All bright metal objects are at risk from rust in our damp climate. Prevention is always better than cure, so try some simple measures to reduce the risk.
Protect bright metalwork in the short term with an aerosol of protective oil. Spray lightly, but remember that the oil does evaporate fairly quickly.
Protect surfaces that are not usually touched with a coating of car grease. The grease keeps air and moisture away from the surface - both of which cause rusting.
Keep a jam jar with a little oil in it on your workbench, and insert a roll of felt or thick fabric. If you use this to lightly wipe tools after use, it will keep the metal bright.
Outdoor articles such as garden furniture and gates can be protected by using a special rust-inhibiting paint. This needs no primer or undercoat, and it can be applied straight onto lightly rusted surfaces as long as all loose material has been thoroughly removed first with an emery cloth.
Protect rusted surfaces on items such as wheelbarrows with cold galvanising paint. This zinc-rich paint forms an ideal base for a decorative finish.
Most new cars have extensive rust-proofing. Beware if your dealer tries to sell you more. It's rarely needed.
To protect your car from the ravages of road salt in icy or snowy weather, wash the underbody, particularly under the wings and wheel arches, with a powerful hose to remove the dirt.
To keep water out, make sure the access holes in the sides of doors and in the rocker panels are firmly plugged.
Chips and scratches let moisture in under the paint surface. Fix them immediately. Scrape away loose paint and rust with the corner of a craft knife, then wipe the spot with rust converter (a product that combines a rust inhibitor with a primer). Wash the surface with a mild detergent, rinse well and dry thoroughly. Then, using an artist's brush, apply the primer that is recommended for your car's model and colour. Leave to dry, then apply the correct paint. Don't be worried if the colour doesn't match exactly - that's a minor problem compared to rust damage.