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Car Maintenance: Car Rust Removal Basics

on December 3, 2020
Rust Car 4 - Car Maintenance: Car Rust Removal Basics

Car Maintenance: Car Rust Removal Basics

on December 3, 2020

We all love our cars, not only because they help us get from point A to point B but we also love our cars because they are beautiful machines.  Whether we think so or not, we all pick our vehicles based on the design, features, and color of the car.  The worst thing to happen to that gorgeous car body and the paint job is rust. 

Rust can be a serious problem for the appearance of your car.  Nobody wants to drive a rusty looking vehicle.  Not only that, but over time rust can also harm other parts of your vehicle.  In this article, we will learn how to get rid of rust on cars by giving you some useful tips and tricks. 

How Rust Occurs

One of the most common ways for rust to begin to form on your vehicle’s exterior is based on the weather.  For example, rain is a major enemy of the metal outside of your car.  When water hits any metal surface, it will start to oxidize and form rust over time. 

 If you leave your vehicle outside during heavy rainstorms instead of putting your vehicle inside of a garage or covering it, there is high possibility rust will begin to form.  

Snow can also contribute to rust, similar to the way rain occurs.  If a big snowstorm happens, and your vehicle is left outside covered in snow, overtime rust will begin to form due to the oxidation process of the snow sitting on the body of your vehicle.  Road salts during the snow season is also an enemy for your vehicle, as salt build-up can cause rust.

Other factors that could cause rust on your vehicle include flooding, ocean air, and excessive heat from the sun.  If a flood rolls into your area, your vehicle could experience massive rusting damage.  If you live near the ocean, the ocean’s air is very salty, which could cause rust on your vehicle.  

Finally, a hot sunny day could cause rust if the sun hits your vehicle excessively but usually, this is rarer than other occurrences.  

How To Remove Rust From a Car

In order to stop rust on your car, and remove it, you will need to buy the proper car rust repair kit that will be used for this at-home project.   Everything that you need to remove rusts from your vehicle can be found at your local auto part store.  

You will need: 

  • Masking Tape
  • Sandpaper and a Sanding Block
  • Rust Remover for Cars
  • Paint Brushes
  • Rag and Microfiber Cloth
  • Polishing Compound
  • Paint to touch up your vehicle
  • Clear Coat
  • Primer and Filler
  • Safety Equipment (Goggles, Ventilated Area)

Getting Ready

The first step on how to stop rust on a car is by getting the damaged area prepared.  You want to make sure that you wear safety goggles so nothing bits of rust fly into your eye.  You also want to work in a well-ventilated area because you will be handling chemicals and don’t want to inhale the fumes.  It’s also best to park your car in a nice, safe location to work.  

The next step to preparing your vehicle is by using masking tape to tape off the section of your car that you plan on working on. Doing so will help keep the non-rusted area of your vehicle protected from yourself.  You want to tape the non-rusted sections off using paper that won’t damage the car,  such as poly sheeting or masking paper.  

Sanding It Down

Using sandpaper, you want to begin to sand the damaged rusty area down to the bare metal of the vehicle.  When sanding down the vehicle you want to sand through both the paint and primer of the vehicle.  Some or most of the surface rust will be removed during this process, but we are not out of the woods yet.  

Using Rust Remover

Once the damaged area is free of paint and primer, you can begin to use the rust remover chemical that you purchased from the auto part store to remove the rust pits inside of the metal area.  

Take a paintbrush, and dip it into the rust remover, and apply it to the rust pits.  Always read the directions on the rust remover carefully to see how long it takes for the chemical to break down the rust before cleaning off the area.  

Paint and Primer Process

Now that we fixed the rust problem on the vehicle, it’s time to use primer and paint to bring your vehicle back to its original condition.  Before you start, make sure you hand wash the area with a household dish soap and dry thoroughly with a microfiber cloth.  You want to make sure the surface is completely dry and clean before applying any primer or paint.  

You want to start by using an epoxy primer and filler primer first to cover the work-area completely and allow it to dry.  Once the primer is fully dry, you can use sandpaper again to smooth out the surface.  Then you can finally color the area with the base coat.  

Make sure you buy the correct paint for your vehicle, by finding the paint code for your automobile. If you need assistance in finding the paint code, consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle. Once you are finished with the painting, you can spray on a clear coat, and allow it to dry. Always remember to take your time when car detailing and never rush the process.   

Preventing Rust For The Future

Rust removal is not the easiest project, but it can be done by following the steps provided.  Always take some time to watch some tutorial videos, so you can really see the process before jumping into it.  If you want to avoid rust from happening in the future, you will want to rustproof the car.  

The easiest way to rust proofing your car is to simply wash your car regularly, roughly every two to three weeks.  If you don’t have the time to wash your vehicle yourself, you can always take it to a car wash. You can also use an anti-rust spray or a ceramic coating for vehicles.

A rust dissolver can be useful when you see a rust spot show up initially.  Doing this every once in a while will help prevent rust build up on your vehicle and relieve the stress of having to pay for a mechanic to deal with the rust, or take time out of your day to do it yourself.   

Car Maintenance

In general, if you want to prevent rust or anything else that could worsen the condition of your vehicle, it is important to take care of your vehicle in every aspect.  Remember to do car maintenance often and always check your vehicle’s fluid and oil, air filters, oil filters, tire pressure, brake pads, and then of course the exterior of your vehicle’s condition.

Another tip is to make a maintenance schedule for your vehicle, so you can remember when things need to be checked out. Proper care and maintenance will keep you on the right track to having that vehicle stay beautiful. We here at DriveSmart, want to always keep your vehicle clean and looking the best it can be. 

Author: Stephen Lubas

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