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Q & A: Saving an Alfa Romeo from rust

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Most recent answer: 10/07/2014
Topic: Formula For Determining Rust Formation For Automobiles in Storage I have a damp barn (upstate New York) where I store my disabled Alfa Romeo. Over the summer I had three fans running 24 hours a day, which is wasteful, I admit. To my knowledge, circulating air reduces the chance of rust. Am I wrong? To minimize rust, I have rugs under the car and a cotton car cover over it. In the past I have used a dehumidifier but Iím not sure how effective it is. I plan on placing desiccant packets in the interior to absorb the moisture. Do you have any other suggestions? And finally, is there a chart that indicates at what point I should be concerned about rust formation? For example: x temperature with y humidity and a dew point of z. Iím not looking for an exact number just something to guide me so I can turn off the fans. Thanks, Joe
- Joe (age 73)
Honeoye Falls

Hello Joe,

Ah yes, I remember my first Alfa, a  Spyder mille-seicento.  I was in Rome in 1962-63.   A wonderful car for zooming around and meeting up with members of the fair sex.   Dustin Hoffman drove the exact same car across the San Fransico Bay Bridge in the movie "The Graduate".    I can understand your concern with rust, the bane of Italian cars.   Alas, I had to part with my rust bucket many years ago.

The best thing you can do to prevent rust is to keep the humidity low.   Buy yourself an inexpensive hygrometer and keep it around close to the car.   Try to keep the humidity below 50%, preferably around 45%.    I would advise using de-humidifiers, they work but make sure you have proper drainage.  If necessary you could construct a crude frame around your car and encase it in plastic sheathing.  

Happy motoring in your Alfa,



(published on 10/07/2014)

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