Tips For Removing And Preventing Rust On Your Car

When it comes to the threats against your car's body panels and longevity, rust is among the worst. It takes hold slowly, and it's so subtle that you may not even notice it until it's already started to cause serious damage. If you don't address rust development right away, you're likely to face structural concerns with the sheet metal and undercarriage because rust will eat through the metal completely. Here are a few things you can do to deal with and prevent rust.

How Can You Keep Rust At Bay?

The easiest way to prevent rust is to treat your car's metal body panels with rust sealant or inhibitor. This protects the surface of the metal from any oxidation that could be caused by dirt, moisture and road salt.

What Can You Do About Existing Rust?

If you've owned your car for a while and didn't know about rust sealant, you may need to deal with some accumulated rust before you can treat it.

  • Early Rust Development – Surface rust is the earliest stage of rust development, and it's usually the easiest to deal with. It is important, however, to make sure that you deal with it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, it will continue to spread and worsen. To get rid of surface rust, you can use a sanding wheel or block sander with fine-grit sandpaper. Just use consistent, even pressure across the surface. Then, wipe it clean with a tack cloth to get rid of the residual dust before you apply rust sealant, primer and paint.
  • Scaly, Progressive Rust – When surface rust is left to spread and worsen, it typically becomes scaly and flaky. The bubbly, flaking surface can be increasingly difficult to get rid of, because it's the beginning of damage to the metal. Start with a wire brush to get rid of the surface flaking. Then, a sanding wheel or grinding wheel will get rid of any residual surface rust. As with the early rust, wipe the whole area with a tack cloth and then treat it with a rust sealant before applying primer and fresh paint.
  • Penetrating, Destructive Rust – Scaly rust will gradually become penetrating rust which will create holes in the metal. This can be difficult to repair, because it destroys the metal itself. Once your car's rust has progressed to this level, you'll have to cut the affected sections out and weld new ones in. Make sure you treat the new panels with rust sealant first.

As you can see, not only is it easy to prevent rust from developing, there are ways to deal with rust in all of its stages. Don't assume that rust is simply inevitable. Talk with a local auto body shop to have your car treated with a rust inhibitor today.