We’ve had a lot of customers ask us if steel bumpers rust. So we’ve created this comprehensive guide to answer the question. In this guide, we’ll explore:
So the answer is yes. Steel bumpers can rust. It’s because rust is oxidized iron. Steel is made from iron. That means any contact from moisture turns steel into rust.
Welds can rust too, especially if the welding process contaminates them. This happens when air pockets form within the weld. When it rains, for example, water goes into the air pockets and then rusts the weld from inside out. This weakens the metal, which leads to the weld breaking off.
So how does a weld become contaminated? Here are a few examples of how this can happen:
Sometimes the welder or the tool(s) used during the process can create welds riddled with air pockets. For example, there may not be enough gas flow. A broken TIG, MIG, or stick welder could compromise a weld’s strength, as well.
This is why it’s important to buy a bumper with high-quality welds.
With steel bumpers, rust doesn’t have to be inevitable. There are two effective solutions that do a great job at preventing rust:
Paint and powder coating add a physical barrier between steel and moisture. Both paint and powder coating are resistant to moisture. That means both coatings won’t corrode and expose the metal underneath.
Powder coating is a process that involves:
There are many types of powder coat material. We use powder coat material that includes plastic (thermoplastic or thermoset polymer). Plastic doesn't rust, so a powder-coated steel bumper won't rust.
While you could go out and buy a powder coating gun and other tools, it's still smart to leave it to a professional. An experienced professional will do the job right and make it look good. When you factor in the following costs, you'll find that hiring a professional is often cheaper than doing it yourself:
If you were to buy a powder coating oven, the total cost of the project would be more than $5,000. It's so much cheaper to hire a professional. At Throttle Down Kustoms, we not only make quality steel bumpers, but we also powder coat them for only an extra few hundred dollars.
If you're looking for a DIY job, paint your steel bumper. It's a much easier and more affordable DIY job than powder coating.
If you're using paint, you want to make sure the steel is prepared right. If it's not finished and smooth, primer won't adhere correctly and the paint will:
As the paint fails, rust will set in.
Primer works as a protective coating. Basically, primer is paint with no moisture content. That means primer can stick to steel better than paint ever will.
Paint contains some moisture, which causes flaking and oxidation. This leads to rusting. Even though paint itself serves as a barrier between the steel and moisture, the primer needs to protect the steel from the paint. Also, primer bonds to the steel and the paint. This eliminates the need for a second coat of paint.
If you order a bare steel bumper (like ours, which are ready to paint), here are the steps you should take:
Even though a steel bumper needs paint or powder coating to not rust, it's still important to get a well built one. Here are 6 factors to look for in a steel bumper:
The last factor - lifetime warranty - is very important. It takes a while for a poorly built bumper to reveal any structural defects. That's why a one year warranty is pretty pointless when it comes to steel bumpers. At Throttle Down Kustoms, we understand this. We also have full confidence in the quality and durability of our bumpers. So we offer a comprehensive lifetime warranty policy you can read more about here.