Few things can wreak as much havoc on your car's body panels as rust. It's silent, slow and subtle, so you often won't know it's there until it's already caused damage. The presence of rust on your car is an early indication that you could ultimately be facing structural concerns with your car's metal components. If left untreated, that rust can spread across the entire car. Here are some tips to deal with rust and protect your car for the long term.
Dealing With Rust
In order to effectively address the growth of rust on your car, you need to determine the type.
- Surface Rust – In its early stages, rust sits only on the surface of the body panel. It usually looks like discoloration in a scratch or a spot on the metal surface. The sooner you eliminate it, the less risk you'll have of it spreading. Use a sanding wheel with fine-grit sandpaper to eliminate all of the rust. Apply even, consistent pressure as you work in small circles. Then, wipe the surface with tack cloth before treating the area with primer and a fresh coat of paint.
- Scale Rust – Scale rust develops when surface rust advances. It usually causes bubbling, flaking and chipping. Start by removing the surface flaking with a wire brush. Use a grinding wheel to get rid of any residual stubborn rust spots. Finally, smooth the surface out with a sanding wheel and fine-grit sandpaper before wiping it with a tack cloth and applying fresh primer and paint.
- Penetrating Rust – Over time, scaling rust becomes iron oxide. This creates holes in the metal itself, which can be more complex to repair. You'll have to cut away the damaged section and weld a new panel in that place. This is the only effective way to eliminate the spread of rust once it's penetrated the metal itself.
Preventing Rust Development
The most effective way to keep rust at bay is to treat the metal on your car with a rust inhibitor. You should also keep the car clean, including the undercarriage. This eliminates salt, dirt and other contaminants that can cause rust.
With this information and some careful attention to your car's body panels, you'll be able to keep rust from growing. For more help keeping rust at bay, you'll want to talk with a local auto body shop about a complete rust inhibitor treatment as well as other preventative measures.
To learn more, contact a company like ValuGard.