3 Tips For Keeping Your Truck Body Rust-Free This Winter

Do you have a work truck that gets heavy use? Do you drive it frequently throughout the winter? If so, you're likely exposing your truck to a serious threat that can cause rust all over the truck body. If you live in an area that gets snow and ice, your municipality is probably laying salt on the roads throughout the winter. That salt can attach itself to your truck's body and cause oxidation, which can lead to rust. If the rust goes unaddressed, it could break down paint and even eat holes through the metal paneling, which may force you to lose your truck to lengthy and costly repairs. Here are a few ways you can prevent and eliminate rust on your truck body:

Wash the truck frequently. This is the biggest step you can take toward killing rust before it even happens. If you know that salt has be laid on the roads and that you've been driving your truck through the salt, then find a time to wash it as soon as possible. Given that it's cold and possibly snowy out, washing your car in the driveway is probably not possible. However, try to find an indoor automatic wash where you can get the truck rinsed. If that's not possible, at least take an old shop towel to the truck's body when you get home. Keeping salt off the vehicle is the most important thing you can do to prevent rust.

Fix scratches. A scratch can make your truck even more vulnerable to rust damage. That's because a scratch usually removes a layer of paint, meaning the salt has free access to the metal paneling of the truck body. That can accelerate rusting and damage. If you see a scratch, no matter how small, patch it up as soon as you can. 

Look under your hood or inside your door for a paint code. Then take that paint code to your nearest automotive supply dealer and buy a can of touch-up paint. You'll also need automotive lacquer, primer, and a clean rag. Clean the scratch and then apply the primer over the damaged area. Once the primer has dried, apply the paint. Then wait for the paint to dry and apply a couple layers of lacquer. Finally, use the rag to buff the area and blend in the new paint with the old. The new paint over the scratch will keep salt out and protect your truck body.

Remove small areas of rust. If you notice rust on your truck body, you should take action as soon as possible. The oxidation process has already started, so if you don't address the issue, you could have a hole in your paneling. 

Use a wire brush or sander to remove the rust from the panel. You may end up removing some paint from surrounding areas, but that's okay. Once you remove the rust and are down to the metallic surface, follow the same primer, paint, and lacquer process as you would for repairing a scratch. Your truck will be back to good condition and ready to face the salt and snow for another day.

If the rusted area is too large or if you have a hole in your paneling, visit a truck body repair shop like Metropolitan Truck Center Inc. They can remove the rust and strengthen the panel.