California Clean: Why a Car from California is a Healthy Choice [Infographic]
Rust, or iron oxide, comprises three oxygen atoms and two iron atoms and is the product of corrosion. Corrosion requires:
- An anode – Positively charged electrode
- A cathode – Negatively charged electrode
- An electrolyte – An ion
In cars, the metal acts as both anode and cathode. Water is an electrolyte.
- Even if your car is under cover, it can still develop rust from humidity.
- A relative humidity below 55% can prevent the formation of rust.
- It is virtually impossible for rust to form in clean air with a relative humidity less than 40%.
Salt acts as a more efficient electrolyte, making it easier for rust to form.
- In the winter, salt is frequently used to melt snow and ice on roads.
Parts of your car that are more susceptible to rust:
The Problem with Rust
Rust can make your car appear dirty, but it also leads to more serious safety hazards.
- Weakens metal
- Creates holes
- Acts as an insulator (prevents proper conduction of electricity)
- Creates rough surfaces, causing moving parts to stick or grate against each other
- Car paint seals your car’s metal body from moisture. Wash your car every two weeks and apply wax once a month to keep your paint job in pristine condition.
- Drivers in harsher environments should apply anti-rust spray or protective lubricant for an added layer of protection.
- If you plan to drive on icy, snowy roads covered in salt, wash your car more frequently, paying particular attention to the underside and wheel wells.
- Inspect your car frequently for bubbles, flakes, scratches, and other signs of rust damage.
- For minor, cosmetic rust problems, sand away the rust and apply a primer and paint to the affected area.
- If the rust has eaten a hole into your car, grind down the affected area and repair the hole with body filler.
- Rust converters turn iron oxide into iron tannate, which is stable and won’t corrode metal. Most rust converters also contain polymers that add a protective primer coating.
- For extensive rust damage, consult a professional.
Consider purchasing a car from California for less corrosion. Low Precipitation
- Average state humidity: 60%
- Average annual precipitation
- Low: 2.9 inches (El Centro)
- High: 35.2 inches (San Rafael)
- Compared to average annual precipitation in New York
- Low: 34.3 inches (Rochester)
- High: 62.8 inches (Slide Mountain)
Low Salt Content
- A generally low amount of snow and ice means no salt on the roads.
- Coastal mountains prevent salty ocean air from reaching inland.
- However, even cars found by the coast would require consistent contact with ocean water to develop rust.
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