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Rob's Garage

Auto expert's take on rust proofing your car Add to ...


I just bought a new car and declined the dealer's offer to arrange for rust proofing.

In the past I had used dripless oil spraying on my vehicles. This had to be re-done every year or so. My question is: What in your opinion is superior; dripless oil spraying or the Ziebart type of application.

Looking forward to your advice.

Thanks, Kurt

You know what Kurt; this has been a subject of debate for a long time. There are pros and cons for either and in many cases it comes down to personal preference.

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I have mentioned before that auto dealerships use these services to make up for the low profit margins on the sale of the vehicle. They push after-sale accessories to boost the bottom line - which is fine. That said, personally, I am not a fan of rust proofing. However, there are people that swear by this treatment. I have to add that the only time I would ever suggest rust proofing is right after the purchase of a brand new vehicle and only if it has not been driven, and you plan on keeping the car or truck for a very long time. The vehicle has to be spotless - especially the chassis.

Kurt, you asked about the "dripless oil spraying." I'm not going to make any friends with this statement: I would definitely not recommend this and I would not suggest that anyone have this re-done every year. The reason for this is the accumulation of dirt and debris in the nooks and crannies of the chassis, door pillars and inside doors. These are the places that get targeted during this process. I'm sure most of you can appreciate that spraying oil on top of dirt will not be effective at protecting the metal buried underneath the dirt. The same goes for the inside of door panels. Dust collects everywhere in a vehicle, to think otherwise tells me that whoever makes a statement like this has never worked on cars or trucks.

My take: Any on-going, annual application of so-called rust proofing is not a good idea.

As for the "Ziebart" style of rust proofing, this of course is a brand name and has become the slang term for pretty much all spray on waxy coatings. Again, I am not a fan, but refer to my second paragraph.

Now before I get bombarded with e-mails telling me I don't know what I'm talking about and "I've had this done to all my new cars," let me say that I have personal experience with rust proofing. I used to be the guy at a Ford dealership that sprayed this stuff on cars and trucks...and let me tell you, the coating is only as good as the skill of the guy on the end of the spray gun... 'nuff said.

Kurt, good job raising this issue and to your question - sorry but I don't like either system.

The pros make it look easy but open-wheel racing is more agony than ecstasy

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