Rust - The Silent Killer Of Cars: How To Remove Rust From Your Car
Rust is a nasty word for car owners and can become one of your biggest and most expensive nightmares. It ruins the look of your vehicle, lowers the resale value of your car and if not addressed, can even make your car unsafe to drive. Possibly the scariest part is that once it lands on an iron-containing metal, it is a super-spreader! Given time it can destroy your car to the point of no repair. That is why they call it the silent killer of cars or the natural enemy of cars.
However, the good news is rust is treatable and there are measures you can take to prevent it entirely. Read on to gain a deeper understanding of what causes rust, how to identify it before it becomes a problem and how to remove rust from your car if you have spotted the first signs of corrosion.
What Is Rust?
Rust develops when the iron in metal reacts with oxygen and water/ moisture - a natural process called the oxidation of metal This chemical reaction produces iron oxide (rust) which appears as a reddish-brown, crumby substance that leads to corrosion.
What Causes Rust?
Rust is usually caused by a combination of factors:
Climate conditions– the combination of high humidity and salty conditions in coastal areas is a main cause of corrosion. Rain, sleet and snow also increase the possibility of moisture oxidising with the metals, causing rust.
Age– the paintwork and protective coatings on your car can wear over time and if the metal is exposed to water it will eventually rust and corrode.
Driving – If you drive off -road a lot or through puddles, you car is susceptible to rust
Neglect - if you do not tend to signs of rust as soon as it appears, it will spread and can become unsafe.
Common Areas Where Rust Is Found On Cars
These are the most common rust locations:
Any place where water is pooling
Any exposed, bare metal
Floor of the boot
The frame/body of the car
Around towing/trailer hitches
Around wheel wells and hubs
Types Of Car Rust
Surface Rust - can be seen in paint nicks, cracks, and scratches. An easy fix.
Scale Rust - the chemical process has corrupted the surface and reduces metal strength.
Penetrating Rust - this is when holes form due to prolonged exposure and the steel is converted to brittle rust.
How To Prevent Rust From Spreading
You can prevent surface and scale the rust from spreading by sanding down the rusty paint and spraying primer, color coat, and clear which you can do yourself. However, penetrating rust usually requires replacing the panel and is best left to the experts. Should you need to replace the panel, contact AfricaBoyz Online who have a wide selection of new car parts for all makes and models of cars.
How To Remove The Rust From Your Car
Tools And Materials Required:
Sander and sanding discs
Painter’s tape/Masking paper
Sandpaper in a selection of grits (40, 320, 1000, 2000)
Primer (epoxy and lacquer)
Polish and wax
Grab a pair of mechanic gloves to protect your hands and wear a long sleeve fitted shirt. Safety glasses are a must and wear a respirator or dust mask to prevent inhaling toxic fumes. Always ensure you car is parked on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area
Clean the affected area thoroughly, removing any dirt and let it dry thoroughly.
Using the painter’s tape or masking paper, mark off the area you need to work on. Ensure the rest of the car is protected.
Remove the paint and primer - you may need to use the hand scraper to remove paint chips or blistered paint so you can get at the rust underneath.
Sand the area down to bare metal - you can use 40-grit sandpaper or the abrasive wheel
Then feather the paint edges using the 120-grit sandpaper and complete with the 320 grit sandpaper.
Wipe the area clean with a damp microfiber cloth and then dry with a separate cloth making sure the area is completely clean and free from rust
Remove rust pits using a grinder or a chemical compound.
Prime the surface using a suitable lacquer primer for direct metal contact.
You can finish the panel with body filler or surfacing primer and allow to dry completely
Apply 5 - 6 coats of your car’s colour paint - allow time to dry between layers
Finish by spraying the clear coat as directed. Let it dry.
Using a polishing buffer or pad, apply the polishing compound
Wax to finish.
Preventing Rust Before It Starts
The easiest and best way to prevent rust is by washing your car regularly - at least once a week. This removes grime, salt, dirt, and other buildups which cause car corrosion.