Anti-rust, any recommendation for traction battery top? (or any part of the car, really)

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Well-known member
Sep 26, 2023
Quebec, Canada

I was surprise at how rusty the top of a battery pack was that I received from a North East US state. I spent a day cleaning it up and repainting it. I think that we will see case tops rusting through in areas that use salt to melt road ice and snow.

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Oh noooo..... That's pretty much me :/ They use LOTS of salt here, like 6 months a year.

I just got my 2022 SL Plus two months ago, and I plan on keeping it a long time. It's going to receive an anti-rust shoot this fall. Any important recommendation I should forward to the guy who's going to do the job?
I DIYed our 2014 a few months after we bought it in 2021 with 62K miles.

1) Put the car on jack stands,
2) Removed the wheels, (5?) underbody panels, fender liners, etc.,
3) Pressure washed everything with soapy and then clean water (very fun while laying on the ground under a car that was about 12 inches off the ground),
4) Hit the underbody vigorously with the air compressor wand to remove water,
5) Wire brushed any visible underbody rust, blew away loosened dust/rust with air compressor, and spritzed with a bit of Rustoleum primer
6) Waited a day for further drying of primer and underbody,
7) Hit the entire underbody, suspension, etc. with 5-6 cans of PB Surface Protect (similar to the Fluid Film above). I didn't remove the battery but did spray along the sides and above it as much as I could.
8) Reassembly.

Nearly three years later the Surface Protect product is still sticking pretty much everywhere I have checked and seems to be working. I have thought about cleaning and pressure washing the underbody and applying a fresh coat, but I'm getting lazier and lazier every day.
Courageous people...

I used to do it myself, with an air-powered sprayer. I swore I wouldn't anymore after fumes went everywhere and all over my long hair. Although I don't have to worry about my hair anymore, it's still a very dirty job. And I too have become lazier as the hair fell ;)

I can explicitly ask the anti-rust guy to spray some of his stuff on top of the battery. I understand you guys haven't seen any significant battery cooling degradation because of that?
No temperature issues, so far as I can tell. Fluid Film is an oily, slimy coating that doesn't really harden or dry. The top of the pack might be getting grimy with dirt sticking to the grease, but I would need to use a scope to tell.
I like Corroseal rust converter for fixing up any rusty spots. Clean up any loose rust and brush on. It cures to a semi-glossy black hard surface. If there is no rust, it cures clear. This is more for unpainted parts, or stopping rust from going any further. I have always wanted to carefully rustproof a new vehicle with something like fluid film, but never get to it.

I wouldn't worry about the top of the battery rusting or if it's rustproofed, neither would affect cooling any or much. I guess if rustproofing was spray foam on top of the battery, then that might affect cooling.

I dropped our original pack after about 5 years (2014 car, in 2019), parent car from western NY salt and never having been washed especially underneath. There was a lot of dirt, dust on top, but not really any significant rust on top of the battery case. There was a little rust around the edges, but if there was any underbody washing done occasionaly, I think that would help a lot. Or something like fluid film applied would be very good around the edges of the battery pack. The picture is after removing a second time, it had been dropped and cleaned for another reason a few months before.

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Check the aluminum fitting on the front of the battery. Clean and coat as needed. My white Leaf needs this done. I also had an aluminum fitting on the end of the parking brake cable just fall to pieces. So, take a good look at anything aluminum under there that can be exposed to salt.