Auto Body Rust Repair Tips
Auto body rust repair is, unfortunately, something most vehicle owners have had to deal with, or at least think about during vehicle ownership.
Not only do rust spots look bad, but they can also spread underneath the paint and cause significant damage to your vehicle’s body panels or even frame.
Furthermore, should the rust cause holes underneath your vehicle, it could allow dangerous exhaust fumes to enter the cabin – putting you and your passengers at risk.
Having an expert auto body shop complete rust repairs on your vehicle can actually save you money in the long term and is, of course, the safest bet.
Before we get into rust repairs, let’s talk about why your car might have rust in the first place.
Why Does My Car Have Rust?
Road salts, chemicals, gravel, and dirt can all wear on your vehicle’s paint, eventually exposing the underlying metal. Even small scratches, dents, or dings can cause bare metal to be exposed.
Once bare metal is exposed and begins to combine with air, water, and iron, it starts to undergo a chemical reaction called oxidation, which causes corrosion of the metal – otherwise known as rust.
Vehicles that spend their lives close to the ocean, or in areas where sand & salt are used on the roads in the winter, are particularly prone to rusting.
When you start to see rust forming on your vehicle it is important to have it checked out immediately. Visible rust is often a sign of more serious corrosion taking place underneath the paint, or in hard to see areas.
Professional auto body shops, like Southern Auto Body, have specialized equipment that can be used to determine the extent of the corrosion. Once an expert diagnosis has been carried out, you will know exactly which of the following types of repairs are required.
Small Auto Body Rust Repair
Small area auto body rust repair is carried out when the affected area is minor. These types of repairs are usually carried out when rust has not yet penetrated through the metal.
Usually, when the rust has not penetrated through the metal, there is no significant damage to body panels, frame, or structure, so these repairs are considered very minor.
Small areas of rust are usually the result of deep scratches or dents that were not properly cared for and can be easily fixed by a technician.
Your local Edmonton auto body shop will most likely sand away the corrosion and surrounding paint. The clean, exposed metal can then be primed and repainted to an exact match for your factory paint.
Large Scale Auto Body Rust Repair
When left unfixed, small areas of rust can spread and cause large, deep areas of damage. Large-scale auto body rust repair is often significantly more extensive and can result in substantial bodywork being required.
More often than not this type of rust repair takes place near the bottom of your vehicle, and when the metal has corroded all the way through.
Large-scale auto body rust repair most often requires sections of the vehicle to be cut out and replaced. In extreme circumstances, entire body parts must be replaced.
Like small area auto body rust repairs, once the rust has been removed the area is sanded, primed and painted to match your vehicle perfectly.
Post Repair Rust Prevention Tips
After having your vehicle repaired the last thing you want is to have to deal with is further rust issues. In order to protect your car, and avoid having any further corrosion take place, Southern Auto Body recommends washing and waxing your car regularly – including underneath, where corrosive chemicals tend to build up.
For a few months following the repairs, however, we recommend a gentle hand wash, rather than a high-pressure car wash. Auto body paint requires time to fully cure, and you don’t want to cause premature scratches or dulling.
Washing your car with a damp rag, and ensuring you thoroughly dry it, will help guarantee the protection of your new paint.
When washing your car, always watch for cracks or bubbling in the paint, as these could be signs of new rust growth. If you see any signs of new rust, contact your local Edmonton auto body shop to have the area diagnosed and repaired immediately.
It is also a good idea to have your vehicle professionally detailed at least once a year to ensure that special protectants penetrate every nook and cranny that could potentially hold rust accelerants. Professional detailing is an excellent way to ensure that your vehicles paint stays protected.
If possible, it is best to keep your car parked in a garage or in a covered parkade until your paint has fully cured. Keeping your vehicle out of the sun will also help keep the paint looking shiny and new.
What To Avoid After Auto Body Rust Repairs
For the first few months following rust repairs, you should avoid polishing or waxing your vehicle. This may seem counterproductive, as you want to protect your paint, but simple, damp washing will better allow your paint to fully cure properly. As a general precaution, when washing your vehicle, avoid using any harsh chemicals.
Whenever possible, avoid parking under trees, power lines, or anywhere else sap or bird droppings may end up on your vehicle. If you do end up getting dirt, sap, or bird droppings on your vehicle that don’t want to easily come off, visit your local auto body shop and have an expert remove it professionally.
If you find any new scratches, dents, or dings, have them repaired immediately as these are the most common starting points for rust. And of course, if you find any imperfections with the recently repaired area, contact your auto body shop to have them fixed.
Taking Care Of Business
Unfortunately, rust can form on vehicles of any age, make, or model. Things like exposure to corrosion-inducing chemicals, scratches, or dents can lead to dangerous rust damage.
If you notice any rust on your vehicle, it is always best to contact your local auto body shop and have it properly diagnosed. Avoid the ugly patches and safety concerns that come along with rust and have it fixed by an expert technician.
If you are experiencing any issues with rust, or if you need auto body paint repair, contact Southern Auto Body today for a quote.