First of all, we would like to inform you about how rust can occur on a car and why it happens. To make it easier for you to prevent rust in the future. Then we’ll give you five practical tips on how you can successfully remove rust from your vehicle.
How does rust develop?
Rust develops on exposed steel sheets under the influence of oxygen and water. In principle, the car body is first protected by the paint coating. However, as soon as the paint is damaged and the sheet metal is exposed to water and oxygen without protection, the rusting process begins.
Rust can occur even if the paint is slightly damaged.
Even a small, seemingly harmless stone chip can be enough to selectively damage the paint. If the protective paint has chipped off, the bodywork is then exposed. Environmental influences such as rain and road salt can therefore attack the metal of the car body without hindrance. The result is rust, which spreads further. This mainly affects the front, fenders and lower side halves.
Clogged gutters can lead to moisture in the car
If drainage channels and gutters are clogged with leaves, needles and dirt, water will accumulate. It can neither drain off nor dry sufficiently. This can lead to corrosion of the areas over time and rust formation over time. Water may also travel on other routes and the car may become wet from the inside. It is therefore advisable to always remove leaves and dirt from the vehicle.
Rusted areas on the car
Paint and zinc coatings protect against rust formation. Unpainted areas are sensitive to rust. Some parts of the car, such as axles, joints and hinges, are not galvanized and therefore tend to rust more quickly.
The underbody is usually protected at the factory with special protection against rust, dirt and the consequences of stone chipping. However, if the underbody deteriorates over the years, it can form cracks in which water easily accumulates. As a result, these areas tend to corrode and rust can develop.
Development of flash rust
Flash rust is iron dust blown away by the wind. Due to humidity, iron dust oxidizes and is mainly deposited on horizontal surfaces. It then forms a slightly brownish layer. Iron dust is increasingly found in railway stations and near industrial plants.
Preventive measures for rust protection
Regular washing and inspection of cars
Regular washing of the car not only prevents the build-up of dirt in drain channels, gaps and interstices, but also allows for the early detection of minor paint damage, for example by stone chips. The underside of the body should also be washed at regular intervals.
Nano sealing and ceramic coating as rust protection
With a layer of wax, you can also protect the car’s paintwork. However, a nano sealer or ceramic coating would preserve the paintwork even better. Professional refining measures guarantee a high and lasting protection. But even these measures cannot completely prevent the possible consequences of harder stone chipping.
Rust inhibitors and rust fats
Pins, joints and hinges must always be well greased to prevent rust from forming. Door handles are also susceptible to rust if they are not painted or galvanized. Here you can work preventively with a rust protection agent.
Additional rust protection measures for the underbody
The underbody sealing carried out by the vehicle manufacturer must be renewed at regular intervals to ensure lasting protection against environmental influences.
Always remove rust completely
However, if you discover a stain that begins to rust, it is important that the rust be removed very quickly and especially completely. If a hint of rust remains, it will develop again.
Various measures for rust removal
Remove flash rust
Pure flash rust can be easily removed with a polish. In addition, you can also use a special rust film remover at a specialized dealer. It is sprayed according to the instructions for use. After a certain reaction time, simply rinse the surfaces with plenty of water.
Treatment of small rust stains with a paint stick
If the paint is flaking in places due to stone chips, first treat the cleaned area with sandpaper. Choose coarser sandpaper first, then finer grained sandpaper. Sand carefully and be sure to pick up any rust. Finally, use a touch-up pencil of the same color as the paint on the car. When choosing a touch-up pencil, keep in mind that the color of your car’s paint can change over time due to environmental influences. A new coat of wax or even a sealer on the car paint offers additional protection.
Removal of rust on large surfaces, then application of a primer and paint
If the surface is a little larger, the touch-up pencil is no longer sufficient. After cleaning, first remove the silicone with coarse sandpaper. Use finer sandpaper in the next step until you can see the bare metal. Before painting, you must apply a primer. This must dry before you start painting. It is best to apply clear lacquer twice. When choosing the color, please take into account any changes in the color of your vehicle.
Using a filler material for deep gratings
If the rust is already too deep, this procedure is not sufficient. In this case, a filler is necessary. The first step is to sand again. It is possible that a dent may need to be removed first. The grinding process is carried out until you reach the bare sheet. For coarse grinding, you can also use a grinding attachment for the drill. The subsequent fine grinding must be carried out with fine sandpaper.
Then apply putty. This mixture consists of filler and hardener. It must never be suspended freely in the air. If a backing fabric is required, it is recommended to use an epoxy resin, as it has better adhesive properties than polyester resin.
After hardening, first coarse grinding and then fine grinding are necessary. Only then do you start applying the primer and finally the varnish.
Replacing rusty sheets and welding
If the area is too large to fill, the rusted area is removed. A template is then made to fit exactly and used to cut the new sheet to the desired size. Depending on the fit, it may be necessary to bend the sheet. After the welding process, the seams are closed with tin or a spatula.