How to repair car rust

How to repair car rust

Rust is every car owner’s worst nightmare. It can eat away at your vehicle like a sinister, unseen plague. Rusting is a natural process and cannot be eliminated. It can, however be slowed down. By regularly checking over your car for rust spots you can hone in on problem areas. Rust is caused when mild steel come into contact with water, which is slightly acidic.
Treating small rust spots is quite simple. These are normally caused by road stones flying up and chipping off the top coat of paint, leaving the bare metal exposed to the elements. In damp conditions the spot will rust very quickly.

Here’s how to treat such areas:

  • (1) Wipe the rust spot and an area about an inch around it with a cloth that has been moistened with white spirits. Scrape away the loose paint. Now, rub-down the rusted area with coarse sandpaper until you reach a sound area of paint.
  • (2) After clearing off the dust, apply primer(not rust remover) using a fine paintbrush. Overlap beyond the affected area by about a quarter inch. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly.
  • (3) Use an old knife to smooth on a thin layer of cellulose stopper. Try to make a clean job in smoothing over the affected area, without leaving any excess.
  • (4) Use medium grade sandpaper to smooth the job down until it is completely flush with the surrounding areas.
  • (5) Having purchased some touch-up repair paint, shake the can thoroughly. Then stir it with a piece of thin wire. Apply the paint smoothly and quickly. Overlap the paint onto the existing paintwork. After 24 hours, apply a second coat.

When searching for an exact color match, look under the car’s bonnet and find the identification plate. You will see a section marked paint color or trim code. Take this number along to the accessory shop. They should have a color chart showing which color this corresponds to. This will give you the exact shade of your paintwork.

The most vulnerable areas to minor rust as a result of chips are the lips of the wheel arches and the area immediately behind the wheels. You can prevent much of this damage by investing in mud flaps. You may also find that areas around the doors and locks are vulnerable to rust. This is because your car keys are likely to chip paint when they knock against the paintwork. Being aware of this can make you more cautious.

It’s true that rust never sleeps. Neither should we when it comes to treating rust. Get onto the problem smartly and you will avoid what could develop into a major repair bill.

It’s true that rust never sleeps

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