Everything You Need to Know about Car Rust
January 29, 2018
One of the most unsightly damages to see on your vehicle – car rust. Rust development occurs over time to the exterior of all autos. Maintaining your vehicle properly helps prevent rust from occurring. However, if it has already developed, understanding what rust is and how to eliminate it will restore the original finish.
What is Car Rust?
Most people recognize car rust when they see it. What creates the spots on your vehicle? Leaving any dent, crack, or scratch sitting on the surface of your exterior paint allows rust to form. This exposes the iron and steel to the elements, including salty air if you live near the coast. Even if you live inland, all environments will eventually wear down the exposed metal and develop rust if you don’t properly care for the damage.
If rust has already settled on your exterior, find the proper products and equipment to fix the spots. Despite what people believe, correcting the damage isn’t difficult. Rust spreads, so fixing the problem early on can stop it. Two options to eliminate rust – using a rust remover or metal grinder. Before utilizing either of these methods, make sure you understand the depth of your damage and how to use the products/equipment.
Both methods require the same amount of set-up. The first step – taping everything off. This separates the rusted section of the vehicle from the rest of the exterior paint. Make sure all doors and windows remain closed as you work on the car. This keeps the particles away from the interior. Sand down the area with 80 – 150 grit sandpaper until the surface is smooth.
Option 1 – Rust Remover
The first option after sanding down the area – car rust remover. This chemical converts rust into a material that won’t corrode. The active ingredient in most removers is an organic polymer that acts a primer once finished. This 2-in-1 solution helps facilitate the process.
Option 2 – Metal Grinder
Use a metal grinder instead of a remover. Layer-by-layer, this eliminates the corroded metal from the surface. In most cases, this process is more effective than the remover but requires careful work. Once the rust disappears, sand down the remaining area to a smooth surface again.
Completing the Process
Whichever option you used, the next step requires body filler, primer, and exterior car paint. Make sure you match the original paint on your vehicle by purchasing it from the manufacturer or dealership. Depending on the depth of the damage will determine whether you need the body filler. If the car rust that was removed created an indention in the vehicle, you will need to use the filler. Some car owners use a body hammer to create an indent on the vehicle.
To use body filler, mix the solution with a hardener. Apply the paste on the vehicle and wait for it to harden. If this makes the surface higher than the rest of the vehicle, use 80-grit sandpaper to even out the area.
Apply the primer, allowing it to completely dry before the next application. Repeat this process several times to create a strong surface for the paint to adhere. Once you have completed the primer, sand the surface to an even level with the rest of the vehicle. Grab the matching exterior car paint and apply this in the same way you did the primer. Do several coats, allowing each one to dry in between layers. Once it matches the rest of the vehicle, leave the last layer to dry overnight. Don’t forget to apply a clear coat as a finishing touch.
The best method to eliminate car rust – prevention. Repairing scratches on the exterior car paint is the most common cause of rust formation. If your fingernail fits inside the scratch, this means it needs to be fixed. Once damage passes through the clear coat, the number of protection decreases. You will need to visit a local repair shop to have the scratches taken care of due to the depth of damage.
As we all know, the winter months are tough on your vehicle. With the inclement weather and snowfall, the transportation department throws salt on the roads for safe driving. However, this also impacts the damage to your car. The salt corrodes the exterior paint and chips away to the bare metal, exposing it to the elements. The best prevention for this – waxing. This adds another layer of protection to your exterior against the debris from the road.
Rust Proof It
To completely prepare against car rust, consider buying a rust-proof kit. This contains all the products and equipment necessary to fight corrosion. Rust proofing kits typically contain a variety of products, such as underbody wax, cavity wax, rust converter spray aerosol, and plastic blanking plugs. Before you begin applying any of the solutions, thoroughly wash your vehicle. Allow it to air dry under the shade.
Focus on the areas with exposed metal (exterior car trim), the underbody and bottom of the vehicle. This is where the rust will accumulate the most. Use a rust inhibitor on these areas to create an additional layer of protection. Once the inhibitor dries, apply the waxes, using the spray gun provided in the kit.
The best and most affordable car rust remover to use when repairing the damage – Evapo-Rust ER012 The Original Super Safe Rust Remover. It contains no acids. With its biodegradable, water-based formula, it’s safe for you and the environment. This highly-rated product eliminates 4-5x more rust than the other solutions.
Evercoat 125 Rage Ultra Body Filler excels past other similar products. The formula delivers strong adhesive properties, as well as, an easy surface for sanding. The ingredients in the product allow the user to create a fine, smooth area for priming and painting.
Finally, the best rust proofing product on the market – POR-15 45404 Black Rust Preventive. The formula is one of the strongest solutions for easy application. The product creates an air-tight seal to prevent any debris from damaging the exterior paint.
Understanding what car rust is and how to prevent it ensures your vehicle looks pristine. However, the methods needed to successfully take care of the problem is easier for professionals.
DetailXPerts, a mobile, eco-friendly auto detailing company can help take preventative measures to lengthen the life of your car. Schedule an appointment today with one of our highly-trained technicians to learn what we can do for you!