Kimiko Kidd
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Tips For Removing Rust from Your Vehicle

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car paint body damage scrape dent
Photo: The News Wheel

Rust can be more than a cosmetic issue — but when caught early, you can prevent it from becoming severe corrosion. While rust repairs aren’t the most complicated problems to fix, they can become messy, tiresome, and time-consuming projects. Here are a few tips to make the rust removal process easier and safer.

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5 tips for removing rust

car body rust paint surface rusting damage
Photo: The News Wheel
  • Don’t forget about safety: Flaky, rusting bits of metal may be bad for your vehicle’s body, but they’re even worse for your own health. Don a pair of goggles, gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and a respirator before you attack that rust with sandpaper, a wire brush, or any other tool.
  • Prepare the surface: Cars pick up all sorts of grit, debris, oils, and road grime. Before you begin, wash your vehicle with an automotive soap to make sure it’s ready for treatment. Make sure the area is completely dry before you continue.
  • Don’t rely solely on elbow grease: Instead of only using sandpaper and power tools to clear away rust, save yourself some effort. Begin the process by cleaning off rust with a rust removal spray. Once the spray has removed all that it can, scrub away the underlying rust with sandpaper and power tools.
  • Clean as you go: Whether you choose to use a power tool or sand away the rust by hand, you’re going to end up with a lot of paint and metal particles littering your work surface. Clear them away using rubbing alcohol. The moisture will help wick away particles, and since rubbing alcohol dries quickly, it won’t promote further rusting. Once the sanding process is complete, give the area a thorough cleaning with a wax-stripping detergent to fully remove any grease or particles.
  • When in doubt, throw it out: You can restore many exterior parts of your car by removing the rust and repainting the affected area. However, mechanical components, such as the brakes and shocks, should be fully replaced.
  • Know when to call in the pros: If your vehicle has holes rusted through its metal, it’s likely to need some heavy-duty repairs. Don’t waste your time and money trying to DIY it — take your vehicle to a body shop. They’ll make the patches blend in seamlessly with the car’s bodywork.

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Now that you’ve freed your vehicle from rust, check out these tips for preventing your car from rusting.