Monday, June 11, 2012

Electronic rust proofing: fact or fiction?

NOTE: I'd like to thank everyone for their interest in this article. However, I must stress that I am NOT an expert nor am I offering any sort of advice, recommendation, or preference for or against electronic rust proofing or any other rust proofing device or service. My intent in posting this was only to consolidate the various articles and studies that I had found out there when I was looking into the product for myself. Please ensure you consult a professional before choosing a product.

Angela and I recently made the great purchase of a brand new 2012
Chevrolet Cruze. After solid research and reviews of the same year
Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Ford Focus, Mitsubishi Lancer, and a few other
Kias and Hyundais, we overwhelmingly felt that the Cruze was our best
option for price, reliability, quality, options, and warranty.

We took it for a test drive and shook on the deal.

Then it came time for the Business Manager to upsell a few extra
products and services. We had no problem extending the warranty and
covering the car bumper to bumper, so basically the only expenses for at
least 5 years are maintenance and gas.

When it came time to choose rust proofing, however, there seems to be
significant controversy surrounding what works best.

We were offered an electronic rust proofer for $800, normally selling
for $1200 (I'm aware the apparent "deal" I was getting was probably
false). On the one hand, you have people who swear by the electronic
force field created by the electronics: it connects directly to the
battery and ionizes the car to prevent rust (known as a cathodic anode
or cathode protection). See these Canadian Tire reviews, for example. The device itself
is guaranteed for life, meaning it can be taken from one car and put
into another. More on the rust protection guarantee later.

Some controversy arises surrounding whether the procedure works, or
whether it's snake oil. There is no question a cathode anode prevents
rust on enormous bridges, buildings, and ships. But some suggest the
process can't work in a car, either because a) the tires prevent the car
from being grounded; b) the anode hooked up to the car battery is too
weak; or c) both or some combination.

On the other hand seems to be the "old-school" rust proofing through a
chemical and/or oil application, such as Krown.
Krown is an annual application for $100-120, so by comparison, rust
proofing a car every year for 8 years is the same cost as the electronic
protection.

Considering both of these, the question to me became how well the
electronic system was guaranteed. I could only imagine the horror of
this electronic system being guaranteed, but when it actually comes time
to pay up because there's rust suddenly it becomes "oh, well first read
these exceptions."

Then again, if this device protects against all rust from every vehicle
I'll ever own forever, $800 is a good deal.

The guaranteed conditions by the dealership are as follows:

* There will be no rust anywhere on the vehicle, including surface
rust, for six years (some people thought a loophole was that the
electronic system didn't guarantee against surface rust)
* The only parts that are not guaranteed to be rust free are any
attachments or modifications I make (e.g. replace a door, add a spoiler,
etc)

Right now I'm between options but think it's worth while to try.

I'll be taking regular photographs and will certainly be talking about
it if it turns out rust develops and that is somehow not covered.

What are your experiences? Are you sold on the new electronic rust
proofing?