Chevrolet & Rusting (9 Important Facts)

Rust is no stranger to the automotive world, and Chevrolet unfortunately knows that all too well.

The automaker is often mentioned when discussing the topic of rust and which vehicles that rust seems to love the most. 

Chances are you or someone you know has a Chevy that has become a victim to rust to some degree.

So why does the name Chevrolet appear to be so prevalent when talking about our rusted cars…?

Read on to find out...

Here is the short answer to whether Chevys rust easily:

Chevys do rust however it is unlikely they rust any more easily than their closest rivals. Despite claims Chevrolet uses subpar materials that are prone to corrosion there is no evidence to suggest this is true. Rust can be more of an issue depending on where the vehicle is used and how it is cared for.

Why Do Chevys Rust So Bad?

Chevys may rust badly if neglected, not washed regularly or not subject to rust-protection treatments – although some rust issues are the responsibility and fault of Chevrolet.

To some it would seem that Chevrolet does not want their vehicles to last very long.

They have been accused of using lesser quality materials which ultimately could lead to more frequent vehicle replacement. 

The metals and alloys Chevrolet has been said to have used in the past were different in grade, quality, and strength compared to that of other major auto manufacturers.

However these anecdotal claims have not been supported by any evidence – and the reality is all major automotive brands have a history of rust issues – Ford for example has faced many similar rust complaints.

What Causes Chevys to Rust

For rust to breed, you need the right mix of water and air, or more accurately oxygen, to come in contact with any untreated or unsealed metal on your vehicle.

This means people living in drier climates will experience far fewer rust complaints.

Living near the coast or living in the Rust Belt will put your Chevy at a much greater risk of rusting.

Coast-side, your vehicle is exposed to salty sea air that can deposit corrosive particles on your car.

In the Rust Belt, salt and other snow-melting chemicals are poured on the road.

These salts and chemicals are highly corrosive and inevitably lead to rust on vehicles.

If a vehicle is not regularly washed and periodically inspected, the chances of rust occurring greatly increase. 

You may also be interested in our article: Chevrolet Traverse in snow and winter driving

Do New Chevy Trucks Rust?

A new Chevy truck is not expected to rust – there have been instances where new Chevy tucks have rusted however these should be covered under warranty.

If you’ve recently purchased a new Chevy truck and you’re experiencing rust – take it back to the dealer and have them take a look.

If there’s rust on any of the panels you should ask for a full new paint job or a replacement truck.

Where Do Chevy Trucks Rust?

The most commonly affected areas on Chevy trucks for rust to occur are the body panels and frame.

Much of this information can be chalked up to both physics and gravity.

Water will always travel and drain downward.

So, you can bet that on many vertical Chevy body panels, or anywhere where a bottom edge has been curled or bent up, you will see signs of water collection and potential rust build-up.

Actual rust corrosion will occur only if that collected water sits for a prolonged period of time until removal, either from evaporation or with a thorough cleaning.

One of the most well-known examples of rust-prone areas on Chevy trucks is the bottom corner of the truck bed that butts up to the cab.

The same rust location philosophy rings true for the truck frame.

Whether a fully boxed truck frame, or what is commonly referred to as a “C” channel truck frame, there has to be a bottom edge or flat portion, and that flat piece or edge is prone to water collection. 

What Are the Best Ways to Prevent My Chevy From Rusting?

There may be no way to truly ensure 100% that your Chevy is free from rust, but there are ways to greatly increase the odds of stopping it, or preventing it altogether.

First and foremost is proper cleaning.

This is especially true in geographic regions where the weather and/or environmental conditions impact your vehicle more severely than others.

Cleaning your Chevy frequently is an excellent way to remove any potentially deteriorating residue.

Visual inspection is another great way to keep tabs on any rust corrosion or build up.

This could be anything from periodically looking around and under your vehicle to having certified technicians thoroughly inspect your car up and down, inside and out, for any rust or potential rust spots.

Some decide to take things a step further and seal certain areas of their vehicle with a protective coating of some kind.

There are many products available on the market, but a protective spray coating or lining will protect those parts against deterioration, including rust.

Can You Prevent Chevys From Rusting?

At the end of the day, it is unlikely you can completely prevent your Chevy from any and all rust corrosion, but taking certain measures and being proactive will greatly improve your odds.

You may also be interested in our article: how long do Chevrolet Suburbans last?

 Do Fords Rust More than Chevys?

Depending on who you ask, you would likely get drastically different answers.

Usually that result can be chalked up to whatever car brand the person you are talking to is loyal. 

Chevys have had somewhat of a bad rust reputation due to a period of high number of occurrences, when in reality, all automaker’s vehicles are susceptible to rust to some extent. 

Differences in manufacturer design has allowed Ford to appear to have a slight edge in this comparison, but some critics will say that can simply be attributed to lack of proper reporting or even automotive politics.

Taking everything into account, there is really no clear-cut hard evidence that Ford outperforms Chevy when comparing the affect of rust on their vehicles.

What Does Chevys Rust Warranty Say?

When it comes to Chevrolet and what they cover under warranty regarding rust, the devil is surely in the details.

For example, all body panels and sheet metal in general are covered against corrosion under the “bumper to bumper” warranty period which is 3 years/36,000 miles, whichever may come first.

However, there is also rust through protection. That coverage extends well past basic warranty coverage and is good for 6 years/100,000 miles, whichever may come first. 

In comparison to other auto manufacturers with regard to rust warranty, Chevrolet is right on par with the competition.


  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

    View all posts