(FOX 2) - It's something we deal with all the time in Michigan, especially in the winter. Even though you may not see it on the outside of your car, rust commonly appears underneath - in the break lines and fuel lines of cars.
"We see it all the time, because salt is a naturally corrosive material," said Kenny Walters of Kenny's Lakes Area Auto Experts. "That's why we use it on the roads."
When it come to the science behind it, rust is a chemical reaction which combines iron and oxygen. Since cars have iron in them, when exposed to water it goes through a process called oxidation, which breaks down metal. Then salt from the roads expedites the process, creating more oxide, also known as rust.
"In the past, in the 70s and 80s, we used to have to get an undercoating on the car just to keep it from rusting on day one," said Walters. "Now cars will last a lot longer in the salt but eventually the salt will take over and rust the best of them."
The good news is that you can prevent this from happening to you.
"The number one easiest thing people can do is get their car washed frequently," said Walters. "If you want to take it a step further there are a couple of different products you need to use. First, it depends on the condition of the car to start with. If it's a newer car, you want to use a product called Fluid Film."
Developed during World War II, Fluid Film was used battleships to combat rust.
"You basically just spray everything with the Fluid Film," said Walters." If you do this every year, you're never going to stop all rust, but you're going to push it off for years."
If you're way past the prevention point and need a cure, there may be a solution.
"You can't get rid of the rust, but we have a paint called Chassis Paint," said Walters. "What Chassis Paint does is it has a chemical in it that as soon as you paint it on the rusty areas it stops the oxidation. It won't make it any better, but it's not going to get any worse."
Walters says it's not cheap, but an ounce of preventions is worth a pound of cure.