Ford & Rusting (9 Questions Answered)

Ford is the most recognizable automaker brand in American history.

Known for their impressive line-up of vehicles, from the best selling F-150 pickup to the iconic Mustang muscle car.

If you are thinking about buying a vehicle from Ford you may be wondering if it will rust easily and quickly reduce the value of your investment.  

This is an understandable and common concern for potential buyers.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Fords relationship with rust, read on to find out more

Here is the short answer to whether Fords rust easily:

Fords do rust however they do not rust any more easily than any other vehicle manufacturer. The speed at which rust develops depends on where the truck is driven and how it is looked after. Ford vehicles exposed to snow, rain and road salt will rust faster than those used in drier conditions.

Do Fords Rust Easily?

There’s nothing specific about Fords that make them rust easier than other vehicles. 

Whether or not a Ford rusts, or the rate at which rusting occurs comes down to:

  • Where the vehicle is driven
  • How well it is maintained

If driven in a region where salt is regularly used on the road such as the Rust Belt, it will rust much easier compared to a drier area.

The same applies to Ford’s driven in coastal regions where minute salt particles in the air will cling to the vehicle and speed up the corrosive process.

If an owner does not pay attention to on-setting rust, or damage that could lead to rust, the problem can quickly get out of hand. 

The type of metal used to build modern Fords is chosen based on how well the metal balances cost, durability, and safety. 

Modern Fords are built with rust-slowing steel alloys and aluminum, these materials are standard for every automaker today. 

Overall, the material used to build Fords is the same quality that can be found in all American cars. 

Do Fords Rust More than Other Trucks?

There is no reliable evidence to suggest Fords rust more than other trucks. 

You may have heard that Fords are more prone to rusting compared to other manufacturers, such as Chevy or Dodge. 

In the past, some Ford trucks had significant rusting issues that gave those models a bad reputation. 

The fact is all truck manufacturers have built trucks with reputations for rust in the past.

These days every truck has about the same risk of rusting. 

Ford Rusting Myths and Facts
MythFact
Ford trucks are more prone to rust than trucks from other manufacturers.Fords rust at the same rate as other modern trucks. 
Ford uses inferior quality materials when building their trucks.The materials used to make Fords are on-par with the rest of the automotive industry.
Fords will always rust, and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it. Rust can be prevented in Fords and all other vehicles with maintenance and inspection. 

What Causes Fords to Rust?

Below we’ll take a look at some factors that cause Fords to rust.

Moisture

Ford trucks that are driven in snowy climates, especially where salt is used to provide traction on the road in winter, are generally much more prone to rust. 

Trucks that are driven in dry, arid places such as the American southwest are the least likely to develop rust problems. 

Fords driven in these areas simply aren’t exposed to enough moisture to develop rust no matter what material is used to manufacture the vehicle. 

Materials

You may be wondering why Ford trucks aren’t made out of a material that doesn’t rust at all, such as stainless steel or aluminum. 

Something like aluminum is too weak to provide necessary durability and safety for the frame of a vehicle, though it has recently become common for Ford trucks to be built with aluminum bodies. 

There are several stainless-steel alloys that are durable enough to be used for truck manufacturing, but the cost is prohibitive.

A truck like the Ford F-150 built with a stainless-steel frame and aluminum body could easily triple the cost of the truck. 

Rust Prevention 

Fords usually receive an undercarriage coating at the factory to help protect against rust. 

This rust prevention coating needs to be maintained, and if it fails rust can begin to spread quickly. 

Ultimately, Fords rust because it is almost impossible to stop the chemical process of rusting while using manufacturing materials that are strong and affordable. 

Do New Fords Rust?

Technically, every Ford starts rusting as soon as it hits the lot at the dealership.. 

New Fords have had very little time to develop rust, this means that you should expect to see very little rust on a new Ford at the dealer. 

However, automotive manufacturers also design their trucks to allow a little bit of rust to occur. 

Surface rust on something like a U-joint is normal and shouldn’t cause a lot of concern.

These parts are made of hardened steel and surface rusting generally doesn’t affect them. 

Where Do Ford Trucks Rust?

  1. The Undercarriage

The frame and undercarriage are where most rust occurs on a Ford truck. The components under the truck are generally unprotected from the elements. 

The metal is exposed to moisture after every rainstorm, and it is very difficult to keep that metal rust-free.

If you live in an area that uses salt on the roads, the undercarriage will rust much quicker.

  1. The Body

Ford trucks built before 2015 have sheet-metal bodies that can rust if the paint is scraped away. 

Newer Ford trucks have aluminum body panels which are resistant to corrosion.

If paint or the rust protection coating is removed from a sheet metal body panel, it will usually begin to rust almost immediately and should be repaired as soon as possible.

Rust can spread throughout body panels and move under paint if left untreated. 

  1. Under-Maintained Areas

Other areas that rust frequently on Fords generally contain untreated metal working in a minor role, such as tailgate pins.  

Door hinges, latches, and mounting hardware may also rust over time, as these components are not often treated with a rust-prevention coating. 

You might also be interested in our articles: Ford F-150 Beeping Problems? (Quick Troubleshooting Guide) and F-150 Maintenance and repair costs guide

What are the Best Ways to Stop Your Ford From Rusting

Although some degree of rusting might be inevitable depending on where you live, there are a number of ways to help keep corrosion to a minimum.

Rust Prevention Coatings

You can and should have an undercarriage rust prevention treatment applied, even if your Ford is fairly new. Follow these steps:

  1. Have a complete rust-prevention coating applied to your Ford by a certified technician. 
  2. If you live in an area where roads are not salted, have the rust-protection coating inspected every two years. 
  3. If you live in an area where salt is used on the roads, have the rust-prevention coating inspected each year at the start of winter. 
  4. If driving through freshly-salted roads, use a hose or car wash to rinse the accumulated salt off of your truck’s undercarriage.  

Touch-Up Body Work

Most auto parts stores sell touch-up kits for body paint issues specifically designed to inhibit rust.

Use these products to seal any area of the body panel where paint has been removed. 

Touching up minor body damage prevents costly rust problems from appearing as the rust spreads. 

Keep Your Vehicle Stored In a Garage

By keeping your Ford parked in a garage out of the elements you help reduce the amount of moisture it is exposed to and thus reduce rust from setting in.

Wash Your Ford

Salt buildup on vehicle surfaces is corrosive, and the sand, dirt and snow that accumulate can trap moisture in wheel wells and underbody structures.

With this is mind, it’s important to keep your Ford clean, and regular washes – especially after encountering road salt or dirt, can make a significant impact.

Apply Rust Proofing Solutions

Popular rust-proofing solutions with Ford owners are:

  • Fluid film – a  lanolin-based brand of corrosion preventive and lubricant
  • NHOU oil undercoating – Designed to protect the underside of your vehicle from rust and corrosion
  • Ceramic coating – Provides a layer of protection to the vehicles factory paint

Can You Prevent Fords from Rusting?

Technically speaking, the only way to prevent Fords rusting at all is to park your truck in a desert and never bring it within sight of a water molecule. 

All vehicles will rust eventually, and preventing rust isn’t about making sure it will never happen, but rather about making sure it happens as slowly as possible. 

Rust is usually a slowly-developing problem, and taking care of a rust issue with your Ford when it is small can save a massive amount of time and effort down the road. 

Do Fords Rust More than Chevys?

It is a myth that Fords rust more than Chevys.

All automotive manufacturers today use similar methods to prevent rust from developing on their trucks.

However, there have been specific models throughout history that have given a bad name to Fords. 

All manufacturers have models with a reputation for being rust buckets and depending on who you talk to you will get one of several opinions. 

Despite rumors and debate, the facts indicate that both Fords and Chevys rust about the same amount.  

Related: Why Does My Ford Keep Beeping? (6 Common Causes)

What Does Ford’s Rust Warranty Say?

Ford warranties the body panels of their vehicles against defects in materials or craftsmanship.

If rust occurs on a body panel and does not cause perforation (the rust doesn’t eat all the way through the metal), it is covered under the 3-year/36,000 mile New Vehicle Warranty.

If the rust perforates the metal, the damage is covered under the 5-year/unlimited mileage Corrosion Warranty.

Note that this applies to body panels made from sheet metal. 

Because aluminum body panels corrode less frequently, corrosion damage to an aluminum body panel is covered under the 5-year/unlimited mileage Corrosion Warranty regardless of whether the rust has perforated the metal. 

Resources

https://help.ford.com/warranty/corrosion-warranty/

https://www.ford.com/support/how-tos/warranty-and-recall/warranty-information/corrosion-warranty/

https://www.cslsilicones.com/en/about/blog/item/what-causes-corrosion.html

https://www.motorbiscuit.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-truck-and-suv-rust-protection/

https://pickuptrucktalk.com/2021/03/is-rust-normal-on-new-trucks/

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a35726969/2021-ford-f-150-pickups-rust-reported/

https://enginepatrol.com/ford-f-150-maintenance-costs-expenses/

https://enginepatrol.com/ram-1500-problems-solution-guide/

https://enginepatrol.com/ford-f-150-problems-solution-guide/

Author:

  • 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...

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