rust prevention car cover

Do I Really Need a Rust Prevention Car Cover?

There are many providers of car covers. Fewer specialize in a rust prevention car cover. But is the additional protection really worth it?

We recognize there’s a cost-benefit analysis with any purchase. But your vehicle is probably one of the more expensive items you own. Rust and other types of corrosion have long been enemies of motor vehicles. For all the protective paint and technology available, drivers in the U.S. spent an estimated $15.5 billion on rust-related vehicle repairs over the course of five years. Some 22 million motorists have vehicle rust problems annually, working out to roughly $500 a driver.

It’s worse in regions of the so-called “Salt Belt,” where road de-icers do a number on the metal components of your car. The “Salt Belt” states are a group of about a dozen (including Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, New York, and Pennsylvania) that commonly use salt and corrosive chemicals on the roads in winter time to counteract the dangers of ice and snow on thoroughfares. rust prevention car cover

According to analytics conducted by IHS Markit (a part of S&P Global), there are millions of vehicles in the U.S. under rust and corrosion-related recalls. Issues with the frame, undercarriage, control arm, and chassis were among the most commonly-reported problems. There have been reports of crashes and near-crashes involving vehicles whose components catastrophically failed – all due to elements being completely rusted out.

Will a rust prevention car cover truly go that far in preventing issues like this?

While we can’t go so far as to say that a car cover alone will correct a vehicle design flaw or manufacturing defect that makes it more susceptible to rust and corrosion, we can assure buyers that they’ll be extending the life of their vehicle with the right kind of rust prevention car cover. The one we sell at Zerust is corrosion-proof, water resistant, mold-proof and rust-inhibiting – and lasts up to 5 years. It’s particularly popular with owners of antique cars and classic cars, but there’s a good argument to be made that those with other types of vehicles can benefit as well. This is especially true if you have an older car that maybe doesn’t get as much use, but you’re still hanging on to it (maybe waiting for your teen to be old enough to drive it).

There are a lot of car covers that will shield the vehicle from elements like dust, sunlight, and water. But corrosion and rust prevention is something else. In fact, a car cover that is not made with vapor corrosion inhibitor (VCI) protection can actually exacerbate a corrosion risk because humidity and moisture can get trapped inside – accelerating the oxidation process that degrades and ultimately eats away at metal surfaces.

The same VCI technology we use to manufacture our car cover is trusted not just by consumers for other valuable goods, but also by the U.S. military and large corporate enterprises to protect everything from airplane parts to Navy ships to priceless historic antiques.

Any product that is made with metal is potentially vulnerable to corrosion. Vehicles are especially at risk because of their direct exposure to the natural and chemical elements and conditions of our roadways. Even a vehicle that’s stored safely in a garage isn’t guaranteed to be safe from rust if that garage isn’t carefully temperature-controlled.

As for the cost difference between a typical cover and one that offers VCI rust protection, it depends on the exact products you’re eyeing. At one large retailer, waterproof car and truck covers averaged around $50, with those on the higher end topping $120. Zerust car cover costs vary depending on the size, with a range of $250 to $400. That might seem like a lot, but it lasts up to five years. Plus, a rust-related problem can cost you a whole lot more than that.

So to answer the initial question: Do I really need a rust prevention car cover? In short: You can probably get by without one for a time, especially if your car is newer. However, if you live in a Salt Belt state or your vehicle is older (especially an antique or classic), foregoing a car cover that offers corrosion protection is a gamble – one in which not only your money but your safety is on the line.

If you have questions about our car covers, their cost, their effectiveness, how to use them, or the size you need – we’re happy to help offer you any insight you need to make an informed decision!

Contact Zerust for information on VCI products to help with car rust prevention by emailing us or calling (330) 405-1965.

Additional Resources:

When Is a Car Too Rusty? Sept. 1, 2022, By Kevin Williams, The Drive

More Blog Entries:

Optimal Auto Parts Storage Solutions Include Rust & Corrosion Inhibitors, Nov. 22, 2022, Rust Prevention Car Cover Blog