Land Rovers will conquer almost any terrain with ease, which is why we love them so much. They are the spirit of adventure and exude a prominence on the road like no other. But with their mix of aluminum and steel body panels, Defender models are particularly susceptible to rust development, which can lead to every vehicle owner’s nightmare – rust! How to stop rusting is critical.

Why stop the rust immediately?

There is nothing worse than letting vehicle rust spread – it can lead to more significant, irreparable problems. It may sound a bit over the top, but rust eating away at your vehicle can cause structural failure. When it gets bad enough, frame rust can cause parts to snap off or crack, compromising safety for you, your passengers, or motorists on the road.

Preserving your Classic from rust, especially your dearest Defender, is of the utmost importance. Not only do you need to keep it safe, but you want to keep it in shipshape condition for as long as possible. Let us run you through the ins and outs of how to stop rust on a vehicle and what you can do.

Firstly, what causes rust on a vehicle

In the most simple scientific description, rust develops when a material containing iron(such as steel) is in contact with oxygen and moisture. Iron oxidation occurs when these substances come together and can reach different phases of rust if unattended.

Automobile bodies are composed of steel because it is solid and durable. But unfortunately, steel contains iron, which makes it vulnerable to iron oxide.

Why the Defender is prone to rust

For a Defender, rust can develop rapidly due to its design, such as the rear x member on a Defender. It is a complex shape with different metal layers. Where the two layers of welded metal meet, there is usually no paint between these layers. When moisture, water, dirt, or road salt get in, corrosion from rust develops reasonably quickly.

Older vehicle models may be more susceptible to rust because there weren’t rust-proofing materials like we have today. However, the most likely causes of rust depend on other factors that even top-of-the-range vehicles cannot avoid.

Common rust causes include:
  • Regular exposure to climate change like rain, sleet, and snow increases moisture oxidizing.
  • Salts used to grit icy roads speed up the oxidizing process.
  • Higher weather temperatures can cause pores in the paint to expand and thus leading to greater moisture absorption.
  • Over time, wear and tear can leave the metal exposed to moisture, leading to rust.

A common Land Rover Defender problem is rust due to frequent exposure to mud and moisture. This typically causes corrosion to develop on the steel chassis and bulkhead particularly. But there are more areas too, where rust can creep in.

Driving usage factors

When you drive on wet roads, the water sprays up onto a clean undercarriage and can dry pretty quickly. This way, whatever sprays up from the tires is minimal. But taking it for a spin off-road, will immerse your vehicle in water. This moisture and sand can fill plenty of bare metal cavities that usually dry during on-road use. The underside also gets packed with mud that can trap and hold water for days or even weeks. Typically, mud can plug into an area and never dry as it gets wet from tire spray and can essentially hold more water for long periods. This sort of build-up leads to moisture that starts the rusting process.

Simple tips to curb the rust
  • Don’t wait and allow mud to build up. Mud-encrusted Defenders fall victim to rust a lot more quickly. Give it a good power wash frequently to keep it clean.
  • Consider professional advice on painting or spraying vulnerable areas with a rust-proofing treatment such as Waxoyl(recognized as a premier product to prevent rust and corrosion of new Land Rovers).
  • Service your Defender to spot corrosion problems quickly.
Prevent, preserve, refurbish and act fast!

Stop rusting on a car may seem difficult to combat as you are not the ordinary driver, and neither is your vehicle. A Defender is for off-roading in whatever wild and crazy setting that may be, so don’t let rust get in your way. The key to rust prevention is nipping it in the bud as soon as possible to avoid the spread. So even if you spot a small patch of rust, get it sorted without delay.

If you have concerns about how to stop rusting on a car, especially your Defender, then let us assist. Refurbishing Defenders is what we do best, and we will happily take on any process with you to customize your Defender for the long run.

Contact us today at Classic Overland for more information.

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