What Causes Cars to Rust and How to Fix It?

The rusting of cars is a very common problem. Often people spend tons of money to deal with simple rusting when it can be managed with DIY methods. People also ignore the signs of early corrosion, which becomes serious in the later phase. Rusting not just harms the appearance of an automobile, but it also has the potential to hamper it’s functioning. Therefore, the sooner you deal with it, you can manage it in a better way.

What Causes Cars to Rust?

There are many reasons that can cause rusting. Many times people don’t even realize that they are doing things that might lead to rust. Some of the most common things that lead to rusting are:

1. Rain And Moisture:

Consistent exposure to rain and moisture is the main reason that causes rusting. While a protective coating can hold against occasional rains, the exposure to water frequently leads to oxidization in metals. Humidity also leads to corrosion. Therefore, you must protect your car with covers before parking it in a garage for safeguarding it against rain.

2. Negligence

If you don’t get your car repaired periodically, then your car is bound to get rusted. Things like ignoring the chipped paint and leaving your vehicle exposed in the natural environment will ultimately cause corrosion. Hence, one should maintain the upkeep of their cars regularly. 

3. Exposure To Salt And Chemicals

Many people use salt-based chemicals to break the sheet of the ice that gets on their cars. This salt often sticks to the car and enters discreet corners. With time the salt-based chemicals lead to rusting. Make sure that no harmful chemicals stay on your vehicle by a thorough cleaning it with soap and water.

How To Stop Rust From Spreading On a Car

Here are a few ways in which you can tackle the rusting. These steps need to be followed carefully and in a proper way. If you miss one step, then the whole process will be compromised.

1. Scrapping and Cleaning

Locate the Rusting Spot

First and foremost, one needs to find the place where the rust is. Once you identify the spot, make sure that it is not directly linked to the technical parts of the automobile.

Scrape Using a Sandpaper

Then take sandpaper, preferably 120 grind sandpaper, and carefully scrape the rust. Do not vigorously scrape away the rust because it can cause damage. Scrape the rust till you reach a clear metal part. You will have to expand the scrapping area a little bit more than the corroded part so that you can feather the edges.

Clean the Scrapped Area With a Detergent

Once you are done scraping, then clean the scrapped area with a detergent and wash it with water. Ensure that no metal is sticking out, and everything is properly cleaned.

2. Rust Arrester and Primer

Prime the Area

Now is the time to prime the area. After you are done cleaning, use epoxy primer and spray its one or two coats on the sanded area. Wait for the primer to set in. After each coat, the primer takes close to 30 minutes to dry. If you are in a humid atmosphere, then the wait will be longer than that.

Sand the Area After Primer Coats Are Dry

Once all coats of the primer are dry and stable, then you will have to sand the area again. First, use a 600 grit sandpaper and smooth the primer. Then wipe the remaining area. Afterward, take a 1000 grit sandpaper and smoothen the area a bit more.

Clean the Remains

Once you think that the surface of the sanded area and the unaffected area of the car is leveled, clean the remains that might get accumulated after sanding.

3. Painting

Now is the time to paint your car. People might think that painting is an easy process, but it actually needs skill.

Spray the Paint from Left to Right

You have to spray the paint from left to right. Do not overlap the area. One must wait for each coat of paint to dry before they start spraying another coat. One usually has to do two coats of paint.

Wait for Paint to Fully Dry

The time for the paint to dry is usually 30 minutes. If you don’t wait for the paint to fully dry, then one can get a blotched up color. Those who are seeking extra protection against paint removal can also use a coat of clear paint.

4. Buffing

A few days after the paint is fully dried, people buff the sanded area to blend it more with the rest of the car. This step is completely optional and is often practiced only by the professionals.

Maintain Regular Care of the Vehicle

One should maintain their cars regularly to stop rust from occurring in the first place. In many cases rusting sneaks up in discreet ways. Check areas like bumpers and wheel wells, as these areas are likely to get corroded. Additionally, one should also monitor areas where automobile joints meet as these are the hot spots where corrosion occurs. 

Keeping Rust At Bay

As we know, it does not take much time for simple corrosion to turn into full-fledged rusting. Therefore, one must be prompt in dealing with the first signs of rusting. You can pretty much tackle basic rusting with over the counter products. If you want to repair an old and heavily rusted vehicle, then you should seek professional services.

Many people go to professional repairers when they are restoring an old classic car or vintage automobiles. But otherwise, for regular rusting, you just need sandpaper, some time, patience, and a can of good paint.