I love a dirty Jeep and signs of the trail indicate my ride is no Pavement Princess! But, rust is an insidious beast and I’ve invested too much (time… effort… MONEY) in my rig to leave scrapes and other trail damage unattended, especially after a muddy run. Plus, by day two post-trail my husband starts making little comments throughout the day, such as: “When are you going to wash your Jeep?” and “Your Jeep sure is filthy,” and “Your Jeep is going to fall apart if you don’t wash it soon!” Therefore, to stop the escalation (and *shhhhhhh* because I know he’s right), it’s off to the car wash for me!
Where, whilst washing away the mud, I find little surprises -- like this:
Am I glad for the reinforced edge on these Method wheels! I’ve got some good scrapes but at least it’s ok – unlike my previous wheels on a run this past February.
[Let me clarify that I don’t wait days to check for damage - I do crawl under my Jeep right away once I’m home after any trail run and check for anything loose, hanging, leaking, or scraped. And, after Saturday’s trail I found lots of scrapes (which I was expecting)].
So, after a fresh wash, here’s what I do to address the scrapes and protect my rig from rust damage:
Materials: Rubbing alcohol, rag, Rust-Oleum spray paint or bed liner spray (I use black)
Step 1: Find the fresh scrapes. This photo shows a particularly good one at the front of my driver’s side rear control arm bracket – already starting to rust at day four post-trail.
Step 2: Clean well with rubbing alcohol. Even though I was thorough about washing my Jeep (pre-soak, hot soap wash, two rinses) the rubbing alcohol helps get the last of the dirt off the scraped areas.
Step 3: Spray with Rust-Oleum and let dry. Here’s a before and after:
Fixing several scraped areas under my Jeep took me just a few minutes and I know this works because I’ve treated scrapes like this in the past. Here’s one area that was scraped badly in February, and five months later it's still good as new with Rust-Oleum paint intact.
Lastly, while I’m under the Jeep I check all the mod bolts to ensure they’re still tight after running a trail.
Do you have a favorite way to care for trail damage on your Jeep after a run? Is there a better or more efficient way than what I do? Leave comments below!