The Dummies’ Guide to Treating Car Rust

by / Friday, 22 August 2014 / Published in Automotive Maintenance

Mater

We all know how much it sucks when rust ruins our cars paint job. But this inconvenience can turn into a disease if left untreated as it can spread to essential parts like the suspension, U-Bolt, radiator and other metal parts.

Remember that rust will do more than hamper your car’s aesthetic value. It can weaken your car’s structure and overall functionality, making it more vulnerable to fatal accidents, which is just about every driver’s nightmare.

There are ways on how you can prevent automotive rust, but there are uncontrollable and unpredictable factors that can lead to it anyway. This is especially true if you’ve had your car for quite some time now. Time destroys everything, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything to prolong the life of your beloved vehicle.

Beginners need not worry, for this guide should cater even to new car owners. So with that said, are you ready? Awesome. Here are tips on how you can treat automotive rust:

Treating Surface Rust

As the name implies, the first stage of rusting only affects the surface of the car. This usually starts when the car’s paint breaks down or chips off. Regardless of how it occurred, surface rust has to be fixed immediately to prevent it from corroding the surface.

The first step is to remove loose rust with an abrasive wheel or sand paper. After you’ve cleaned it thoroughly and got the metal back to its original color, apply the paint primer. Allow the paint to dry before proceeding to the final step, which is the application of clear coat. However, if your car’s rust has spread past the surface, then the following tips will be more effective.

Treating Scale Rust

The second stage of rusting is a little harder to fix because it might have already left holes or corroded some parts. You will need a wire brush, grinding wheel and sandpaper to smoothen the surface of the rusty areas. After grinding, apply rust removing acid such as phosphoric acid to remove the small rust particles that remains.

If there are any holes, cover them with a filler, which you are to allow to dry. Afterwards, smoothen the filler-covered holes with sand paper or abrasive wheel before applying primer, paint and clear coat.

Treating Penetrating Rust

If the car’s exterior has already been seriously damaged, then you’re dealing with penetrating rust, which only leaves you with two options. The first is to cut the corroded parts and weld in panels to patch it up, while Option 2 suggests that you completely replace the affected panel. Want the easier route? Go with Option 2.

One last tip: before proceeding to treat your car’s rust, make sure you are completely protected. Gear up with some gloves, safety goggles and mask. Take extra precautions since you will be dealing with paint, chemicals, and dust.

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