How a Minor Scratch Can Turn Your Car into a Rust Bucket
Ford told buyers of his Model T they could select any color as
long as it's black. Today we see cars in any of 7,000 hues, including
shades of rust that won't appear on color chips in new car literature.
"Serious rust damage, including a hole right through the
metal, can begin with a minor scratch in a parking lot from a
shopping cart," said Rich White of the Car Care Council.
"Steel is strong and lasts a lifetime when it's protected,
but when that protection is invaded, the metal is exposed to the
elements. That's when rust begins its invasion."
paint chips as quickly as possible, White recommends. For a quick
fix until you can get some touchup supplies, dab a little clear
nail polish on the scratch. Touchup paint can be found for virtually
every vehicle ever built, including antiques. Use the paint code
number shown on the identification plate located on a doorjamb,
in the glove box, under the hood, in the trunk under the carpet
next to the spare or wherever else the carmaker has hidden it.
The owner's manual will tell you how to find it.
uncommon colors will have to be ordered where auto parts are sold
or from the Internet. Also available are scratch repair kits including
everything needed from preparation to finishing a deep scratch,"
dents can be fixed with paintless dent repair; a service found
either through local automotive suppliers, the classified section
of the phone book or on the Internet.
so many aspects of car care, preventive maintenance is much easier
and beneficial than corrective measures. Maintaining the original
integrity of the finish keeps the vehicle in "like new"
condition. The basic rules of body and paint maintenance apply:
parking in the hot sun; it can damage interior surfaces as well
as the exterior.
the vehicle frequently, including areas underneath, with mild,
and use cleaners and waxes carefully. A cleaner that is effective
for one type of finish could be disastrous for another.
the vehicle owner's manual to be sure.