I’ve wanted to buy a new car for a couple years, and last winter’s debacle with my 2002 Sentra’s head gasket being blown out of commission only reaffirmed my decision to impulse-buy a new car. After some disappointing market research, I settled on a 2014 Mazda 3 Hatch, the only car in my price range that felt premium and well-made. Now that I’ve driven it for a year, it’s probably time to write up a nice review, because I love the car aside from a few design quirks here and there.
Living in New England, we get a ton of salt sprayed all over our cars for 3-4 months out of the year. And no matter how advanced the modern metal coating technology, certain car parts like the exhaust will always take a hit from being constantly covered in moist salt.
Sure, everything will eventually rust out on any car in any climate, but I wasn’t about to let my one year old Eve start to rust. Short of spraying the entire undercarriage with industrial-grade rust-protection, I wanted to find out, which conventional, non-invasive treatments work best at repelling water and salt.
The corrosion inhibitors I’ve put to the test:
- WD-40 Specialist Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor
- CRC Food Grade Silicone Mold Release
- CRC Heavy Duty Silicone
- Liquid Wrench White Lithium Grease
To facilitate the corrosion test, I’ve divided a used rotor that I just took off my Sentra into 4 sections by masking tape, each section to test one of the products above. Then I carefully applied the four products to the rotor.
Over the course of the week I sprinkled the rotor with some tap water and added some salt periodically to simulate winter driving conditions.
I was expecting the results to be somewhat varied, but after a week of spraying the rotor, there was only one product that stood up to the test - WD-40 Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor.
Both the silicone sprays failed within a day, as rust started to creep in, and the white lithium grease took a little longer, 3-4 days to start showing signs of rust.
The section treated with WD-40 maintained a clean metal finish with practically no rust.