Why some cars rust in the first year, while others run for decades without problems

Today it is difficult to find a car that has not experienced one or another problem with body corrosion. This problem is almost equally relevant for cars on the primary and secondary market. However, have you ever thought about what conditions determine the resistance of a car body to the destructive process? As it often happens, in reality not any one factor is to blame, but a whole set.

Paint quality

Paint coating is kind of the main protective barrier of a car body. It is not the only one and by no means absolute, but nevertheless extremely important. Alas, in the last decade, there has been an extremely negative tendency: the manufacturers of even the “titled” car brands prefer to save on the quality of paintwork. First of all, the economy affects the thickness of the total coat of paint. It also affects the quality of the chosen paint material. But the worst thing is that the manufacturers consciously violate the technology of painting, out of economic considerations. As a result, the protective layer turns out too “delicate”, unstable to mechanical damage, with an insufficient level of adhesion. In the most advanced cases, they may even neglect the base in some areas of the body, applying only the primer.

The quality of the protective coating

Paint is important, but is not an absolute defense against rust. Without a reliable “chemical skin,” no paintwork will help. Today, every motorist knows that a car should be galvanized. However, in reality, a quality protective coating is not only made of 5-7 micrometers thick zinc coating. In addition to zinc, the body must have two more protective layers. A phosphate layer, which is not so much responsible for protection, as for the adhesion of the primer, base and paint. And also a cataphoresis layer with a thickness of not less than 21-23 micrometers. And in fact, the corrosion resistance of the body is much more dependent on the quality of cataphoresis than on the quality of the zinc coating.

Protective elements

Various protective elements play not the least role in corrosion resistance of a car body. It is especially important for the most vulnerable spots, like sills and arches. Today many companies refuse to use mudguards for various reasons, but in reality this not-so-aesthetic design element is able to significantly prolong the service life of the body. However, not all protective elements are equally and unambiguously useful. For example, the applied plastic arches or sills can not only fail to protect, but also contribute to the rapid development of rust. Here, it all depends on the operating conditions, the design of the body and the quality of execution of the protective elements themselves.

Quality of welds

A vehicle’s welds must be properly protected. However, it is not enough to simply protect the seam with sealant. It also needs to be welded properly. Alas, the problem here is the same as with the quality of paintwork – in recent years, car manufacturers are increasingly economizing on production technology. This is especially true for cars in the affordable price segment.

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