Q: My 1992 Accord that I rust proofed annually lasted over 600,000 kilometres, rust-free until I sold it a few years ago.
For my 2012 Prius V hybrid, the dealer suggested a Toyota-approved vegetable oil application to avoid the high-voltage wires.
The Toyota owner’s manual says rust proofing isn’t required due to the quality of materials used. Unfortunately, such optimism doesn’t translate into the real world, as rust spots are now appearing on the tailgate.
Kelly Hughson, a Mississauga Rust Check franchise owner (kellysrustcheck.ca), replies:
I’ve been rust proofing hybrids for many years, including Hydro City vehicles, GO Transit, and countless customer autos. We undergo special training each year to safely apply rust proofing to any new model vehicles. The only thing to avoid with hybrids is drilling too close to any of the wires. I’ve never had any issues after rust proofing a hybrid.
Any car with metal can benefit from rust proofing. It’s my belief that the rear hatch on the reader’s Prius likely wouldn’t have rusted if was rust proofed even once.
Eric Lai replies:
Rust spreads faster the warmer it is above freezing — the rate doubles with every 10 C increase — so spring is an excellent time to rust proof. My own cars are sprayed either annually or biannually, depending on usage.
Q: I live on a busy street and prefer to back into my driveway to ease getting out later. Many times despite my signalling, drivers from behind won’t give me any space or will pass. Who’s at fault if we hit while I’m backing into my driveway?
Retired Toronto Police Sgt. Al Verwey replies:
If one car is stopped and another backs into it, the driver of the moving vehicle might be charged for “start from stopped position — not in safety” under S. 142(2) HTA or “turn — not in safety” under S. 142(1) HTA even when the turn occurs while reversing. The driver in the rear would be guilty of being inconsiderate, but that is not a ticketable offence — although perhaps it should be.
Eric Lai adds:
The same rules apply to on-street parallel parking.
If, on the other hand, the forward vehicle hasn’t yet begun its turn and is stationary when struck, then it’s a simple rear-ender with the rear driver at fault.
Q: What happens if I leave before a parking ticket is stuck on my car? Can they mail it? If so, is it valid?
Eric Lai replies:
Parking bylaw officers have no police powers of arrest or detention and cannot lawfully obstruct you from leaving. If you peacefully drive away before you’re tagged, the ticket wasn’t properly served under the Provincial Offences Act and is invalid.
Freelance writer Eric Lai is a regular contributor to Toronto Star Wheels. Email your nonmechanical questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org . Due to the volume of mail personal replies cannot be provided.