Unprotected metal starts the chemical reaction referred to as rust (iron oxide) as soon as it comes in contact with moisture and air. Although some vehicle manufacturers claim to treat their vehicles against rust, this protection is insufficient, and still leaves the undercarriage susceptible to corrosion.
Most vehicles start corroding almost immediately after leaving the factory. External factors such as mud, road debris and salt used in Winter contribute to this process. Rust, a type of corrosion, slowly eats through unprotected metal, ultimately resulting in its complete deterioration.
Deteriorated metal can cause mechanical failure, such as damage to the fuel-lines and brake-lines, as well as pre-mature wear of chassis, suspension and drive-train. Mechanical damage caused by rusting parts can compromise the safety and reliability of the vehicle and even lead to serious accidents. In addition to affecting the undercarriage, corrosion also spreads through the body of the vehicle, over time causing unsightly rust spots, holes and weak exterior panels, especially in more-rust-prone areas. These include inner and outer wheel wells, the lower fenders, quarter panels and rocker panels.
When a vehicle is heavily rusted, the problematic spots are apparent to the naked eye. Many vehicles, however, start rusting in the undercarriage area, the area closest to the ground moisture, road salt, mud and debris. The undercarriage area is hidden and difficult-to-examine, and for this reason many vehicle owners are not aware that their vehicle is being consumed by rust.
We have perfected the process of detecting rust, using both our extensive experience and the latest science and technology.
After your car or truck are on the lift, we use state-of-the-art equipment, including probing cameras, which allows the technician to investigate the inner frame and other difficult-to-see areas inside and outside the undercarriage. Many customers are very surprised to see that sometimes, even a brand-new vehicle has already started the destructive corrosion process!
Rust can come in two stages, surface-only rust and penetrating rust. Rust is not a substance which forms on top of the surface of metal. Rather it is a change in the metal, the actual chemical reaction of moisture and oxygen altering the metal into iron-oxide (rust). This causes loss of metal, ultimately resulting in actual breaches and holes.
Surface rust has not yet penetrated deep enough, and leaves plenty of salvageable metal under it. The iron-oxide can be removed and the surface can be re-painted and immediately treated against the future formation of rust. This is done by applying a self-healing coating which creates a barrier between moisture and oxygen and the surface of the vehicle. This coating seeps into nooks and crevices which would otherwise be inaccessible, and protects them from external corroding elements.
In cases when vehicles display penetrating rust, also known as rot, there is no salvageable metal and the entire area has turned into iron-oxide. Because of the complete deterioration of the metal, this area will now need to be cut out completely and replaced with new metal, which is painted and immediately treated against the formation of future rust. Iron-oxide must be removed in its entirety to prevent it from spreading throughout the metal, much like a rash spreading through the human body.
It is important to scan the undercarriage of a vehicle completely and thoroughly in order to analyze the condition of the metal. A determination is then made as to whether a vehicle can benefit from rust prevention only, or, at times, from rust-descaling and repainting of the metal. In more extreme cases, a vehicle may require replacement of sections of its frame with new sections which are skillfully welded in.