How to Fix Rust on Your Vehicle

Tools You Will Need

In order to start removing rust, the Carlsbad Collision Center team recommends having a sander or oscillating tool with a carbide rasp or sanding pad attachment. You will need this in order to better prime your rusted surface for a complete repair. You will also need a detergent, a base coat of paint, and a clear coat to seal off the repaired area. Don’t forget your safety equipment like mechanic gloves, a long sleeve shirt, a respirator, and safety glasses.

Vehicle Rust Repair

The team at Carlsbad Collision Center provides you a step by step guide on how to remove all rust from your vehicle and how our trained staff will care for your model. Delve deeper into the key steps of rust removal to learn how to get your vehicle in tip top shape again.

1. Mask-Off the Rusted Area

When you mask-off the rusted area on your vehicle, you will ensure the protection of the non-damaged areas of your vehicle. This step will make sure all of your repair efforts are focused on the problem areas.

2. Remove Rust

Start by scraping off the easier to remove pieces of rust and paint. Once you’ve removed as much as you can, pull out your sander and get rid of the rest of the rust. Sand down to the bare metal until you’re satisfied that all the rust is removed.

3. Clean with Detergent

With a detergent, you can clean the area to remove any of the rust particles and smooth the area further after you have sanded it down. Make sure the cleaned area is dry before you begin the next step.

4. Prime the Surface

Apply a primer so that you can begin the process of restoring your paint job. This is another step where you must be sure that the primer is dry before you begin your next step.

5. Sand the Primer

Using your sander again, sand down the dry primer until it’s nice and smooth. This is the base for your paint, so make sure it’s as smooth as you desire. Once you’re finished sanding, wipe down the surface lightly with clean water and let it dry.

6. Spray on the Base Coat

Apply your vehicle’s paint on the sanded area to your liking. Be sure you’ve chosen the correct paint for your model if you want to ensure a seamless finish. Let the base coat dry and apply a secondary coat if necessary.

7. Spray on the Clear Coat

Once your base paint is dry, use a clear coat to lock in your paint color. This will ensure your paint job stays set for the drives to come. This will also help prevent your vehicle from rusting again.

Different Types of Vehicle Rust

There are three different types of rust. Some are easy to fix and will not damage your vehicle, while others can cause structural damage if not taken care of quickly. Carlsbad Collision Center highlighted each kind of rust below.

Surface Rust

You may see the beginning signs of nicks, cracks, or scratches on your paint surface. This is a sign that rust is beginning beneath the surface. This kind of rust is an easy fix because it is simply on the surface and hasn’t plunged deeper into the bodywork of your vehicle. This kind of rust breaks down due to mechanical or UV damage and tends to thrive more with cars in warm, dry climates, but can affect everyone.

Scale Rust

Scale rust will start to corrupt the surface of your vehicle body and weaken the metal strength. Bubbles may appear with this kind of rust, meaning iron oxide molecules are larger than the molecules or iron or steel. When this kind of rust penetrates the surface, there will be rough, pitted looking damage.

Penetrating Rust

Penetrating rust is the most extreme type of rust. This rust will convert the steel to brittle iron oxide and cause holes to form along your bodywork. If not taken care of, penetrating rust will continue to eat its way through your bodywork and make complete repair harder. To repair penetrating rust, you can either cut out the affected panels and replace them with patches or you can just take out the entire affected panel and replace it.