How to Remove Rust from a Car
Rust on a car isn't just unsightly to look at -- it can cause damage to your vehicle. If you notice rust on any part of your vehicle, it's important to take prompt action to prevent further damage. When it's caught early enough, it's relatively easy to stop and remove rust from a car.
What is Rust?
Rust, formally known as iron oxide, forms when iron or a material containing iron is exposed to oxygen and moisture for an extended period of time. When this happens, oxygen bonds with the iron to create the substance we know as rust, which in turn weakens the metal.
When cars are left outside for long periods of time, they're exposed to the elements. Rain, snow, bird droppings, dust and dirt all contribute to the formation of rust in one way or another.
How to Stop Car from Rusting
If you've noticed rust forming on your vehicle, the best thing you can do is keep your car in a covered garage. This will help shield it from the elements and prevent car rust from forming in the future
If parking in a garage isn't an option for you, there are some other actions you can take to stop rust in its tracks:
Try sanding to remove light rust. Use a specialized rust removal tool, like the Equalizer Mounted Rust Removal Brush, to safely remove rust from the vehicle.
If the rust is on the heavier side, you may need a special rust removal product to eliminate it. Look for a rust converter product, like Mar-Hyde One Step Rust Converter Primer Sealer from 3M. When it's applied over rust, it sparks a chemical reaction and transforms it into a black primer sealer. Once dry, it can then be painted over to look like new.
Can You Paint Over Rust?
Yes, if you treat the rusted area correctly, you can paint over rust in most cases.
Again, to paint over rust you must first treat it with a rust converter product. Next, wait for the product to dry until it forms a hard substance. You can then paint over the surface as needed. For trouble or hard-to-reach areas, you may want to use a specialized tool to help you efficiently and correctly paint the vehicle.
How to Prevent Car Rust
If the idea of car rust removal gives you a headache, there are some things you can do to prevent car rust from forming in the first place:
Park in the garage. Again, this is the best way to not only stop, but prevent rust!
Keep up with washes -- even underneath! Over time, your car's protective paint and clear coat can wear down due to dirt, dust, bird droppings and other debris, exposing the metal to oxidation. In addition, your car's exposed metal parts are highly susceptible to rust. Make sure you wash the undercarriage of your car every few weeks to keep rust at bay.
Remove salt quickly. Salt from roads eats away at paint and can accelerate the oxidation process. This is why it's important to keep up with washing your car even in the winter, when salty, wet and dirty conditions are at an all-time high.
Wax your car. Waxing helps protect your car's paint from fading, so don't skimp on this during your next wash.
Giving your car the tender love and care it deserves will help prevent car rust from forming. Keep up with washing and waxing and store your car in a garage when possible. If you do notice rust forming, take prompt action by storing your car in a safe location and removing rust with sanding, rust converter products or a combination of both. Then you can simply paint over the rust to finalize treatment.
To arm your vehicle with ultimate rust protection, check out our collection of rust prevention tools. You'll find a vast assortment of hard-working products such as wax, rust preventative paint and epoxy rust cure primer to ensure your vehicle stays in great condition.