Dealing With Rust Damage On Your Car

People take their car into an auto body shop for a lot of reasons, but rust repair is one of the more common repairs that your local body shop can handle for you. If the sheet metal on your car is starting to show visible damage to the paint or small holes are starting to appear, it is time to get a professional to look at the vehicle for you.

Common Rust Damage

Cars and trucks that see a lot of road salt often start to rust on the rocker panel below the doors and the wheel openings because these areas are exposed to a lot of salt spray and have spaces for the salt to get trapped. Road salt is an oxidizer and can lead to rust on steel, but it is still essential for melting ice and snow in areas that have harsh winters.

Road salt is not the only way a car can rust. If the car sits outside for a long time without any care, eventually, the elements will get to it, and the body will begin to rust. Typically this takes years to happen, but it depends on where the car is, as things like ocean air can accelerate the process.

Once the car starts to rust, it is crucial to remove the rusted metal from the vehicle and replace it, or it will continue to spread, and then do more damage. This is especially true if the paint is peeling off the sheet metal and leaving the metal exposed to the elements.

Rust Repair

If the rust on your vehicle is very light or just starting, the auto body technician can remove the rust with a grinder or sander. The tech will grind the rust off the metal until there is nothing but clean sheet metal left, but sometimes that will leave a hole in the steel. In extreme cases, removing and replacing the entire panel with a new piece is necessary. The auto body tech can weld a new piece of steel on to patch small holes or join the new panel with spot welds then grind the repair smooth.

The technician will use a little body filler to blend the edges of the repair to the body and then apply some primer to the panel. Once the primer is dry and the panel is smooth, the tech will paint the area. Most body shops can mix paint to match the car, so you will never see the difference between the old and new paint, but in cases where the car is heavily faded, it can be better to repair the vehicle after the rust repairs are complete.

For more information, contact an auto body shop in your area.