If your car has a metal, rather than plastic, body, it's at risk for rust damage. Some climates and environmental conditions raise the chances of your car rusting even more. For instance, if you live in a particularly humid or rainy location, the moisture can cause the vehicle to rust, especially if the paint has been scratched or nicked.

Also, snow and the salt that cities use to de-ice roadways can also make your car or truck rust over time. Harsh winter conditions are the biggest causes of automobile rust, so it's important to be extra vigilant when caring for your vehicle if you live in a cold climate.

Following are some tips for protecting your car from rust damage:

1. Wash Your Car on a Regular Basis 

During spring and summer months, wash your vehicle at least once or twice a month, depending on how dirty it gets. In fall, before the first snow, wash your car thoroughly from top to bottom using a soft sponge to remove all debris (such as mud and car exhaust soot) that may have built up over the summer.

Deep-clean your car or truck every two weeks during the snowy and icy winter months to remove all traces of salt, which can eat through the paint and metal exterior if allowed to rest for too long. If it's too cold to wash your automobile at home, bring it to a car wash center for an extensive, all-over cleaning. 

Look for a car wash center that also provides a steam-cleaning service for vehicles' undercarriages, which are also susceptible to rust damage. Also, always apply a coat of wax at the end of the cleaning as extra rust protection.

2. Wax Your Vehicle 

While the wax that car wash services provide help keep rust at bay, your vehicle needs even more protection if you live in a harsh climate. Before winter arrives, invest in a highly-rated wax and apply it meticulously to your vehicle, hitting every nook and cranny. 

After applying the wax according to the product manufacturer's directions, top it with a sealant designed to make the wax securely adhere to the vehicle's paint. Apply the wax and sealant to the undercarriage as well to prevent corrosion.

3. Examine Your Vehicle for Rust Damage 

Even if you can't completely keep your car or truck from rusting, you can prevent it from completely ruining the body. Once a month, thoroughly inspect the vehicle for any signs of rust damage, such as bubbled or peeling paint. Remove any rust as soon as possible using a specialized rust-removal spray, and then apply a wax sealant to the area.