rust prevention products

Best Rust Prevention Products For Cars & Bolts

While cars these days have more rust resistance, it’s still quite important to watch out for rust. Leaving rust unchecked gives it room to spread. This won’t only affect your car’s appearance; it will also weaken its integrity and increase the frequency of repairs. What’s worse, the rust could destroy the quality of your fasteners and body panels so much that you might have to replace them. 

The best way to deal with rust is to prevent it from happening. This is partly because rust is not always easy to detect. People that live in cold states like Wisconsin have the most to gain from this advice, as the roads are often salted during winter. Salt speeds up the process of rusting, which can lead to quicker damage.

Playing it safe with rust prevention products will minimize the possibility of damage and extend your car’s lifespan. Thankfully, many of the best rust prevention products can also work as rust removers or converters, so whether you’re looking to stop or prevent the spread of rust, these treatments will work great.

  1. POR-15 45404 Rust Preventive Coating
    To prove its efficacy, POR-15 has been tested at over 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 hours. It also passed a salt spray test that lasted for over 2,000 hours. The product’s heavy resistance and endurance make it a great option for car owners in cold and snowy states. While it will repel fuel and oil, it’s also resistant to acid and alkali.

    When applying this product, ensure you cover up your body and use a respirator since it’s quite sticky and a bit hazardous. Also, make sure you’re applying it in a well-ventilated area. It will stick well to clean surfaces, but it works best on prepped rusty metal. POR-15 doesn’t need to be applied with additional primer or paint. Those might only be used if you want a painted finish or think the surface will be exposed to the sun for long.

    Pros

    • Very durable.
    • Sticks well to rust.
    • Repels fuels and oils
    • Resists acids and alkalis

    Cons

    • Toxic and dangerous if inhaled. 
    • Sticks to the skin and it’s hard to clean off. 
    • Sensitive to UV rays
  2. BOESHIELD T-9 Rust & Corrosion Inhibitor
    Boeshield T-9 was developed by the aerospace giant, The Boeing Company. It has since become one of the more reliable metal protectors for cars, yachts, ATVs, or garden and lawn tools. Available in a 12-ounce bottle, it can be used for rust prevention or as a waterproof lubricant. 

    T-9 can also remove minor corrosion and flush out old lubricants. Unlike some tougher rust inhibitors, it’s not very difficult to remove. This can be done easily using an emulsifying cleaner or even by applying the product itself. It has some level of resistance that makes it ideal for use in salty environments and coastal areas.

    Pros

    • Safe enough to use on plastic, rubber, vinyl, or fiberglass. 
    • Works as a minor rust remover

    Cons

    • Often leaves a tacky finish that needs to be wiped for a clean appearance.
    • Collects dirt.
  3. WD-40 300038 Specialist Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor
    The WD-40 might seem a little pricey since it comes in a 6.5-ounce can that doesn’t seem to justify its price tag. However, what it doesn’t have in quantity, it makes up for in long-term effectiveness. The product can last for up to a year when sprayed on cleaned metal. 

    While it’s one of the best options for preventive maintenance, it also works great for rust removal. It can be used to clean the rust off old rusty bolts and on areas exposed to road debris. WD-40 is very useful in corrosive atmospheres such as salty, hot, highly humid, or snowy cold environments. The added straw extension is particularly useful for car owners. With the straw, you can direct the spray into areas that would normally be hard to reach. 

    Pros

    • Great for long-term use.
    • Straw extension for increased accuracy.
    • Works as a rust remover. 

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Not a good option if you want something that dries fast.
  4. Fluid Film
    Fluid Film is very effective for rust prevention in highly corrosive marine environments. It works as an anti-freezing agent and can be very effective in winter, able to last long in snowy or salty conditions. Applying Fluid Film to heavily corroded and frozen fasteners such as nuts and bolts can make them usable again.

    Unlike some rust removers and inhibitors, it’s environmentally friendly and non-toxic, but that’s not to say it smells great. Despite being non-hazardous, it’s best to cover up your body and eyes when using the product, as application could be messy. This is partly due to its pretty thick viscosity. You might have to find a way to warm it up and make it thinner before using it with a spray gun. Alternatively, you can buy the spray can version.

    Pros

    • Anti-freezing agent
    • Can salvage heavily-corroded materials and fasteners.
    • Non-toxic

    Cons

    • Application can be messy due to viscosity
  5. Permatex 81849-12PK Rust Treatment
    Permatex provides simultaneous rust removal and protection with each use. The treatment is pretty tough and will destroy rust in vehicle body parts, fasteners, pipes, and other industrial appliances. Having tested the product, the manufacturer recommends using it in temperatures between 50 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also not recommended for surfaces hotter than 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

    While Permatex provides long-lasting protection from rust, it is best used as a protective primer for painting over. It wouldn’t be as effective as a finish, especially on automobile parts. The good news is that it creates a tough protective coating after blackening and converting rusty areas. This application makes it easier to paint over any damaged surface. 

    Pros

    • Easily sprayed and applied.
    • Works with fiberglass and body filler.
    • Dries fast.

    Cons

    • Slightly toxic and has a pretty strong smell.
    • You might need to apply another primer before painting.
    • More suitable for trucks than cars with thin panels.

At Westland Fasteners, we work with fasteners and automotive body parts daily, so we understand firsthand how to deal with rust and prevent corrosion. Having tried several solutions, the products listed happen to be our best recommendations. You can’t go wrong with them if you’re trying to seal your fasteners or protect your car’s parts from corrosive damage.