Car Guides

Should I add rustproofing to my van?

John Paul, AAA Northeast's Car Doctor, answers a question from a reader who wants to prevent his handicap van from rusting away.

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Q. I have recently purchased a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country handicap van. My current 2000 Dodge Caravan handicap van completely rusted out underneath. My mechanic suggested putting a protective coating on the bottom of the van to hopefully prevent the rusting out that happened to my other van. When I asked at the dealership, they said it couldn’t be done. Is it possible the dealer is wrong and just wants to sell me another van down the road? Or is my mechanic right that he can do it?

A. Depending on the condition of your current vehicle, I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t add rustproofing to help preserve the undercarriage. Today much of the rusting of vehicles is due to the brine we put on the roads to prevent freezing. Although it works well, it is hard on metal. Recently I became aware of a product called Waxoyl (a 50-year-old Swiss company). This product is flexible, only requires a one-time application, and doesn’t harm rubber parts. Additionally, there is a product that can be sprayed into body panels to prevent rusting of door and fenders. This may be something you want to try. 

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. E-mail your car question to [email protected]

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