Why Did So Many Cars Rust in the 80s

Why Did So Many Cars Rust in the 80s

If you were born in the 1980s, you might remember that every time it rained, the roads would turn into rivers of mud. The reason for this was that cars used to Rust so much that they couldn’t handle the water and mud. In this article, we’ll look at how and why cars started to rust so much in the 80s, and how we can prevent it from happening in the future.

Why Did So Many Cars Rust in the 80s

The Causes of Rust

1. Rust is a chemical reaction that happens when two different metals come in contact with each other.

2. Rust is usually caused by water and corrosion.

3. Rust is usually caused by exposure to the elements, such as moisture, wind, and sunshine.

4. The causes of rust can vary depending on the type of metal that is being corroded.

5. There are various ways to prevent rust from happening, including using sealants and painting the car’s body.

How to Prevent Rust in Your Vehicle

One of the biggest reasons cars rust is because of moisture. When humidity levels in the air rise, it causes water to seep into the metal and damage the integrity of the car’s body.

To prevent your car from rusting, you can do a few things. First, keep the vehicle clean. Cleaning the exterior and interior of your car will help remove dirt, grime, and moisture. Second, make sure to keep the body of your car well-oiled. Applying a light coating of oil every month will help to protect the metal against water damage and corrosion. Finally, avoid parking your car in high-humidity areas. If you must park your car in an area with high humidity, try to maintain a distance of at least 2 feet from any salt or acidic substances that may be present.

You can also see How Much Does It Cost to Get Car Brakes Fixed?

Why Did So Many Cars Rust in the 80s


Exterior rust

This form of rust, which is the most typical, develops when the protective coating or outer covering of paint is damaged, exposing the metal’s surface to oxygen and humidity.

Rust on Scale

This kind of rust develops when surface rust is not addressed and it keeps spreading, accumulating as an additional layer of rough, scaly rust.

Rust Penetrating

This sort of rust, which is the most severe, develops when the rust has entered the metal surface, leaving holes and eroding the car’s structure.

Rust in crevices

This kind of rust develops in confined areas or fissures where humidity can collect and airflow is constrained. It can cause serious harm if left untreated and is frequently difficult to detect.

Electrical corrosion

This kind of rust forms as a result of a chemical process that takes place when two distinct kinds of metal come into interaction with one another.

Drug-induced rust

This kind of rust develops when an alloy is in contact with elements that might hasten the corrosion process, such as road salt. It tends to occur in locales that experience severe winters.

Rust on the underside of vehicles

This kind of rust develops on the car’s underbelly where it gets subjected to rain, dirt, and road salt. It has the potential to quickly spread and erode the car’s frame and structure.

Rust actually kills cars dead?

In KC, there was rust, and GM automobiles from the 1980s would simply vanish as they drove by. However, this is unique to Mid-Michigan! Challengers, Yarises, and even alloy wheels start to corrode, which I’ve never seen before. I bring this up as a woman from my church claimed that her 98–99 Regal had a defective tear control arm, according to a mechanic friend of hers. I looked from both sides.

FAQs Cars Rust?

Numerous cars had serious rust problems in the 1980s, which caused their bodies to deteriorate in many places. Here are some inquiries about this occurrence that are frequently asked:

Why did automobiles rust so much in the 1980s?

The high rate of automotive corrosion throughout this decade was caused by a number of causes. First of all, less high-quality steel was being used by the auto industry. As a result, the metal proved more susceptible to corrosion. Second, environmental elements like acid rain and the salt employed to de-ice roadways in winter contributed as well to the deterioration of automobiles. Finally, areas, where moisture might accumulate and lead to rust expansion, were frequently included in the design of cars over this time.

All 1980s cars rust, right?

No, not all 1980s automobiles had rust issues. Some automobiles were built with anti-corrosion features that helped stop rust from forming. Additionally, rust problems were more likely to affect clean, maintained properly cars.

Was the rust issue exclusive to a few manufacturers or automobile models?

No, throughout the 1980s, rust was a problem for many different car brands and models. But some automakers proved more proactive than others about dealing with the problem and putting anti-corrosion determines in place.

Are contemporary automobiles still plagued by rust issues?

Rust continues to be a concern if the automobile gets neglected, even though newer vehicles are often less prone to it than vehicles from the 1980s. It’s crucial to frequently wash and oil your automobile to stop rust from forming since environmental variables like moisture and road salt can still cause corrosion. In order to guard against rust-related harm, several automakers also provide known to inhibit-corrosion guarantees.


It’s no secret that the 1980s were a tough time for cars. The oil crisis had hit, and gasoline prices soared. As a result, car companies had to make their vehicles more fuel-efficient and reduce weight in order to keep up with the competition. This led to an increase in the use of metals like aluminum and steel, which are relatively weak when it comes to external corrosion. And unfortunately, this was also the decade in which many cars started using leather seats as opposed to cloth or vinyl ones. All of these factors combined made 1982-1988 one of the worst eras for car rusting.

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