How To Fix Major Rust On A Car

Car rust

Our automobiles play an important role in our daily lives. We do everything we can to care for them, but the truth is that they are susceptible to a number of serious conditions. Rust is one of the more important issues that cars experience. It is possible that even little rust patches will be a visual turnoff for potential buyers. Rust that is more severe can pose a threat to the vehicle’s safety. Rust is something you don’t want on your vehicle, no matter how you look at it. In this post, we’ll go over the factors that contribute to severe rust on vehicles. After that, we’ll go over the actions that need to be taken in order to repair rust, as well as some supplies that will be handy along the way.

Car rust

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What causes rust?

Simply put, science is to blame for the rusting of our automobiles.

Iron (such as that found in steel vehicles) rusts when it is exposed to moisture and oxygen, which is exactly what happens in this case. It’s important to remember that not all steels are made equal, as is the case with aluminum.

Steel was used in older vehicles, and it was considerably more susceptible to corrosion and rust. Galvanized steel is used in more recent vehicles because it is significantly more corrosion resistant.

Modern paint jobs also help to keep rust at bay to a significant extent. Even modern vehicles, however, are susceptible to rusting if the steel is damaged or modified in any way.

Rust is referred to as iron oxide in the scientific world. A cathode, an anode, and an electrolyte are all required for the formation of iron oxide in a reaction.

When it comes to cars, steel serves as both the cathode and the anode. Water serves as the electrolyte in this situation. Areas prone to severe rain and snow tend to have more rust on their vehicles than other areas.

Salt is also a significant adversary in the fight against rusted cars. Water’s ability to produce electrons is enhanced by the addition of salt. As a result, areas near oceans tend to have a higher concentration of rusted vehicles. Because of the salt used on the roadways in areas with harsh winters, rust on vehicles is more common in these areas.

Good news is that if you notice some rust on your vehicle, you won’t be obligated to tow it to a junkyard or smash it. The procedures outlined below will guide you through the process of repairing serious rust on your vehicle.

How to Remove Rust From Your Car in 7 Easy Steps.

Step 1: Obtain the Appropriate Tools.

In order to properly repair major rust on your car, you must first obtain the appropriate tools for the job. Bad news is that you will require a large number of tools in order to do the repair effectively. The good news is that the equipment is not prohibitively expensive. In fact, there’s a strong possibility you already have most of them stashed away in the back of your car.

The electric drill or angle grinder will most likely be the most important tool in your collection. During the struggle against car rust, this will serve as your “weapon.” With the right wheels, pads, and attachments, you’ll be able to effortlessly cut through the surface rust with ease.

It may sometimes be necessary to use a hammer and chisels to remove whole portions of corroded steel from the surface. These more radical measures will necessitate the welding in of portions of new steel or the replacement of complete panels. That might be out of your league, in which case you’ll need to hire a professional welder with plenty of experience. The ultimate goal, on the other hand, remains the same. Before you refinish, you want to strip the car down to its bare, bare steel.

Paint supplies are also required for the repair, which are specifically designed for painting projects. To get more specific, you’ll need sandpaper ranging from 80 to 400-grit as well as primer and paint. Before you utilize any of these tools, though, you’ll need to make sure you’re properly protected.

Step 2: Obtain the Appropriate Safety Equipment.

It is possible for rust to cause significant damage to your vehicle, but it is also possible for rust to cause significant damage to your body. The inhalation of a large amount of rust and/or paint particles will soon destroy your day.

Similarly, getting metal splinters in your eyes or burying your thumb in a metal splinter is not a pleasant time. That is why it is critical to have the proper safety equipment on hand before beginning any rust repair work.

It should go without saying that gloves and eye protection are essential, but you should also think about what you’re wearing. In the event that you are sanding and grinding a great deal, dust and metal particles are likely to be generated. If the particles come into contact with naked skin, they can be painful. It might also be time-consuming to remove all of the grit. As a result, when performing any type of rust repair, we recommend that you wear slacks and long sleeves.

Step 3: Preparing the Car.

The planning for rust repair is just as important as the actual repair itself, as is the case with many automotive repairs.

The first step in the preparation process is to ensure that you have a convenient place to conduct operations. The obvious choice is to keep the garage clean. Make sure to move anything in your garage that you don’t want to get covered in dust while you’re doing this. If you have any locations that you do not want to get dirty, you may want to tape up some plastic drop cloths to cover them.

It’s time to get your car ready for the trip. Briefly stated, you must insure every part of your vehicle that you will not be fixing or replacing. It is not necessary to purchase a slew of expensive painting supplies in order to accomplish this. Simply lay down some newspaper on the parts of your car that will not be sanded or painted before you begin. Painter’s masking tape is used to hold the paper in place (OK, so you might have to purchase one painting supply).

Just keep in mind that if you are grinding, you will likely be firing hot sparks at the workbench. Those sparks have the potential to damage items like clear coat, chrome, and even tires. That is why it is critical to mask off every portion of your vehicle that you are not currently working on.

Step 4: Sanding the car.

Regarding the sanding, you should expect to be doing a lot of it during this repair. You’ll also need a lot of sandpaper in a range of grain counts, which you can get from your local hardware store.

Begin with the coarsest grits available, ranging from 80 to 150. The idea is to sand away all of the paint and corrosion until you are left with clean, bare metal as a result.

When you’ve finished sanding and smoothing the surface, it’s time to start painting. You can speed up the process by using an electric sander or drill, which will make the job go more quickly. However, if you are not familiar with using a sander, we recommend that you use a sanding block and complete the task by hand. It will take longer, but the procedure is significantly more forgiving when it comes to making mistakes than the alternative.

Step 5: Preparation of the Surface (And More Sanding)

We’ve arrived at the heart of the discussion. Next, apply a coat of paint primer over the area you’ve already prepped to finish your rust repair project.

Don’t go overboard with the priming and paint because you’ll be applying several coats in total. When using primer for the first time, use only a thin coating of product. When the first layer is almost dry, sand it back down to a smooth finish with 180-grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections. This process should not be carried out using an electric sander. A sanding block is preferable for this task because it requires more skill. Follow up with something a little finer (such as a 250-grit) after you’ve finished with the 180-grit in order to continue the smoothing process.

Allow the first layer of primer to dry completely before repeating the process, this time with priming and sanding between layers. Depending on how bad the damage was, you may want to apply an additional layer of primer to the area.

Even if you use several coats of primer in total, your final application should be followed by one additional sanding session. Using 400-grit sandpaper on a sanding block, complete the final finishing sanding process. After you’ve sanded the primer smooth, you’ll be ready to start painting.

Step 6: Applying the paint (And More Sanding)

The initial coat of paint should be applied in a thin layer, similar to how you did with the primer. The result will be paint streaks or drips if you go excessive with the application. The objective is to apply a thin and even layer of paint. When the paint is completely dry, sand it down with 400-grit sandpaper once again.

Using the sanding block, you can smooth off any thick patches in the paint that you may have mistakenly made. Remove any dust that has accumulated, and repeat the process two more times if necessary. After the third coat of paint has been applied, you will “wet sand” the repair area. This procedure is the same as the one you have been following; the only difference is that you will saturate the area with water while using the 400-grit sandpaper.

Step 7: Seal the surface with a clear coat.

The final stage in your rust restoration project is to apply a protective coating to all of your work. In order to accomplish this, you will apply a layer of clear coat on top of the freshly applied paint. This clear coat helps shield your paint finish from any tiny nicks or fading that might occur. You’ll be left with a clean, shiny surface, as well as a sense of accomplishment for having fixed the rust on your own!


As you can see, repairing rust on your vehicle isn’t inherently difficult, but it does take a significant amount of time.

The most important piece of advise we can provide you is to identify the problem as soon as possible. It is imperative that you repair any rust areas on your vehicle as soon as possible. In most cases, the longer you wait, the more serious (and expensive) the damage will be.

If your vehicle has rusted through, you’ll have to consider welding (which is neither simple nor inexpensive). Alternately, you could elect to replace the entire panel (easier, but also not cheap). However, if you can spot the problem before it gets out of hand, the procedures outlined above will have your vehicle looking like new in no time at all!

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