TTAC commentator greaseyknight writes:
I have a question that I would like to throw at you and the Best and Brightest. Time is of the essence! In about a month I will be moving from the PNW to Wisconsin. My car is a rust free ’92 Nissan Sentra, and I would like to keep it that way during my stay in that state, which is be at least a couple years.
I really have no idea what precautions I should take being from the PNW, where under car rust is a totally foreign concept. I have heard of various under body treatments like Fluid Film and others, but what should I use? I really enjoy the piston slap articles, keep up the good work!
First, let’s be clear on one thing: rustproofing is pointless for folks who keep their car for 10-ish years. Second, the B13 Sentra is a sweet little machine, totally worth keeping around for the rest of your life. For special cases like you, consider a rust proofing, undercoating spray from a shop that does such things.
If done correctly (i.e. not blocking up drain holes in the body) these sprays are a great idea for an older car with cherry metal. They probably will not save every nut and bolt from the Rust Devil, but major components will be far better off. Let’s say that you move to Wisconsin for more than two years: don’t worry, if all else fails you can replace any bolt-on component using the magic power of the Internets and loyal followers of the Sentra (and its Mexican twin, Señor Tsuru) while the spray-on undercoating protects the rest.
Other things I recommend?
- Mud Flaps installed using the factory holes in the wheel arches…if possible, as that makes future removal far cleaner. If not, drill the holes and PAINT the exposed metal before installing. The Mad Tite stance and golden wheels below are optional, naturally.
- Slathering the underside with used motor oil, letting it get all thick and coagulated and nasty ‘n shit…stank enough to scare away road salt. Not exactly earth friendly, but it won’t go anywhere once it gets sticky and coated with road grime. So there’s that.
- Don’t use local car washes with recycled water…as that water already has the salt of previous cars.
- Pour water over every seam, gap, upstream drain hole (i.e. not the ones at the bottom of the doors) etc. and let Mother Nature freeze these access points shut. Never park the car in a heated garage (or any place that goes above 32 degrees) and salty water can’t get in!
- Stop listening to the H-town boy and listen to people who actually deal with road salt for better advice.
Off to you, Best and Brightest.