There is quite simply no doubt about it; your vehicle is an investment. It doesn’t matter if it’s brand new off the lot or a 70s Beetle held together with chewing gum. You still need it to run, and for as long as possible, and as well as possible.
The smartest way to keep your vehicle in good running condition is to maintain it properly. Part of this is protecting your ride against future corrosion issues.
But what is the best rust prevention formula?
There are several excellent options out there. This can make it rather challenging to determine which is best for the job you have at hand. That’s why we’ve reviewed 7 of the best rust-prevention formulas currently on the market. We also created a useful buyers guide to ensure you choose the right formula for your application.
So, let’s go through them and find the perfect rust prevention solution for your ride…
- 1 Top 7 Best Rust Prevention On The Market In 2021 Review
- 1.1 1 BOESHIELD T-9 Rust & Corrosion Protection/Inhibitor & Waterproof Lubrication – 12 Ounce Aerosol Can – Best Premium Rust Prevention Lubricant
- 1.2 2 3M 03584 Professional Grade Rubberized Undercoating, Corrosion, Water, and Salt Spray Resistant – Best Rust Prevention Undercoating Spray
- 1.3 3 CRC 06026 Heavy Duty Marine Corrosion Inhibitor – 10 Ounce Bottle – Best Longterm Corrosion Inhibitor
- 1.4 4 VHT SP229 Rust Convertor Spray – 10.25 Ounce Aerosol Can – Best Rust Convertor Spray
- 1.5 5 POR-15 45404 Rust Preventive Coating – Semi-Gloss Black – 1 Quart Can – Best Permanent Rust Sealer
- 1.6 6 RUST BULLET Automotive Rust Inhibitor Paint – Metallic Grey – 1 Quart Can – Best Rust Prevention Paint
- 1.7 7 Permatex 81849 Rust Treatment Spray – 10.25 Ounce Aerosol Can – Best Rust Treatment Spray for Automotive Repair
- 2 Best Rust Prevention Buying Guide
- 3 Benefits of Rust Prevention Spray
- 4 Types of Rust Prevention Spray
- 5 Top Brands
- 6 Rust Prevention Spray Pricing
- 7 Taking the best care of your vehicle…
- 8 So, what’s the Best Rust Prevention Formula?
Top 7 Best Rust Prevention On The Market In 2021 Review
1 BOESHIELD T-9 Rust & Corrosion Protection/Inhibitor & Waterproof Lubrication – 12 Ounce Aerosol Can – Best Premium Rust Prevention Lubricant
One of the best rust inhibitors comes in a 12-ounce spray can. It’s made by Boeshield, and we’re talking about the T-9 formula. It’s a great option, no matter your application.
When it comes to top of the line formulas, this is it…
There aren’t so many companies out there with a reputation for excellence, quite like Boeing. They make aircraft, spacecraft, etc.
So, when we have access to their formula for aircraft component lubrication and protection…well, let’s just say you won’t be disappointed by this rust and corrosion protection lubricant. We would recommend this formula for use in marine applications, as well as the more mundane.
In fact, it’s fantastic for bicycles, automobiles, tools, etc. We would recommend buying a larger pack of this, as you’ll soon find things around the house, yard, and garage to protect.
What exactly does it do, you ask?
This unique formula combines a solvent carrier with a paraffin wax coating. This has been developed to penetrate deep into crevices to displace moisture. It will dissolve minor corrosion while also leaving you with a clean waxy coating.
This provides you with a long-lasting, durable coating without the use of harmful Teflon, silicone, acetone, etc. It also makes it safe on paints, plastics, vinyl, as well, as any metal surface.
- Loosens rusty and corroded parts.
- Flushes out old lubricants, dirt, and grime.
- Safe on paints, metal, plastics, and vinyl.
- Deeply penetrates moving parts.
- Leaves a thin, waxy protective film.
- Doesn’t work well when cold.
2 3M 03584 Professional Grade Rubberized Undercoating, Corrosion, Water, and Salt Spray Resistant – Best Rust Prevention Undercoating Spray
One of the best ways to protect the underside of your vehicle is with the 3M formula #03584. This isn’t anything like the option we/ve just reviewed. However, we think it’s one of the best rubberized rust prevent sprays currently available.
What’s it for exactly?
This formula is a multi-purpose undercoating for your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you have a bike, car, truck, RV, or ATV. Whatever you drive, this formula will protect the undercarriage from both abrasions and corrosion.
This includes protection from salt spray and water, making it one of the best rust-prevention sprays available. We like how easy it is to apply this formula. It comes in a 16-ounce aerosol can that allows you to spray on the coating easily.
What is the coating made from?
This is an asphalt-based formula, which means it accomplishes more than just rest prevention. It’s worth noting that this option leaves a much thicker layer behind than some other formulas. In fact, it’s thick enough to provide sound deadening properties.
This means you’ll actually have a quieter ride with the 3M Professional Grade Rubberized Undercoating. We’d recommend spraying it in the wheel well, interior fenders, under the hood, and anywhere else your vehicle might rust.
- Asphalt-based formula.
- Sound deadening properties.
- Protects against water, salt spray, and more.
- Easy spray-on application.
- Expensive for the coverage it provides.
3 CRC 06026 Heavy Duty Marine Corrosion Inhibitor – 10 Ounce Bottle – Best Longterm Corrosion Inhibitor
If you’re looking for long-term protection from corrosion, then one of your best options comes from CRC. They make a formula #06026 that acts, as the name suggests, as a heavy-duty marine corrosion inhibitor.
Is this the best rust prevention for boats?
CRC makes this formula specifically for marine environments. We all know that the salt-laden mists of the marina can cause serious damage to anything that can corrode. Not only that, it can seemingly happen overnight.
Unfortunately, this includes a lengthy list of electrical connections, engine components, throttle linkages, and so many more areas prone to rusting issues. In fact, if you don’t protect your watercraft from corrosion, you’re in for future trouble.
But that’s where this formula comes into play…
This is a long-term, heavy-duty corrosion inhibitor that stays flexible. This means it won’t easily crack, which can expose the metal below.
We think it’s an excellent option for sealing off fasteners, motors, and anything else subject to high humidity. While it was originally developed for marine environments, it can be applied to metal surfaces anywhere.
It would make a fantastic corrosion inhibitor for the undercarriage of your ATV as well. Especially if you often ride wet and muddy off-road trails.
What about the application process?
The only complaint we have about this option is the lack of a spray nozzle. It’s not exactly hard to apply, but it would be considerably easier to spray on.
- Ideally formulated for marine environments.
- Great for electric connections, fasteners, etc.
- Long-lasting, heavy-duty formula.
- Remains flexible to limit cracking.
- No spray applicator provided.
4 VHT SP229 Rust Convertor Spray – 10.25 Ounce Aerosol Can – Best Rust Convertor Spray
Sometimes it’s not about preventing rust from starting because it’s already there. In these scenarios, you still need something to keep the rust from spreading. This is why VHT developed their formula #SP229.
Have you ever used a rust convertor spray before?
This formula can be applied directly to already rusted areas. In this way, it is entirely different from the options already reviewed. In fact, this formula differs in a few key ways.
This spray will halt the advance of rust that has already managed to gain a foothold. SP229 sprays on clear and then turns to a black metal protective coating. This then prevents rust from forming or spreading.
What can it be used on?
The formula has been crafted for use on all automotive body materials, including metal, body filler, and fiberglass. This makes it ideal for automotive restoration jobs, like keeping Dad’s classic car on the road.
It sands smooth once cured and provides an even finish. This takes about 24 hours to set completely, so it’s not the quickest job in the garage. You’ll need to wait until it dries fully before applying the topcoat.
Not that easy to find…
In the end, the only downside we found with this option is its lack of availability. If you are able to get your hands on it, it’s awesome, but it can be hard to find.
- Stops rust from spreading.
- Works on metal, fiberglass, and body filler.
- Easy spray-on application.
- Sands to a smooth, even finish.
- Not available in all locations.
5 POR-15 45404 Rust Preventive Coating – Semi-Gloss Black – 1 Quart Can – Best Permanent Rust Sealer
POR-15 also makes a rust preventive coating that is highly versatile. If you’re looking to cover a more significant area, this might be your best option. In fact, it just might be your best option anyway.
Do you already have rust, or are you trying to prevent it from developing?
Formula #45404 is likely precisely what you need. This can be applied to seal rust permanently and stop it from spreading, or as a preventative measure.
If you already have a spot of rust, there is no need to remove it prior to application. Yes, you read that right. You can apply this directly on rusted, sandblasted, or seasoned metal surfaces.
How does it work?
This formula dries to a non-porous finish that is rock-hard and impervious to chips, cracks, and peeling. Because of this, it will not allow any moisture to reach the metal below, which means no further oxidation.
Even better, this Rust Preventive Coating from POR-15 is lead-free and still exceeded 2000 hours in a salt spray test. It’s also been tested at over 450°F, which means it’s even safe for use around the vehicle’s engine.
What is the downside of using this rust sealer?
This formula will need to be used along with others in a multi-step process. While this is a professional grade formula, it is easy enough for DIY. However, you will need to note a few things.
First off, you’ll need a cleaner degreaser to wipe away grease, oil, dirt, and grime. It is then recommended you use POR-15’s Metal Prep to give a layer that their Rust Preventive Coating can properly adhere to.
If you’re applying this somewhere the sun won’t reach; the third step is the final step. This, of course, is applying the Rust Preventive Coating.
But this formula is sensitive to UV light…
That means you’ll need to apply a final topcoat to any areas exposed to sunlight. It’s just one extra step in a multi-step process. All in all, it’s time-consuming but well worth it for the protection provided.
- Seals rust permanently.
- Lead-free formula.
- Salt and heat tested for performance.
- Repels fuel and oils.
- Available in a variety of colors.
- Requires a complicated application process.
6 RUST BULLET Automotive Rust Inhibitor Paint – Metallic Grey – 1 Quart Can – Best Rust Prevention Paint
One of the most effective rust prevention paints is made by Rust Bullet. Their Automotive label is a rust inhibitor paint that creates a nice protective coating. It is similar to the rust prevention formula reviewed just above, but with a couple of key differences.
First off is the application…
We all want the best protection possible. And yet, none of us really wants to waste too much time on automotive maintenance. That’s why Rust Bullet ensured that this formula is a one-step process.
It’s still recommended that you apply multiple coats, but it can be applied directly over surface rust. If the rust has penetrated deeply, there may be some further preparation needed. But surface rust can be dealt with in a flash.
What about a top coat?
Nope, there is no need for a topcoat with this metallic grey rust prevention paint. That’s because it is UV resistant and will not interact with the sun’s rays. This also means it will not crack, nor will it fade over time. It also does not contain any zinc, chromates, or other harmful heavy metals. We like this, as the world seems toxic enough already, to be honest.
Plus, this formula can be applied with a brush, rolled on, or sprayed on. This makes it incredibly easy to use, which means you’ll get more done in less time.
Is there a downside?
The only issue we found with this specific formula is the smell. It seems to stick around for longer than expected, and it’s not particularly enjoyable. As long as you apply it in a well-ventilated space, though, you should be fine.
- One-step multi-coat process.
- UV resistant formula.
- Apply directly to surface rust.
- Contains no harmful heavy metals.
- Strong smell can last for days in enclosed areas.
7 Permatex 81849 Rust Treatment Spray – 10.25 Ounce Aerosol Can – Best Rust Treatment Spray for Automotive Repair
The final formula on our list is from Permatex. They make a Rust Treatment Spray under formula #81849. It’s one of the best all-in-one rust treatment sprays for automotive repair.
Is it easy to apply?
This formula comes in an aerosol spray can and can also be applied with a brush if you prefer. It destroys old rust on all automotive applications, and it then prevents new rust from forming. And it does all of this in one easy step.
You simply spray it on and wait a while for it to react and set. After only a few minutes, the rust will be replaced with a durable black polymer coating.
Can you paint over it?
Yes, this surface can be painted. In fact, it acts as the perfect primer to allow you to match your car’s paintwork. We think this is important, as will every other car or truck owner.
We also like that the formula has been crafted to work with body filler and fiberglass in addition to metal surfaces. However, it is not, unfortunately, recommended for use on automotive exterior sheet metal repairs.
- Easy to apply.
- Destroys old and prevents new rust.
- Provides black polymer coating.
- Excellent protective primer.
- Not suitable for automotive bodywork.
Best Rust Prevention Buying Guide
When you’re shopping for the ideal rust prevention spray for you, there are a few things to keep in mind. So, let’s explore the main things to consider to ensure you choose the right formula for your application.
What surface are you treating?
Before any other considerations can play out, you should first determine what surface material you’re applying the formula to. While all products reviewed will work wonderfully on metal, some are limited to it.
There are rust prevention formulations that will also work on body filler and fiberglass as well. However, as this is not always the case, it’s wise to confirm prior to use.
Are you looking to remove or prevent corrosion?
There are some products specifically designed to help you remove rust spots. These formulas will break down oil, dirt, and moisture, causing corrosion. Then they tend to leave a rust prevention layer to keep the corrosion from spreading further.
Other products are only designed to help you prevent rust from taking a foothold. These products are applied to strong, clean surfaces in order to keep them that way. However, they may not be ideal for use where rust has already started to become an issue.
Will you be painting over the surface?
Some products above will leave behind a paintable surface. Others will not, so you should consider where you are applying this formula. Similarly, some formulas interact badly with UV rays. This is fine if you’re doing work on the undercarriage of your vehicle. This part of your car or truck won’t see the sun, nor will it need to be painted.
If you’re doing work on your vehicle in a visible area, you need to consider two things. First, the formula should be UV resistant. Secondly, you’d do best to choose an option that acts as a primer to make painting easier.
What application style do you prefer?
Most of the options above come in an aerosol spray can or can be used in a spray bottle. Others will need to be applied by brush or roller.
We find spray-on options considerably easier to apply. They also tend to have a faster application procedure. However, not all formulas spray on in a consistent manner, which is something to keep in mind.
Benefits of Rust Prevention Spray
There are several good, solid reasons to spend the money and the time applying a rust prevention spray to your vehicle. Next, we will cover the most important ones.
Money, money, money…
Rust can cause severe damage to your vehicle. If left untreated, rust can literally eat away at things until the whole thing just crumbles. So, to keep your vehicle running, you’ll need to prevent rust from starting.
Since you likely spent a small fortune on your ride, it seems only wise to protect it. Rustproof spray for cars and trucks will keep your vehicle from becoming an even bigger financial drain.
It’s not just about resale value…
In general, we know two types of car owners. Those that hope to drive it into the ground over years and years, and those that trade-up far more often.
It really doesn’t matter which you are; rust is the enemy. It will severely lower your resale value, and not just because it looks terrible.
Durability is the ultimate issue…
Like everything else, your car or truck will eventually start to wear down with time. Once rust makes an appearance, this wear and tear will increase exponentially.
If you wish to make sure your vehicle stays in top running order, you’ll need to combat corrosion before you see it appear. Anti-corrosion sprays are an excellent way to go about this, as they help keep issues from gaining a foothold.
Types of Rust Prevention Spray
There are three main types of rust prevention sprays currently available on the market. They are all useful in their own ways, but each has its own specific benefits and limitations. Understanding these will help you determine which product is best for your application.
Rust removers are some of the best rustproofing sprays for cars and trucks. These formulas can be sprayed directly on to rust, so you don’t have to first work it out of the area.
There is a bond formed with the rust, which causes it to break down. Once the chemicals have done their work, you can wash away the rust.
Unlike removers, inhibitors should be applied to a surface prior to any corrosion becoming visible. These formulas slow down oxidation, which is what ultimately leads to rust.
We like inhibitors for rust prevention care. This style of option is a ‘prevention rather than cure’ approach and not for use once an issue has already been noticed.
The final style of rust prevention spray is the primer. These types of formulas form a base that can be painted over.
This is accompanied by a bonding agent the holds, which is often in addition to a rust remover. With these, you can generally apply it to rust, like with a remover, but then follow it up with paint. That way, no one will ever know that rust had tried to take over.
There are a remarkable amount of companies out there producing rust prevention formulations. Of these, below are the most well-known and most-trusted brands.
This manufacturer can trace its origin back to 1902 as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. Today, they are a global powerhouse with products across multiple industries. They’re well known for innovation, quality, and reliability.
While not as old, WD-40 Company has been around for over 65 years. Its headquarters are in San Diego, California, from where it oversees its global reputation. This reputation has been well established as WD-40 is a household name most of the world over.
Another automotive industry veteran is Permatex, which was founded way back in 1909. They have been producing car and truck products for use both commercially and in the home garage. It’s sold in over 80 countries, making this another internationally trusted brand.
Rust Prevention Spray Pricing
There is a vast variation in the price of the products that can prevent rust from forming. So, we’ve broken down exactly what to expect from various formulas in any given price bracket.
For those pinching pennies, this is a good place to start. There aren’t too many options in this lower price range, but there are a few. Most of which will do an adequate job at prevention if applied regularly.
$10 – $20
You’ll find considerably more choice in this price bracket. For the most part, you’ll still be limited to 12-16 ounce spray aerosols. As long as you don’t have a vast area to cover, this will fit most basic rust prevention jobs.
If you want reliable undercarriage protection from corrosion issues, it will cost you a bit more. Products in this price bracket tend to be more reliable and come in larger volumes.
Taking the best care of your vehicle…
We have a few other recommended reads for those interested in extending the life and sparkle of their vehicles. So, check out our reviews of the Best Fuel Injector Cleaners, the Best Carburetor Cleaners, the Best Oil Filters for Cars, the Best Automotive Touch Up Paint, the Best Car Waxes, and the Best Dog Car Seat Covers for your money in 2021!
Back to rust prevention…
So, what’s the Best Rust Prevention Formula?
As you can see from our lengthy article above, there are a few great options for rust-prevention maintenance. Whether you’re working on your car, boat, bicycle, or other toys, there is a formula ideal for the job.
With all the information we’ve provided, you should be ready to get started. But, if you need one last little push, we’d recommend the…
While it may require putting in a little extra work to apply, it will last longer than most others. Plus, it’s available in a range of color options.
Enjoy your vehicle and your rides.