It’s only a little rust

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If you’ve ever owned a car that was once from a northern state or a beach, you probably know what rust is – it’s a reaction caused by the iron meeting air and water – iron oxide – and since steel is an alloy that contains iron, it’s a prime suspect. Usually, you’ll see rust on the paint or on the exhaust pipes.

This is called cosmetic rust. This kind of rust, though ugly, is not a safety issue. This usually happens because a rock made a tiny chip in the paint and air/water found their way onto the metal. Most exterior body parts are not structural, like quarter panels, doors and hoods. However, rust becomes more than just a cosmetic flaw and sign of age when it gets to the structural components.

 Most vehicles on the road today, spare some trucks and SUV’s, are unibody. This means that the vehicle’s frame and the vehicle’s actual body (except for things like doors, hoods and trunks lids) are one connected piece. So, if rust gets here, the entire car’s safety at risk. Rust at this level can spread like wildfire, and once the rust takes over the unibody frame, the repairs can be more than the car are worth, and more than most people probably have in their bank accounts. Accidents of any kind, even small ones, can become deadly because the vehicle has reduced structural integrity.

“So, what should I do about it?” you ask?

Generally speaking it’s best to have your vehicle checked out by a professional so they can really get into the deeper crevices of your vehicle. This is usually included in things like pre-purchase inspections. When buying cars, avoid those with frame rust, even if it is minor. If the car you own has frame rust, consider replacement. Your safety is the most important thing.

 As always, call Manchester Auto and Tire of Mint Hill, LLC at 704-545-4597, email us at, or message us on Facebook at if you have any questions.

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