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How to Repair Car Rust

How to Repair Car Rust

How to Repair Car Rust

Rust on your vehicle is like an open wound on your body. The quicker you get help on how to repair car rust, the less chances contaminants will set in and cause more damage. No matter how resilient your car’s bodywork paint is, it is not foolproof to external vulnerabilities.

Any crack caused by hard knocks will expose the vehicle’s bare metal to the corrosive nature of water, contaminants, air, UV rays and salt. As paint is porous, even a tiny 2mm crack, if left unattended, will allow rust to eat into your vehicle’s primer, base and clear coats. You will recognize the symptoms when the paint begins to bubble up and blister. Still, at this point, you may be able to contain and repair the rust yourself with the correct tools and supplies.

Step By Step – How To Repair Car Rust

You may need to devote a full day to it as there is a stage where the underlying metal will be exposed. Let us walk through how to repair car rust here:

      1. Use masking tape to “frame” the area where the rust is and its immediate surrounding area.

      1. Cover up the other parts of the vehicle as far as possible, and, roll up all the vehicle’s windows. This ensures that the fine particles produced from the sanding and grinding processes of the paint and rust will not spew on and into these unrelated sections.

      1. Sand down the paint and primer within the taped area surrounding the rust, with your sander until you have a smooth-like surface.

      1. To remove the rusted metal, you have two options. A good rule of thumb in how to repair car rust is to go with the one you are most comfortable doing:

        a) Rust remover – The first option is to use a rust remover or converter that chemically converts the rust into a more stable material that does not corrode. These converters usually contain an organic polymer which acts as a primer.

        b) Metal grinder – The second option is to use a metal grinder to grind away, thin layer by thin layer, the corroded metal. Ensure that you know how to work the grinder to avoid removing too much. Finish off the process by hand sandpapering the area.

      1. Each car rust situation is different and if applicable, you may need to repair the hole by inserting in a screen wire to act as a foundation before filling it in with body filler or putty. Wait for it to harden before sanding it down.

      1. In most how to repair car rust instruction guides, you will be advised to ensure the surface is smooth and clean before re-taping the section closer to the rust in preparation for the primer.

      1. Primers form pre-paint preparatory layers that facilitate the adhesiveness and durability of the paint layer; and provide added protection for the underlying metal. That is why you should use a high quality primer. After you spray on each layer, wait a few minutes before applying the next. By applying several coats, you create a tight and strong matrix of layers. The last layer should then be allowed to completely saturate in overnight.

      1. Sand it down before you evenly spray on the paint. As with the primer, wait a few minutes between each application and apply as many layers as is necessary to give it a good finish to match its surrounding area. Leave the final layer to dry through overnight.

      1. You can now remove the masking tape and use a buffer to buff the previously taped area so that the color of the treated area blends in as close as possible with the rest of your vehicle.

      1. Allow the paint to completely saturate for a few days before you give it a good wash and clean.

The steps to how to repair car rust is quite similar to how you would treat a cut or wound on your own skin. First, remove all visible contaminants; clean and disinfect it; apply medication to help it heal quicker and to revert it back to its original state.

Neglecting any open wounds – be it on yourself or your car – could turn out to be a costly affair. Rather, save yourself all the angst and money by assisting it while it is still manageable and consider rust-proofing and regular exterior cleaning going forward.


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