The Detroit Post
Friday, 15 October, 2021

How To Fix Rust On A Car

Danielle Fletcher
• Friday, 06 November, 2020
• 7 min read

However, if you deal with rust early, you can stop it from spreading and squeeze a few extra years out of your vehicle. Rust repair isn’t hard, but it is time-consuming (mostly waiting for primer and paint to dry between steps).

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Plan to spend about $100 on supplies like sandpaper, primer, masking tape and poly sheeting, a tack rag, polishing compound and touch-up paint and clear coat. Buy automotive touch-up paint in pints and quarts to use in a spray gun, in aerosol cans, or in roller ball applicators.

Pro-tip: Even if you know how to use a spray gun, mixing automotive paint with a reducer to match the temperature and humidity conditions can be mighty tricky. Instead, buy aerosol cans for larger repairs and roller ball applicators to fix scratches.

Buy 40-, 600- and 1,000-grit sandpaper, a sanding block, grease and wax remover, poly sheeting, painter's tape, a tack rag and a microfiber cloth. Tape the leading edge of poly sheeting a few feet away from the repair so you'll have room to blend the touch-up paint into the good areas.

If the rust has created pits in the metal, you can fill them now with body filler or wait until the epoxy primer dries and apply multiple coats of filler primer. Wipe the area with a lint-free cloth to remove any remaining dust or lint.

Spray the filler primer in heavier coats to cover the entire repair area. Move the can away from the surface slightly and blend it into the surrounding painted area.

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Pro-tip: Self-etching epoxy primer provides a strong bond to bare metal, so use it as your first coat. Wait a full hour for the epoxy to dry to the touch (longer if it's humid outside).

Switch to wet 1,000-grit sandpaper to final-sand the entire repair, including the blended areas. Start at the bottom of the repair and apply the color coat in left-to-right rows, overlapping each pass by about one-third.

Pro-tip: Don't sand the base coat (especially metallic colors) unless you've created sags. Gradually work the clear coat into the surrounding painted areas to achieve a smooth blend line.

Note: This is the hardest part because all clear coats run easily and that will ruin the look of your paint job. If you create a run in the clear coat, you'll have to let it dry for at least 48 hours before attempting to fix it with fine-grit sandpaper and polishing compound.

So practice spraying on a scrap piece of cardboard to get a feel for the nozzle and the speed of application. Unfortunately, rust is the silent killer of many cars; it creeps in over the years while you’re not watching, and it can eventually wear out not just the body of your vehicle, but more important parts, too.

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If you’re looking for an affordable used car, even one with a little rust, it’s always a good idea to check its accident history first. If the vehicle you’re looking at has been in an accident, it might be more prone to rust or damage in specific areas that have been repaired or replaced.

Auto check is an exceptional tool for this that can help you find anything meaningful in a vehicle’s history, either from its license plate or its VIN number. Whether you don’t mind new car prices or you’re looking for a bit of a deal, Autoloader is an excellent place to look to start, too.

It’s easier to prevent rust than to fix it, but if you’ve managed to let some slip by, it’s not the end of the world. Incidents of rust that don’t originate from normal wear and tear are covered by most comprehensive car insurance policies, like those from GEICO.

If you suspect that the rust on your car could have originated from one of those sources, report it to your insurance company right away. However, if your rust is the result of improper care or normal wear-and-tear, as the case usually is, then it’s up to you to pay for a repair or fix it yourself.

If the hole in the sheet metal is small, you may be able to repair it with body filler, but if it’s large, it may be better to replace the entire rusted panel. Any rust fix involves grinding away the rust, re-priming the exposed metal after patching any holes, and repainting the fixed area.


Sandpaper (and preferably, a mechanical sander or sanding block to make your job easier) If you’re looking at a significant repair job that involves holes in the body, you may also want to look into purchasing a patching kit like this one.

To begin, you’ll want to do some prep work to get your car ready for its rust repair job. If you plan to use a grinder at any point during the rust removal process, make sure to wear protective clothing and eyewear and be sure to mask off any nearby areas of your car.

Any sparks sent flying by the grinder can damage the finish on your vehicle, giving you extra work to do! If you used body filler or a fiberglass repair kit, you will want to sand your patch job once it fully cures.

These mistakes will become more visible as the paint dries, so be vigilant in the aftermath of your repairs for areas that you may want to fix. Whether your car is a Ford or any other brand, it’ll still be prone to rust if you don’t care for it properly.

To prevent rust development, be very careful about washing road salts and other chemicals from your vehicle, and wax your car often. Article Summary To repair minor rust on a car, you'll need an automotive primer, base paint that matches the color of your car, and some clear coat.

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To learn how to apply paint over rust, scroll down! It not only affects the functionality and aesthetics of your vehicle, but it can only cost you hundreds if not thousands to repair.

It’s best to treat rust as quickly as possible to save yourself from grief later on down the road when the damage becomes more severe. Here, we’ve made a step-by-step guide on how to fix your car ’s minor rust issues and how you can successfully get rid of these nasty brown spots.

Primer Rust remover Touch-up paint pens Spray paint of matching color Sandpaper Grease and wax remover Masking tape Gloves Protective eyewear Dust mask Clean rug Use this method if you’re worried that your car has small spots of rust on its roof or chips on the edges of the hood.

Usually, it’ll only say to brush or spray it on the rusted areas and let the chemical sit for a few minutes. Be sure to prevent drips by giving the paint plenty of time to rest in between coats.

Hold off from washing for two to three days and wait at least two months before getting your car waxed. Give your car multiple coats of wax so that grime and water can be easily wiped off during winter.

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If you’ll frequently need to drive on salty or snowy roads, wash your car immediately once you’re at home, even if it’s a cold day. If you are in Loganville or Lewis berry, Delta or Dover, West York or Wrightsville, or any point in between, stop in at our Donelson Road location to see what we can do to protect your vehicle.

No one knows protection better than LINE-X and Known and the premium performance and exceptional value that they bring. Unfortunately, rust is an annoying but unavoidable part of life as your car ages.

While, there is no such thing as rust -proofing,” there ARE ways to slow down Mother Nature, hopefully until our loan payments are complete. Automobile parts affected by rust can be very expensive to replace and rack up repair bills.

This is most commonly found near the door frame, where the hood meets the fenders, and around the trunk. Parking your car on dirt, grass, snow, and poorly-drained areas is just an invitation for rust to form on your vehicle.

If you travel frequently on gravel or dirt roads, the mud and gunk that will collect underneath your vehicle will act as a moisture trap, speeding up the rate in which your car will rust. Keeping your fuel tank full during the wet season can help prevent condensation from rusting your parts.

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If you drive a larger vehicle, dust and dirt from the road can gather on top of the fuel tank and lead to rusting. While having this fixed can be a bit pricey, a good DIY method is to spray some compressed air on the tank to dislodge the debris.

As stated in an article on, rust forms when oxygen interacts with ferrous metal molecules. Major surface rust problem can give someone a headache, but it can be remedied with a do-it-yourself.

An article on offers a way to get rid of major rust problem to save metal parts from total ruin. So, allot an entire day to complete the rust removal project.

The car must be clean and dry before the project Some know-how about rust removal is a requirement Sanding through paint and primer requires covering the rest of a car to prevent accumulation of very small dust particles.

Next, remove surface rust using a grinder with a sanding wheel. Do not forget to apply just the right amount of pressure to avoid damaging the car panel or part.

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Remember, rust problems that cannot be fixed by a DIY project should be handled by a (paint and body work) repair shop like Five Star Autoplay.

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