensure an all-in-one formula against rust and corrosion.

It isn’t a sealant that can trap moisture and isn’t an oil that can damage rubber or plastics like some other rustproofing services/products. It doesn’t drip and the active moisture displacers last 18 months, which is at least a full half-a-year more than the competitors.

Also, unlike the other competitors on the list, you can wash your car immediately afterwards and there is no worrying about moisture getting inside anything or ruining the rustproofing, as the formula is designed to flat out repel water and moisture of any kind. They do offer a DIY kit on their website if you have the proper knowledge and equipment to do so – though it is more recommended to use a certified dealer/rustproofing service.

 

Pros
  • Protects for 18 months.
  • Warranty covers all body panels and has no restrictions on where the rust originates from.
  • Price is around $139 for smaller vehicles, and $179 for larger ones, for their Complete Protection package.
Cons
  • Warranty excludes paint chips or bubbling.
  • Slightly pricier than other rustproofing services – though it does last longer than the other two by six months.

Frequently asked questions about rustproofing

What is rust proofing?

Rustproofing is essentially exactly how it sounds – it’s the prevention or delay of rust on iron or steel objects, such as vehicles or other objects, by using a topcoat or protective layer. 

Undercoating vs Rust Proofing: What’s the difference?

Rustproofing is the treatment of specific areas prone to rust, while undercoating is a sprayed application of rubber or wax-based composite on the entire underside of your vehicle. 

What’s the cost of rust proofing?

It generally can cost anywhere from $100 to $200, though it all depends on where, by who, and how much needs to be done for your specific vehicle. 

Why is rust proofing important?

Rustproofing and undercoating are important to protect your vehicle from rust and erosion that can destroy your car and wear it down faster than normal, saving you costs and headaches down the line. It extends the lifespan of your vehicle. 

Does undercoating stop rust?

Undercoating can prevent rust and corrosion from things like salt, water, rocks, mud etc. and it helps extend the lifetime of your vehicle. 

What are the types of rust proofing?

There are permanent and annual types of rustproofing. Permanent rustproofing has two distinct layers of coating as opposed to annual that requires yearly updates. 

Is rustproofing for new cars necessary?

Rustproofing new cars is ideal and necessary to prevent rust and corrosion. 

Is it too late to rust proof my car?

It’s never too late to rustproof or undercoat your car, any time is acceptable for prevention. 

What is the best time to rustproof a vehicle?

Spring is the ideal season to get your vehicle rustproofed and undercoated. 

Should I wash my car before rustproofing?

Yes. The most important areas to clean are the undercarriage and everywhere the sealants need to adhere correctly to protect your vehicle. 

Does Corrosion Free drip?

No, Corrosion Free is a lubricant gel that doesn’t drip after application. 

Are there any DIY rustproofing options?

You can do it yourself with rustproofing sprays and oils available in stores, though it is highly recommended to get it done professionally to decrease the risk of ruining your vehicle and injuring yourself. 

Is rust proofing a car worth the cost?

Yes. It will save you money in the long run to take preventable measures against rust and corrosion than it will to fix or try to restore your vehicle later. 

How does electronic rust proofing work?

It works by sending a weak electric current throughout the metal of your vehicle that disrupts the charge between metal and oxygen, thus stopping rust from forming. 

How to keep a bike from rusting?

Keep your bicycle dry, spray the chain and body with a protective coating, take preventative measures (such as not exposing your bike to the elements and keeping it clean after biking) and do maintenance to make sure it stays in top shape. 

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About the author

Nikki Lyka

Nikki Lyka is a reviewer and writer at Rank-It.ca that’s written about a variety of subjects from the best fantasy novels to travel guides and blogs. When she isn’t researching and typing up a storm, she’s generally found winding down with tea, video games, practicing aerial hoop, photography, and reading good horror novels.
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