There is an ongoing debate about the best material to use for making automobiles. I would say aluminum because the luster it gives and the driving experience is just top-notch. However, that’s not to say it’s a perfect material. The corrosion issues can be annoying.
The most common ford aluminum body corrosion issues are direct contact with steel, road salt, harmful chemicals, wear and tear. they can be avoided by using primers, instant cleaning, ceramic coating, and regular trips to the auto shop.
Just knowing what the problems are and how you can prevent them isn’t enough. You need to understand these issues to make use of that information. That’s why I’ve written this article; it’s a total guide to Ford Aluminum Body Corrosion prevention.
Most Common Causes Of Ford Aluminum Corrosion & rust – (with Fixes)
There’s not much you can do if the aluminum has already corroded and that’s why I believe the only real fix is prevention. This table shows you what problems are prevented by which fix.
It’s not too late if your car has rusted though, I provided a few makeshift solutions later in the article. Those options are not nearly as effective as these methods though.
|Common Causes||Possible fix|
|Contact With Steel||Use Primers|
|Road Salt||Instant Cleaning|
|Harmful Chemicals||Ceramic Coating|
|Wear and Tear||Regular Trips To The Autoshop|
Why Do Ford Aluminum Bodies Corrode?
Aluminum corrodes for various reasons but these 4 causes are almost always to blame in case of Ford Vehicles.
1. Contact With Steel
When aluminum has contact with a metal that is less reactive than itself, it will go through something called galvanic corrosion. It basically sacrifices itself so that the other material doesn’t corrode. That is why another name for this process is sacrificial corrosion.
Steel is less reactive than aluminum and has a much higher tendency to corrode, this forces the aluminum to corrode faster. In a ford car, this is very common due to the numerous steel components. Stainless steel fasteners are one of the most common causes of this galvanization.
2. Road Salt
Another way that aluminum can corrode is if it comes into contact with sodium chloride or salt. If you live in a snowy area, you need to be really careful about road salt.
Road salt is applied during the winter to de-ice the roads. This salt can react with your aluminum vehicle and cause it to corrode really quickly. Any sort of salt is bad news for aluminum.
3. Harmful Chemicals
Although it is unlikely that you drive your car through a vat of chemicals, I still wouldn’t rule out the possibility that your vehicle may have been exposed to some highly reactive chemicals.
We use several products on our cars today whether it be to clean them or give them that blinding shine. These products may just contain a chemical that doesn’t sit well with your vehicle.
4. Wear and Tear
Last but not the least, there is no way you can fight the effects of time. If your vehicle is getting old, there is a chance that the aluminum body naturally starts corroding. You might be wondering why that is, as aluminum is really resistant to corroding since it doesn’t react with the air.
There are a lot of pollutants in the air. These don’t make up a large part of the air, otherwise, you wouldn’t be alive, but it is still there. These small amounts eventually take a toll on your car’s metal frame.
How To Prevent Ford Aluminum Bodies From Corroding?
As I said, prevention is your best option. It is cheap and will be super effective. These 4 methods will give a direct solution to the problems I discussed above.
1. Use Primers
If you want to avoid the steel sacrificing your aluminum like a scapegoat, you should use a primer with a chemical that is more reactive than aluminum. This primer will not only provide a protective layer between the two metals but also galvanize if needed.
A good example of a chemical like that is zinc. Zinc is more reactive than both steel and aluminum so it can do the job perfectly.
2. Instant Cleaning
Procrastination is the reason for messing up a lot of things. The same can be said for your cars’ health. Why do I say that? People often put off tasks they can do immediately for later and that delay can do a number on your car.
This is exactly what happens when you don’t clean the salt off your car the second you get home. The salt gets a chance to react with your aluminum vehicle and that’s game over.
3. Ceramic Coating
A ceramic coating is the closest thing I can call a complete solution to all the aforementioned problems. This coating makes a protective layer around your vehicle and makes it hydrophobic.
Hydrophobic means that no harmful chemicals and water can make their way into your vehicle. The same can be said for salt and oxidizing agents as they are blocked out.
4. Regular Trips To The Autoshop
As I mentioned, there is nothing you can really do to combat the hands of the clock. That said, you can slow it down greatly through regular checkups at the auto repair shop.
Your mechanic should be able to pick up potential corrosion in its early stages and even do some detailing but I’ll get to that later.
What Do I Do If The Body Has Already Corroded?
As I said, prevention is the only real solution as once aluminum has corroded it is extremely expensive to fix or just a shot in the dark. Nonetheless, these are a few solutions you can try.
1. Repaint The Car
A fresh coat of paint should comfortably hide any signs of corrosion. This is purely aesthetic.
2. Vinegar And Lemon
If the corrosion is weak enough you can get rid of it with these easy steps:
- Step 1: Apply a mixture of vinegar and dish soap on your car using a soft brush
- Step 2: Scrub it off using a lemon
- Step 3: Wash it off
3. Concentrated Aluminum Cleaner
The previous step is highly unlikely to work but it’s worth a try. A more effective version of that process is using a commercial-grade aluminum cleaner. The steps are the same.
4. Professional Car Detailing
This is incredibly expensive. You can send your car to a mechanic and they buff out the damage caused by corrosion.
Other Issues With An Aluminum Automotive Body
Aluminum has its merit but it is by no means perfect. These are the areas where it falls short:
- Aluminum is much more expensive than steel
- Shaping it Is also difficult so designs are usually limited
- Repairs will break the bank due to the materials’ rigidity
- Aluminum Is significantly weaker than steel
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do Aluminum Cars Rust?
No. Aluminum does not rust, it corrodes. Rusting is a special type of corrosion that only inflicts iron and its alloys such as steel and creates hydrated ferric oxide or rust. It is simply not possible for aluminum to rust as it can’t produce hydrated ferric oxide.
Where Can I Buy Aluminum Cleaner?
You can get concentrated aluminum cleaner at any big store or on the internet. Just make sure you are getting the right stuff, otherwise, you might damage your vehicle and you certainly don’t want to do that.
Why Do Car Manufacturers Use Aluminum?
The main advantage of using aluminum is that it is a lightweight material that allows cars to reach their maximum speed with relative ease. There are several other benefits to using aluminum and they are described in this article.
What Are The Best Aluminum Ford Trucks?
The Ford F150 is one of the most reliable pickup trucks in the market right now and this vehicle has an aluminum body. The Ford F-Series Super Duty line is also a viable option for anyone looking for an aluminum truck.
Why Ford switched to Aluminum for F150 and Super Duty >> Check out the video below:
I hope this article was able to tell you the most common ford aluminum body corrosion issues with solutions. You have to avoid galvanization, road salt, and corroding chemicals to keep your vehicle in good shape.
Using reactive primers and a ceramic coating are good ways to avoid those issues. Regular cleaning and mechanic checkups are also important for optimal car health.
For more on Ford related guide, check out these articles:
How To Fix Your Ford F150’S Startup Issues? (4 Easy Fix Guide)