What happens if you notice rust on your car? Rust is one of the most dangerous types of damage, as it can quickly spread across your vehicle's frame. Rust is also, in some ways, inevitable; most cars are going to rust eventually. You need to be able to address it as quickly as possible if you want to prevent it from spreading.
Learning to Identify the Signs of Rust
Before you fix rust, you need to be able to identify it properly. Rust can happen anytime your vehicle's paint is scratched or dented. It can also occur along the vehicle's undercarriage, which can be dangerous because it may not be visible.
When first starting, rust can be detected through an orange or brownish appearance around the edges of a scratch or a dent. It may also occur underneath the paint job, at which point it'll show up as a bubbling, swollen surface on the vehicle. Around rust, the paint will often begin to peel up.
Getting Rid of Rust
Rust is going to continue to expand, destroying metal as it goes. There is no way to resolve the situation without first removing the rusted material. This generally has to be done by a professional.
Rust has to be mechanically removed, such as through sanding. But doing this also removes any protection the surface has from more rust. If you simply sand the rust off on your own, the surface will eventually begin to rust again.
When removed professionally, the surface will be covered with color-matched paint and a protective coating. This will make it appear like new again and will protect it from future rust and damage.
Common Mistakes With Rust
Many people mistakenly assume that they can cover up rust with paint to protect their vehicle. But rust isn't something that just happens when metal is exposed to the elements. Rust, in and of itself, creates more rust.
Covering over the rust is only going to make it more difficult to watch the extent of the damage. The rust will continue to spread under the paint, and eventually, the new paint will begin to flake off as well.
Of course, the most common mistake with rust is to ignore it. When it's a small spot, it may not feel urgent. But this small spot can rust over, eventually damaging the frame.
Slowing the Spread of Rust
What if you can't get to the shop immediately? There are things known as rust-fighting auto paints, but these are designed to prevent rust from actually occurring. Though they can be used over rust, they'll actually just create a hard surface over it that the shop will need to remove.
But there are ways to slow rust. There are rust slowing products that can be sprayed onto your vehicle. This isn't going to stop the rust entirely, but will simply delay the process of oxidation and consequently the rust's spread. An automotive shop should have a rust preventative.
Rust can also have its spread slowed by grinding it off, but this shouldn't be done unless you are knowledgeable and have worked with vehicles before. Small, cosmetic spots may be able to be sanded down, but as mentioned, this also means that the issue will need to be addressed quickly lest rust occur again.
If you notice rust on your car, it's a good practice to immediately go to an auto body shop. It's going to cost less to deal with rust early on than it will later, as later more of the vehicle will be impacted. Only a professional can reliably treat rust, as it requires you to both remove it and repair the finish. For more information about rust treatment and prevention, contact our experts at Dublin Auto Body.