Rust looks ugly and it can destroy your car. If not treated, it can eat away at the body and completely ruin everything. It's not just a cosmetic issue. Rust can ruin the undercarriage and cause serious damage to the frame and exhaust. If you don't fix rust, your car might not pass inspection. Even worse, you might end up having to pay thousands for exhaust and chassis work.
Rust on the outside body is easy to spot, but rust on the undercarriage is just as dangerous, if not more. You should periodically check underneath your car for signs of rust if you are not getting your car regularly serviced.
Here are some things you can do if your find rust:
If the rust is on the body, and it is a small spot, then you might be able to get away with using a rust converter. These are products that can chemically prevent the rust from spreading.
This is really only a solution for small spots. If you notice a spot of rust, then you can use these products to try and stop the rust from spreading.
Replace The Rusty Part
If the rust has spread and has eaten away at the spot, then you might want to replace it. If there is a large hole, for instance, you will either have to fill the spot with a patch and an auto body filler paste or replace it. Filling and patching can take a lot of time and, in many instances, you won't be pleased with the result. The filler material is applied in a similar manner to plaster. If you are not skilled, it will not be smooth.
A solution is to simply replace the part. You can either purchase an aftermarket replacement part or head to the salvage yard and look for a replacement. This is a common solution for rusted out doors and fenders.
Sandblast the Rust Away
For serious rust, another solution is sandblasting. If the piece with rust doesn't have large holes, it might still be able to be saved. Sandblasting is a method of removing the rust by blasting the rusty surface with sand. This is a powerful method to remove the rust without damaging the underlying metal. It is much faster than if you were to try and sand the spot by hand.
If the part can be removed from the car, a bumper or panel for instance, then it should be removed and placed on a special platform. This will prevent the rest of the car from being hit with sand.
If the area cannot be removed, such as the chassis, then you should tape and cover any area that is at risk of being hit.
As a rule, sandblasting is something that you should leave to the professionals, unless you have a old project car that you enjoy working on as a hobby. Otherwise, you should bring your car to a professional who has experience using a sandblasting kit or contact a company like Powder Coating Specialties.