Do Cars Rust in Colorado? (The Truth)

Car owners in the U.S understand how tough it is to properly maintain a car, and look after it around the clock. There’s more to keeping a car than just changing engine oil, or replacing air filters every now and then. Like every other piece of machinery, every car goes through some wear and tear, and if the environment is not favorable, the damage can increase massively.

The problem of cars rusting in different states of the US is nothing new, and while there are some better regions, the majority of the states in the country have this problem of cars rusting at an alarming pace. Colorado is one of the states that fare better in this regard and owners have much less to worry about, as compared to Minnesota.

Let’s get into the details and understand if the cars rust in Colorado, is it really better than the other states in terms of cars getting rusted, and how can you protect your car from catching rust and prolonging its life?

Do Cars Rust in Colorado?

Colorado is relatively a rust-free state, and the majority of the cars usually don’t have a rust problem even after years of usage.

Apart from negligence on the owner’s part, the major reasons behind a car rusting are environmental factors and atmospheric alterations. States that are located near the sea belt, or coastal areas, have the problem of rusting. This is due to the presence of excessive salt in the water and air.

Despite long winters with a thick coat of snow covering the state for months, cars do not have a rusting problem in Colorado. This is because of the ever-rising temperatures and use of modern deicing chemicals, instead of the usual sodium chloride and gritted sand in excess.

If you’re moving to Colorado or are looking for a car that’s been kept in this state, you can go ahead, without having any concerns about car rust and corrosion.

Also read: 15 Cars that NEVER Rust (100% Galvanised)

How Did Colorado Take the Lead from West Coast and the Midwest States?

The major reason behind Colorado being better than the Midwest and West Coast is the change in temperature. Despite heavy snow, the rising temperatures in the area get rid of all the snow timely, without having to use much sodium chloride or other corrosive chemicals that would damage the cars and cause extensive rusting. Another reason is Colorado is away from the sea belt, having natural protection against rust.

Additionally, the authorities in Colorado use better deicing methods than the states located in Midwest and west coast. The chemical now being used is magnesium chloride, which is considerably less corrosive than the usual salt.

Major Reasons for Colorado Being Relatively Rust Free

There are various reasons behind Colorado being relatively rust-free than the majority of other states in the country. The most contributing factor is undoubtedly the weather and climate of the region, apart from improvement in deicing methods and better quality of vehicles.


Colorado and surrounding areas have relatively less humidity, as compared to the West Coast and the mercury is usually on the rise. This prevents the accumulation of salt particles and dampness in the environment. Hence, less corrosion of the car parts, particularly the exposed metal surfaces and unpainted areas, including the undercarriage and engine bay.

Year Out Weather

The state of Colorado and southern Wyoming mostly experiences a semi-arid climate, which implies that rust doesn’t exist on cars here as commonly as in mid-west and other sea-belt and coastal area cars. Although there are some minor surface corrosion and rust areas in deep crevices, nothing too serious or damaging at all. There could be corrosion in the engine bay area, but most probably due to leakage of battery acid.

Popular Deicing Mechanisms Used

Where the majority of the state authorities are still using grated sand and sodium chloride to get rid of ice from the highways and state roads, Colorado has taken a lead by employing much safer and advanced methods like magnesium chloride.

Getting rid of sodium and calcium chloride and reducing sand on the roads improves the overall condition and reduces the ingress of corrosive chemicals. If there are fewer salts in the environment, the metal surface would not get rusted at an accelerated pace.

Also read: 10 Car Brands that Rust the Most (Don’t Buy Them)

How to Fix Rusting Issues?

If you’ve lately noticed some rusted patches on your car, you can stop the process and prevent any extensive damage. Here’s how you can fix the rusting issues;

  1. Any outdoor space such as a garage would be a good place to choose for prepping the car and covering the non-rusty parts of the cover with newspaper or masking tape.
  2. The rusty areas can be initially treated with a scraper and sandpaper.
  3. After cleaning the affected areas with hot water, different primers should be applied to fix any rust holes.
  4. The primer should be smoothed out with help of sandpaper. Each paint coat should be applied to slowly build up the color.
  5. A suitable layer of primer followed by the base coat and clear coat must be applied for optimal restoration of the damaged area.
  6. One should wait at least two days after applying a clear coat before taking the car out for a drive.

Tips to Prevent Your Vehicle from Rusting

If your region is known for malignant rusting of cars, and you want to keep your car spick and span, follow these steps to ensure that your car remains rust-free;

  1. Regularly wash your car with shampoo, and scrub once in a while to keep the surface free of contaminants.
  2. Get the undercarriage area coated, especially with a silicon coating for added protection.
  3. Regularly wax your car for hydrophobic protection of the car’s paint and metal panels.
  4. Spray the corroding parts with an anti-rust spray or long-term protective coating.
  5. Always keep the car covered with a waterproof cover, and avoid driving when it’s pouring.
  6. Don’t use corrosive chemicals for deicing and use purpose-built materials for that purpose.
  7. Getting your car ceramic or glass coated, or even a PPF (paint protection film) can aptly prevent rusting in the longer run.