When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more here.

Buying Guide: Best Car Corrosion & Rust Inhibitors for Maintenance (2023)

One of the most unpleasant realities of owning a car is corrosion. Besides the fact that rust can cause some serious damage to your car, it obviously is an eyesore.

As a car owner, it is important to understand how rust forms on your car, which parts of the vehicle are more susceptible to corrosion, and the type of climate where corrosion is more likely to thrive.

Geeks Picks: Best Performing Car Corrosion & Rust Inhibitors For The Money

  1. Evapo-Rust ER012 Super Safe Rust Remover
    $32.87 ($0.26 / Fl Oz)
    • SAFE TO USE: This metal rust remover is made of a non-toxic and water-based solution that is easy-to-use on automotive, household and industrial-grade metal parts. It contains no harmful acids, solvents, bases, odors or fumes.
    • VERSATILE: The non-corrosive rust remover can be used to remove rust from all metals including auto parts, tools, cast iron cookware, clocks, grills, and more.
    • EASY TO USE: To remove rust from your metal parts submerge completely in the water-based rust remover, once rust is removed, rinse with water and protect with corrosion inhibitor.

    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/28/2023 12:23 am GMT
  2. MowerPartsGroup Lubricant/Corrosion Inhibitor
    $16.96 $10.48 ($0.89 / Ounce)
    • 11.75 fl oz aerosol can
    • Always active, does not dry out
    • Provides long term protection against corrosion
    • Provides superior lubrication and penetrates heavily seized parts
    • Stops existing corrosion
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/28/2023 12:28 am GMT
  3. POR-15 Metal Prep
    • ✅ POR-15 METAL PREP - Is easy to use and effective. It's formulated to gently etch metal, to create an ideal anchor pattern for coatings, while simultaneously leaving a zinc phosphate coating to insure chemical bonding of paint and steel metal.
    • ✅ PREPARATION IS KEY - After thoroughly degreasing your work piece, apply POR-15 Metal Prep to both neutralize any rust and etch any clean bare metal. This will allow better adhesion of POR-15 Rust Preventive Coating or any other coating. Metal Prep is Essential to create superior edge corrosion, undercutting resistance & improves welding conductivity
    • ✅ APPLICATION - Remove loose or flaking rust, paint scale, etc. Surface to be treated should be free of grease, oil, and other foreign substances. Use of POR-15 Cleaner Degreaser is recommended. POR-15 Metal Prep works faster at temperatures above 70°F. Apply with brush, roller, spray, or dip rusted metal directly into solution.
    • ✅ SAFE & EFFECTIVE - Our water-based formula is non-toxic, non-corrosive is safe to use, and won’t leave behind harmful residues. Our Metal Prep is an inexpensive insurance policy that guarantees perfect adhesion of POR-15 Rust Preventive Coating to any metallic surface every time. Perfect to use on your car, fence, outdoor furniture, & more!
    • ✅ OUR SATISFACTION COMMITMENT – At POR-15 we strive to bring the ultimate in rust prevention. Known for the unbeatable 3-step stop rust system, POR-15 is trusted by DIY & Professionals. We are committed to innovation, quality control, and excellent customer service.
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/28/2023 12:33 am GMT
  4. CRC 06026 Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor
    $12.37 $9.99 ($1.00 / Ounce)
    • Also provides effective protection for steering & throttle linkages
    • Extended corrosion protection
    • Not VOC Compliant for California & OTC
    • Seals out moisture
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/28/2023 01:02 am GMT
  5. FDC Rust Converter Ultra Professional Grade Rust Repair
    $59.99 ($0.47 / Fl Oz)
    • CONVERT RUST: Convert rust to an inert coating that seals out moisture to prevent further corrosion
    • SAFE TIME & MONEY: Eliminates the need for sandblasting, grinding or scraping
    • EFFICIENT: 1 Gallon Covers 500 square of smooth, nonporous surface – That‘s an entire Dumpster!
    • ULTIMATE PROTECTION: Convert toughest rust and corrosion caused by all types of weather conditions
    • MULTI-USE: Use for automobiles, machinery, railings, structures, tools, marine applications and more! 30 DAY HASSLE FREE MONEY BACK GUARANTEE – We value our customers and we stand behind ALL of our products 100% with no questions asked! If you are not pleased simply call or email us with your order number and we will reimburse you in FULL!
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/28/2023 01:18 am GMT
  6. Corroseal Water-Based Rust Converter Metal Primer
    $48.95 ($0.38 / Fl Oz)
    • Paint, prime and convert rust in one step - water based rust converter with latex metal primer
    • Restore metal surfaces, extend life of metal equipment by protecting it from rust and corrosion
    • Non-flammable and non-corrosive, water-based formula cleans up with just soap and water
    • Easy to apply - brush, roll or spray; apply at 8-10 mils wet for 200-250 sq ft per gallon coverage
    • Use for all marine, automotive, general household and industrial applications
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/28/2023 01:32 am GMT
  7. Rust-Oleum Automotive Rust Reformer
    $19.67 ($2.46 / Ounce)
    • Instantly converts rust to a protected, paintable surface
    • Prevents future rust
    • Saves you the effort of sanding rust all the way down to bare metal.
    • Any-Angle Spray with Comfort Tip
    • Bonds base coat to the surface
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/28/2023 01:38 am GMT
  8. Permatex Rust Treatment, Aerosol Can
    $13.76 $12.48
    • Easily applied, just brush or spray it on
    • Destroys rust on all automotive applications
    • Within minutes, rust disappears and a durable black polymer coating develops
    • Tough coating serves as an excellent protective primer that you can paint over
    • Specially formulated to be used with body filler and fiberglass
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/28/2023 01:49 am GMT

How Corrosion Is Formed

Corrosion involves anodes, cathodes, and electrolytes — scientifically speaking. The process of corrosion is similar to the process of the electrochemical cell.

In layman’s terms, corrosion is the breaking down of materials as a result of a chemical reaction. In other words, it’s a process of metal oxidation.

Iron is the main material of a vehicle, and can be oxidized in the presence of water and oxygen to form iron oxide. The iron oxide is the reddish-brown substance that we refer to as rust.

Rusting on our vehicles occurs when the metal parts are exposed to elements such as salt or water resulting in a chemical breakdown.

On the body of a vehicle, rust can occur as a tiny nick in the paint, a raised paint bubble, or a small blemish. If the process of corrosion goes unnoticed, it can result in massive degradation.

However, if it’s detected early, the process can be stopped.

Rust Prevention

The first step in rust prevention is to understand how it’s formed and which parts of your car are most likely to corrode. The most common — and most effective — method of preventing corrosion on the metal exposed portion of your vehicle is through the use of rust inhibitors.

A rust inhibitor is an additive to the moisture that surrounds the iron.

The most common method of application of rust inhibitor is known as rust-proofing. Rust-proofing oils the car and prevents the oxidation of iron and the eventual formation of rust.

There are several types of rust inhibitors. These include:

  • Electronic rust inhibitor. This is the latest entrant into rust proofing technology. Electronic module rust proofing entails the installation of a small device in your car that transmits a weak electric signal in the metal portion of the car thus preventing it from rusting. The device is known as an electronic module.
  • Drip oil spray. Experts highly recommend drip oil spray method of rust proofing. To apply drip oil spray, you’ll have to drill a few holes on the parts you want to rust-proof to make sure they are well oiled. The car may continue to drip the oil for one or two days after application. Expect a few stains on your driveway.
  • Dripless oil spray. Dripless oil spray is a thick, wax-like substance applied to the exposed metal portion of a car to prevent corrosion. The oil spray hardens after application, and there is no dripping afterward, hence the name dripless. It has a high viscosity and does not reach some areas of the car that need rust proofing.
  • Tar-based sprays/sealant. This method of rust proofing is also known as undercoating. Tar-based spray method involves the application of the tar-like substance on the exposed parts of the vehicle such as the underbody, wheel wells, floor pans, etc. Tar-based spray hardens upon spraying creating a permanent shield against rust causing elements such as salt and moisture.

Rust can be found on virtually any exposed metal portion of the car. However, some areas are more prone to corrosion than others.

When inspecting your vehicle for rust, pay close attention to the exhaust system, trunk, engine, chassis, frame, fenders, and the wheel. Be sure to inspect the entire car, though.

Why You Need a Rust Inhibitor

A vehicle is a huge investment. Just like most items used on a daily basis, sooner or later your car will start to exhibit signs of wear and tear.

One of them is corrosion due to road salt and moisture. If ignored, damage due to corrosion will only spread to other parts of the vehicle leading to serious damages.

You can avoid such a situation by having your car rust-proofed via any of the above methods at least once in a year.

What to Consider Before Buying Rust Inhibitors

All of the methods of rust-proofing described earlier have been proven to be effective in rust prevention.

However, there are some considerations to be made before making a choice on which one to use on your car. Take a look:

  • Environmental regulation. We all have a duty to protect the environment and leave a better planet for our children. This is why you’ll find a lot of local environmental regulations on paintings and coatings. Inquire about environmental regulations in your region before you purchase a rust proofing spray.
  • Price. Whatever options you choose to go with has to make a financial sense. How much will it cost you? How long will it last? Is there need to re-spray the vehicle after the first application? Understand your options.
  • Check online reviews. Nowadays, one of the best methods of knowing what products work best and which ones don’t is by way of reading online reviews. Check feedbacks from people who have used the product before. Or, check out our list of recommended products up above!

The exposed metal portion of our vehicles is likely to get corroded due to exposure to moisture and salt. Protect your vehicle from corrosion with a rust inhibitor.

The best rust inhibitor should not only safeguard your vehicle from corrosion degradation, but should also be environmentally friendly.

2 thoughts on “Buying Guide: Best Car Corrosion & Rust Inhibitors for Maintenance (2023)”

  1. Corrosion is a very harmful disaster in the world of metals and machine.There many rust inhibitors in the market and its very confusing which one to buy.But this list of rust inhibitors have made it easier to choose from the given list.Thanks for sharing this article.

  2. Amazing article on corrosion and inhibitors. I am glad that I came across your article.Very well written post in a detailed manner. Nowadays there are many technologies in market by which we can stop corrosion.Inhibitors helps to stop further corrosion to take place and forms a layer.Keep sharing such post.

Comments are closed.