How to remove rust from a car

Blast ugly and invasive surface corrosion before it eats your car alive.

How to remove rust from a car

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You say your car has some rust and you’d like to remove it? You’ve come to the right place. The Drive’s crack How-To department is here to help get that corrosion dealt with and your car’s body straight as an arrow and shiny once again. Rust is the enemy of your vehicle, so let’s attack it at the first sign of trouble.

If you’re looking at minor surface rust, or non-penetrating “scale” rust, we can help. For holes (aka “penetrating” rust), it’s best to take your car to a professional for panel-welding work. If your car already looks like Swiss cheese or a turkey carcass after Thanksgiving, it might be time to send it to the scrap yard.

Here’s how to get rid of rust from your car’s exterior:


Estimated Time Needed: 3 to 4 hours depending on the severity of the rust

Skill Level: Intermediate

Vehicle System: Exterior


Working on your car can be dangerous, especially when you’re dealing with inhalable solvents as well as bare metal, paint chips, and rust fragments, which can chip off, get airborne, and cause eye damage, among other injuries. Here’s what you’ll need to stay safe.

  • Mechanic gloves to protect your hands
  • Long-sleeve shirt to protect your arms
  • A respirator to prevent inhaling harmful fumes and particulates

Everything You’ll Need

We’re not psychic, nor are we snooping through your toolbox or garage, so here’s what you’ll need to get the job done:

Tool List

  • Sander—optional
  • A hand scraper
  • Grinding tool—for bigger jobs
  • Polisher—optional

Parts List

  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper in a selection of grits (i.e., 40, 320, and 1000)
  • Several microfiber cloths
  • Prep solvent
  • Primer (epoxy and lacquer)
  • Clearcoat
  • Polish and wax

You’ll need a flat surface such as a garage floor, driveway, or street parking. If you’re in a garage, open the door to let in as much fresh air as possible. If you’re using the street, check your local laws to make sure you’re not violating any codes because we ain’t getting your car out of the impound yard.

Arranging Your Workspace

Make sure your workspace is in an open environment with good ventilation. Organizing your tools and gear so everything is easily reachable will save precious minutes waiting for your handy-dandy child or four-legged helper to bring you the sandpaper or blowtorch. (You won’t need a blowtorch for this job. Please don’t have your kid hand you a blowtorch—Ed.)

Here’s How To Remove Rust From Your Car

Surface / Scale Rust

  1. Wash the area thoroughly, removing any dirt and road grime.
  2. Dry thoroughly.
  3. Use painter’s tape to mark off the section of rust you want to remove.
  4. Use a hand scraper to remove any paint chips or blisters to get at the rust underneath.
  5. Using 40-grit sandpaper or the abrasive wheel, sand the area down to bare metal.
  6. Feather the paint edges using 120-grit sandpaper, and finish with 220 grit for maximum smoothness.
  7. Wipe area clean with a damp microfiber cloth.
  8. Wipe dry with a separate, dry microfiber cloth.
  9. Apply prep solvent as recommended by the paint manufacturer.
  10. Apply epoxy primer as directed. Let dry.
  11. Sand with wet, 1000-grit sandpaper.
  12. Wash area with clean water and let dry.
  13. Apply lacquer primer as directed. Let dry.
  14. Sand with 320-grit sandpaper.
  15. Apply paint as directed.
  16. Apply clear coat as directed. Let dry.
  17. Wet sand with increasingly higher-grit sandpaper, as directed.
  18. Apply polishing compound using a polishing pad (or buffer), as directed.
  19. Wax to finish.

You’re done, congrats!

Tips From a Pro

For this job, we asked our friends the Ring Brothers, Jim and Mike Ring, makers of 1,000-horsepower monsters, beautiful Blazers, and some of the raddest rides in town, to give us their top tips on what to do when you encounter rust and how to fix it:

  • “For smaller spots, I like to use the tip of an air cut-off saw, gently working away the rust through vibration of the tool against the rusted spots. Chad, one of our paint and body workers, prefers to use a wire wheel to achieve the same result.”
  • “Then we treat the area with Skyco Rust-i-Cide rust destroyer with some 3M Scotch-Brite in it. Rub the infected area and let set for 24 hours, then sand off with some 3M Cubitron. Epoxy and body work over.”

Life Hacks

Since you may not have access to the right tools, or have a friend you can bum a wrench off of, we also compiled a list of our best hacks to make your life easier and drain your pocket less.

How to remove rust from a car

Rust is one of the common car repair and maintenance issues automotive owners often face. Even a new car is susceptible to developing rust if you drive it in humid climates frequently. From rainwater, snowfall, dents, to rock chips and stains, a number of factors contribute to rusting on vehicles.

Can rust be removed from a car?

Rust is also known as rot, which also explains how bad rust can almost seemingly eat away metallic car parts right in front of your eyes. Fortunately, small grade and medium grade rust can be removed from the car. In theory, the rust is not removed. However, the affected area can be treated and restored to look almost new.

How do you neutralize rust on a car?

Rust neutralization is a method adopted by automotive detailers and DIY repair experts before performing car paint and waxing. Neutralizing rust on your car basically means removing corrosion from the car. An abrasive agent, such as an abrasive wheel or sandpaper of different grits, is usually used to cut through the surface of the corroding area and car metal till a clear metal surface is visible. The next step is to finally prime the car metal surface, apply car paint, add a clear coat, apply wax, and buff it to eliminate any blemishes.

What is the best automotive rust remover?

Multiple rust removing agents are available in the market. From high-grade lubricants, sprays, and chemicals to home-made rust removal remedies, a number of ways are adopted to remove rust from the car. The following types are some of the best rust removers for cars:

  1. WD-40
  2. Lubricants
  3. Sprays
  4. Distilled White Vinegar
  5. Baking Soda and Potato
  6. Lemon
  7. Soda

Does vinegar kill rust on cars?

Yes, it does. For low grade to medium grade rust on cars, distilled white vinegar can be used to clean rust from the metal surface. Before soaking the affected area in the vinegar, use sandpaper to loosen rust from the affected area so that vinegar can actively break the bonds between the metal surface and rust molecules.

The whole process will need some time. You can use a microfiber towel to clean the area after 4 to 5 hours depending upon the severity of rust damage.

Is fixing the rust on a car worth it?

It depends on different factors such as the age of the car, its mileage, and reselling price. Some other important factors that contribute to rust removal worthiness and viability are the extent, location, and type of rust present on the car’s surface. Surface rust can be removed easily and it is affordable. The scale rust takes a complete new paint job but it is repairable. However, the penetrating rust has already begun to oxidize the metal and extensive work is needed to restore the car. It is very expensive and not recommended for old cars which have developed penetrating rust in multiple areas.

A great rule of thumb to keep in mind here is that a dime-sized area of the vehicle affected with rust will need almost a baseball-sized area for proper removal, repair, and restoration.

How to remove rust from a car

Does WD 40 Remove rust?

WD-49 is one of the most popular and widely used agents for rust removal. It breaks the bonds between corrosion and metal surface. It works by penetrating into the porous rust layer, adheres to and protects the metal surface, lubricates the loosened rust, and makes rust removal easier and quicker. All you need to do is spray WD-40 on the affected area, wait for a few hours and then wipe away the chemical easily.

Do rust converters actually work?

Rust converters are one of the advanced solutions for dealing with extensive rust on vehicles. It turns the corrosive layer into a protective polymeric coating on the car surface. Rust converters are very tricky to use and proper preparation of the vehicle surface is needed to apply it correctly by following the instructions. Rust converters work well for removing medium rust as well as heavy, flaky rust.

What is the difference between rust remover and rust converter?

In the automotive world, rust converter is often misused with rust remover. However, both of these terms are very different. Rust converter has a phosphoric formulation that picks up the rust (iron oxide) and converts into a ferric phosphate. The ferric phosphate layer has a black color and it forms a polymeric, protective layer on the car surface.

On the other hand, rust remover can be just about anything which can remove rust. Rust removers usually have more risks associated with them as they are highly corrosive and hazardous in nature. Rust removers are very acidic and a lot of time, care, and proper administration are needed to take care of the whole process.

How long do I soak the metal in vinegar to remove rust?

Distilled vinegar is a mild rust remover. The time for which you need to soak the metal in the vinegar depends upon the size of the object as well as the extent of the rust. For bigger sized objects like car metal surfaces, 5 hours to a few days of soaking is needed before the vinegar can actually act on the rust.

Does vinegar really remove rust?

White vinegar is an eco-friendly remedy for rust removal from car surfaces and other metal objects. However, vinegar acts slowly and will require a lot of time and multiple soakings to remove the rust completely.

What is the best rust remover for metal?

WD-40 and other chemical-grade rust removal sprays and lubricants work as great rust remover agents from the metal surfaces. If you want to remove rust from metallic objects, the distilled white vinegar and lemon water method can also work well.

How long does it take vinegar to remove rust?

Liquid vinegar will take anywhere between 12 hours to a couple of days to remove the rust from any metal surface. The duration mainly depends upon the extent of rusting. It is recommended to re-soak the object after a specific time period rather than letting it soak for hours in the same solution.

How to remove rust from a car

Rust is a common enemy of every vehicle. Classic cars that have been around for decades tend to catch rust a lot faster than newer cars – hence requiring more maintenance. If you plan to give your class a makeover or maintain a classic car, this guide will help you learn the basics of classic car rust removal and how to prevent rust spots from spreading. The key to stopping rust is to address the issue early on. If the brownish stains aren’t removed on time, they can retire your car to the scrap yard early. So buckle up, and let’s get down to business.

How Does Rust Occur On Classic Cars?

In scientific terms, rusting is the chemical process of surface molecules reacting with oxygen in the air and producing new molecules, called Fe2O3, which are known as “iron oxides”. Rusting is a natural process for cars – if you leave the car’s iron cover to the elements, it will eventually reduce to iron oxide.

Classic cars that were produced during the 50s, 60s, and 70s were more poorly made and many of them began to show rusting signs as soon as they came off the assembly line. If left untreated, the main sheet panel can completely rust in a matter of years. It’s easier to repair rust when you notice the first few signs appear, rather than having to re-do the entire car.

There are few things that accelerate the rusting process. While rusting is a chemical reaction that occurs naturally when oxygen meets metal molecules; if the car is exposed to winter temperatures and saltwater the rusting process can accelerate. Fortunately, while rusting is a chemical process, there are chemical products that can reverse rusting. We have many anti-rusting solutions available at Rust Bullet LLC – give them a try.

Signs Of Rusting On A Classic Car

Usually, the first signs of rusting are when you see a bubble of paint at the bottom of your door, a small brown stain on the fender, etc. – these small signs will give you an indicator the molecules have started going to work. Even new cars can be sent to the scrap yard due to rust, however, the problem is easily treatable and you can solve it with DYI solutions at home.

Despite new developments in science that allow us to build more rust-resistant coating for cars, iron is always an unstable chemical which means it succumbs to the elements. If you enjoy working with the car, and you want to remove the rust – keep reading to learn how to stop rust on the car body getting worse.

Time Required To Fix Rust

  • For small patches of rust, you can fix it on your own in as little as 15-30 minutes.
  • For large makeovers and severe rusting on classic cars, it may take up to 10 hours.

Do You Need Skills?

Yes, fixing rust requires intermediate skills. The repair work will require basic know-how of applying anti-rusting products. At Rust Bullet, we provide application guidelines with our vehicle anti-rusting products and you can fix your car on your own.

Preparing The Car For Rust Removal

The best way to prepare yourself for the rust issue is to avoid the issue altogether. There are ways to prevent your car from accumulating rust, such as to avoid exposure to moisture and keep the car in a warm area. If your car is parked in a warm location, the chance of rusting significantly decreases. This is why the rusting problem is more common in cold states where the cars are exposed to cold air molecules.

There are other things you can do to prevent your classical car from decaying. Aside from removing moisture and parking it in a dry/warm area, you should also wash your car regularly in order to remove unwanted materials such as grime, salt, and dirt (which eventually accelerate corrosion). Additionally, consider checking the drain holes along the bottoms of the doors to make sure the rainwater is flowing out. You can use a simple pipe cleaner to remove them.

How To Solve Surface-Level Rust

The most common issue on newer cars is surface rust. Usually, surface rust is the result of paint breaking down. While this isn’t a structural problem, the fixing required will vary based on the thickness of the metal sheet and the alloy. If the classic car has residue paint, it will be easier to correct.

Solution: This repair might take a few hours to get right in any classic car. You’re going to need sandpaper to start cutting through the paint or rust until you reveal bright metal. After that, you can apply Rust Bullet paint in order to finish off the repair. No primer or topcoat required.

How To Solve Scale Damage

The major issue with classic cars is removing the surface rust that piled up. If you didn’t correct the rust when it started to pile up and spread all over the surface, you get a large bubble. Rust molecules tend to become a lot larger than pure iron or steel molecules. After a while, the rust spreads around and exposes fresh metal which begins corroding. Eventually, the rust penetrates into that fresh surface and causes damage called “scale”.

Solution: The only way to remove scale is to use a wire brush to go through the rust while removing all the roughness with a grinding wheel. You will also need sandpaper to obtain a smooth surface. Finally, you can finish off the repair by applying a minimum of two coats of paint.

How To Solve Holes/Penetration

In some parts, the rust might get so bad that you have penetration and there’s no metal left. This is a big issue with classic cars that went untreated for decades.

Solution: Your options here are to either completely replace the affected parts (which can get expensive) or hire a welder in order to patch those panels together. If you don’t fix penetration, it can severely affect the crash integrity of the car.

Alternative: Use Rust Inhibitors

If you’re facing major rusting issues and you want to get rid of the rust ASAP, our solutions at Rust Bullet LLC can help you impede the progress of rust in as little as 30 minutes. Take a look at our catalog to see what we can do for your classic car.

Despite the protective layers of paint and polish, cars are prone to rust. Without regular care and maintenance, rust is almost inevitable in areas with high humidity. However, it isn’t something you can’t get rid of. While prevention is always the best way to go, you can still remove rust that has already formed on your car.

Read on to know how to remove rust from cars just at the right time when it begins to spread. Let’s explore how to address the stages of rust, how do vehicles rust and what stuff you need to get the job done.

Items Required for Removing Rust from Car

Before we begin with the step-by-step process to remove car body rust, you’ll need to ensure that you have all the tools and supplies. Here is what you need for effective removal of rust from your cars:

  • Sandpaper in selection of grits
  • Primer (epoxy and lacquer)
  • Masking tape
  • Poly sheeting
  • A tack rags
  • Polishing compound
  • Touch-up paint and clearcoat
  • A sanding block, grease and wax remover
  • Painter’s tape
  • Microfiber cloths
  • A hand scraper
  • Grinding tool—if applicable
  • Prep solvent

How to Remove Rust from Cars

Here is an answer to one of the most commonly asked questions “can rust be removed from cars?” The steps detailed below will guide you on how rust can be repaired or removed from a vehicle:

Step 1: Mask the Area

Using the poly sheeting, tape the leading edge just a few feet away from the area requiring repair so that you have adequate space to paint and blend it through.

Step 2: Start Removing the Rust

Scrape off any blisters on the paint, and use 40-grit sandpaper on the rust spots and sand down to the bare metal of the car. Ensure that the sanded area is large enough so that you can feather the edges of the area under repair. Use a 220-grit for feathering. Remove the particles from the unmasked area using a tack rag.

Step 3: Clean with a Detergent

Fill up any pits in the metal with a body filler. You can also wait for the epoxy primer to dry up to apply coats of filler primer. Now clean the area with a grease-cutting dishwashing detergent and thoroughly rinse it with plain water. After it’s dry, use a lint-free cloth to mop up the entire unmasked area for any remaining dust or lint. Finally, apply the prep solvent for the next step

Step 4: Apply the Primers

Now spray the filler primer heavily on the rusted area and also, blend it on the surrounding of it. Wait as per the recommended time written on the label of the clear coat, after each application. To confirm, touch and check if it’s wet or not (it might take longer to dry in humid climates).

Step 5: Sand the Primer

The next step is to sand the primer when it dries up. Take 600-grit sandpaper and smooth the primer and feather its edges. Once it’s done take 1000-grit sandpaper and sand the entire repaired area. After sanding, rinse with clean water and let it dry.

Wipe up the dried epoxy primer with a microfiber, lint-free cloth and then apply three heavy coats of lacquer filler primer. Give each application some time to dry. Now with 320-grit sandpaper, sand dripping and sags as well as the entire affected area.

Step 6: Apply the Colour

Now paint the repaired area by keeping the spray can about 12 inches away from the car’s body. Now apply the colour coat at the bottom first and bring it up in left-to-right rows. Make sure they are overlapped by about one-third of each spray.

You might need to apply two to three coats and build up the colour slowly. Apply each coat after 15 minutes and let the base coat dry for about 60 minutes.

Step 7: Finalize the Clearcoat

Apply multiple layers of clearcoat on the repaired area and make sure you let the coat dry after each application (as per the recommended time on the bottle’s label. Now let the clearcoat reach the surrounding unaffected areas slowly for a smooth blend line. You can start buffing after 48 hours.

Step 8: Buffing

The last step is to buff the repaired area. For this, take a microfiber cloth (you may use a cotton T-shirt as well) and a buffing compound to hand-buff it.

Now leave it for 30 days before waxing and avoid using a polishing machine.

Preventing Cars from Rusting

How to remove rust from a car

Timely preventive measures may help save your car from rusting

If you didn’t know, vehicular decay is completely preventable. There are several environmental factors that cause damage to vehicles in the form of rusting. The best advice for keeping rusts away from the body of your car is to regularly wash it. A few other preventive measures are:

  • Keep it clean of road grime, salts, and dirt that leads to the formation of the rust and with it, the corrosion.
  • Make sure the undersides are also regularly rinsed.
  • Check for the drain holes at the bottom of doors and rocker panels that let the rainwater to flow out.
  • Clean those holes at all cost with a pipe cleaner, and keep all the nooks and crannies dry because they tend to feed rust.
  • Use the lubricant, WD-40. It removes rust from cars and is a popular tool to fight against corrosion particularly at the underbody, tight spots.

Now that you know how to remove rust from a car, ensure that your vehicle does not fall victim to it ever again. Keep the metal clean of corrosive salt and grime and ensure there are no scrapings that have unsealed the metal. As long as you follow these guidelines, you can keep your car safe from rusting for several years to come. However, if the car is too rusty to salvage, you should consider replacing it. You can easily buy used cars in the UAE online at affordable rates.

Stay tuned to UAE’s top auto blog for more information on repairing and replacing different auto accessories and parts.

Supercheap Auto’s Rust Converter and Primer Sealer helps stop rust in its tracks!


While a little bit of rust may not seem like a problem now, it can very quickly spread through metal like cancer.

SCA’s Rust Converter & Primer Sealer can help you stop rust in its tracks and prevent it from ever coming back.



  • SCA Aerosol Rust Converter
  • Sandpaper
  • SCA Wax & Grease Remover
  • Rags
  • Masking Tape
  • Masking Plastic
  • Gloves
  • Safety Glasses
  • Mask


Prepping the Surface

To use the rust converter and primer sealer, start by removing as much rust as possible – using a wire brush, sandpaper, or a grinder. Be sure to wear a dust mask, goggles and other appropriate PPE at all times through the project. The more rust you can remove here, the easier it will be to prepare the surface for painting.

How to remove rust from a car

Wax & Grease

Once the majority of rust is removed, clean the surface with SCA Wax and Grease Remover and a clean rag.

How to remove rust from a car

Preventing Overspray

Allow the surface to dry while you mask off the surrounding area to prevent overspray.

How to remove rust from a car

Applying “SCA Rust Converter & Primer Sealer”

SCA Rust Converter and Primer Sealer should only be applied to a cool surface, and it is best to avoid spraying in windy or dusty conditions. Shake the can vigorously for one minute after the mixing ball begins to rattle and apply the spray in a steady back-and-forth motion approximately 25 to 40cm from the surface and slightly overlap each stroke.

How to remove rust from a car

Applying Multiple Coats

Apply 3 or 4 lights coats in this manner, leaving 5 minutes drying time between each coat. The surface should be touch dry within 20 minutes, and can be painted over after 3 hours, or 24 hours if you are using a 2 pack finish.

How to remove rust from a car

Clearing the Can

If you still have primer left in the can when finished, turn it upside down and depress the nozzle until the spray turns clear. You can now store it away ready for the next job.

How to remove rust from a car

Applying the Top Coat

Now all you need to do to finish off your project is to give it a coat of good quality enamel paint such as SCA Metal Cover Epoxy Enamel. This will ensure your project is finished looking professional.

How to remove rust from a car

Always ensure your work space has good ventilation and that you’re wearing a face mask and other necessary PPE.

If rust is showing up on the body of your vehicle, you may want to engage in some simple rust removal and color blending in order to maintain the vehicle’s appearance. There are ways to do the job yourself, although it will take several steps and a couple of days to accomplish. If you have a free weekend coming up, you can remove rust from a car by taping off the rusty area, gently sanding off the rust, cleaning the area thoroughly, and then repainting it.

Rusting normally occurs because the car’s finish has been damaged in some manner. The rust spot increases as oxidation on the exposed bare metal in a hairline scratch or a small dent causes the rust to spread.

The first step to remove rust from a car is to gather your tools together. You will need rubber gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask for protection. To protect the surrounding areas of the vehicle, a cheap paint tarp and some painters tape will also be necessary. A sanding wheel along with a few sheets of sandpaper will also come in handy. You’ll need to have a small amount of rust acid compound on hand as well.

Begin by covering and taping off the area surrounding the scratch or dent. The idea is to protect the immediate surface that is still in good shape. The painter’s tape is not likely to hurt the finish of your car, and will stay in place for the duration of the process. Roll up the windows on the vehicle too, because when you begin to sand the rusted area, tiny particles will fly in every direction. Make sure none of the fine rust particles have a chance to settle and begin to imbed themselves in other areas of the car body or you will find yourself having to repeat the removal process.

Your first task is to address the thicker outer layer of oxidized rust using the sanding wheel. Do not rush with this step, as moving too quickly makes it easier to damage the metal. Once the tougher outer layer of rust is removed, switch to the sandpaper sheets to get into the fine nooks and crannies. This will help ensure you get all the rust off of the car during this procedure, including any small amount or residue that may have resettled when you used the sander.

When the sanded surface feels smooth, gently wipe it clean and apply a thin coat of the acid to the area. This step will take handle even the tiniest of particles and leave the exposed metal perfectly clean. Make sure to not leave the compound on the exposed metal longer than recommended in the instructions. Failure to remove the acid could lead to pitting and even more work. After removing the compound, gently wipe the area with mineral spirits and a clean cloth, and allow the section to dry.

Keep in mind that removing rust from a car should only be done when you can reprime and repaint the sanded area within the next 24-hour period. If you choose to leave the bare metal exposed for even a short time, rust can start to develop again and the damage will be worse than the initial problem.

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WikiMotors, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WikiMotors, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments

Great article on how to remove rust from a car, but I have a better solution.

Blackstar Rust Converter. Spray it on and it turns rust black in 20 minutes. You can leave it black or paint over it. No more rust on that treated area ever! anon275191 June 16, 2012

I have some rust around the wheel wells. Can I just sand it down by hand and apply a rust control spay paint? The local auto home paint store gave me a long list of products to buy which would cost me about $200. anon171855 May 2, 2011

most rust converters say to paint over them. you have suggested removing the acid before painting. should they all be cleaned off? anon160042 March 14, 2011

my car has multiple rust spots and I’m not just doing a paint touch up, I’m painting the whole car. do i still need to tape off the area before i start sanding? anon150423 February 8, 2011

If I have a 79 1/2 Chevrolet truck with rust all the way across the bottom, just not in the front or back. The rust rises about a foot but its not anything major except for the very bottom. My question is, Would it be cheaper for me to have a professional do it or to sand prime and paint myself? OceanSwimmer July 22, 2010

@calabama71: Yes, you need to prime it. Once you have completely finished sanding it and made sure that it is smooth, it is ready for primer. Start by taping the area off. I use the blue painter’s tape because it doesn’t leave a sticky film behind. Use a high quality primer. It costs a little more but you really need the good stuff to do a good job.

You need to apply several thin coats instead of one thick coat. Paint builds strength when applied in layers. I would put at least three coats of primer. Let about 10-15 minutes go by between layers. When you put the last layer on, let it sit all night so that it can fully cure.

I had some pretty bad rust stains on the back of my car. I have already sanded it and got it smooth. I’m going to try to paint it myself until I can get it done professionally. Do I prime it first? wesley91 July 22, 2010

@chrisinbama: I would recommend 150 grit sandpaper. Remove as much of the rust as you can with a metal grinding wheel then move on to hand sandpaper. Be careful when using the grinding wheel because it can move a lot of rust quickly. It can get away from you sometimes. Sanding by hand should be done slowly and carefully.

If you have any dents, you can use some Bondo or some other body filler to fill in your gaps or dents. You can get that at most auto parts places. It will have instructions on how to use it.

How to remove rust from a car

When you mask-off the rusted area on your vehicle, you will ensure the protection of the non-damaged areas of your vehicle. This step will make sure all of your repair efforts are focused on the problem areas.

2. Remove Rust

Start by scraping off the easier to remove pieces of rust and paint. Once you’ve removed as much as you can, pull out your sander and get rid of the rest of the rust. Sand down to the bare metal until you’re satisfied that all the rust is removed.

3. Clean with Detergent

With a detergent, you can clean the area to remove any of the rust particles and smooth the area further after you have sanded it down. Make sure the cleaned area is dry before you begin the next step.

4. Prime the Surface

Apply a primer so that you can begin the process of restoring your paint job. This is another step where you must be sure that the primer is dry before you begin your next step.

5. Sand the Primer

Using your sander again, sand down the dry primer until it’s nice and smooth. This is the base for your paint, so make sure it’s as smooth as you desire. Once you’re finished sanding, wipe down the surface lightly with clean water and let it dry.

6. Spray on the Base Coat

Apply your vehicle’s paint on the sanded area to your liking. Be sure you’ve chosen the correct paint for your model if you want to ensure a seamless finish. Let the base coat dry and apply a secondary coat if necessary.

7. Spray on the Clear Coat

Once your base paint is dry, use a clear coat to lock in your paint color. This will ensure your paint job stays set for the drives to come. This will also help prevent your vehicle from rusting again.

Different Types of Vehicle Rust

There are three different types of rust. Some are easy to fix and will not damage your vehicle, while others can cause structural damage if not taken care of quickly. Carlsbad Collision Center highlighted each kind of rust below.

You may see the beginning signs of nicks, cracks, or scratches on your paint surface. This is a sign that rust is beginning beneath the surface. This kind of rust is an easy fix because it is simply on the surface and hasn’t plunged deeper into the bodywork of your vehicle. This kind of rust breaks down due to mechanical or UV damage and tends to thrive more with cars in warm, dry climates, but can affect everyone.

Scale Rust

Scale rust will start to corrupt the surface of your vehicle body and weaken the metal strength. Bubbles may appear with this kind of rust, meaning iron oxide molecules are larger than the molecules or iron or steel. When this kind of rust penetrates the surface, there will be rough, pitted looking damage.

Penetrating Rust

Penetrating rust is the most extreme type of rust. This rust will convert the steel to brittle iron oxide and cause holes to form along your bodywork. If not taken care of, penetrating rust will continue to eat its way through your bodywork and make complete repair harder. To repair penetrating rust, you can either cut out the affected panels and replace them with patches or you can just take out the entire affected panel and replace it.

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Carlsbad Collision Center provides all types of auto body repairs in North County San Diego, including minor fender repairs and dent removal to major auto accident repairs. Additional collision repair services include windshield replacement, auto detailing, car interior restoration, general body shop repairs and auto painting services. Our technicians are dedicated to restoring your vehicle back to “like new” condition. If you are searching for professional auto body shop services, call the experts at Carlsbad Collision Center.

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How to remove rust from a car

Whether you’re simply trying to ward off erosion or you’re getting some old car parts ready to sell, getting rid of that dreaded rust can stop these parts from becoming damaged beyond repair.

But if this isn’t something you’ve done before, it can be tricky to know where to start.

You might have heard a few wives tales over the years for rust removal but the good news is there are several genuine techniques you can use to remove rust from car parts. The method you use will often depend on a number of aspects including:

• The part you’re cleaning

• How bad the build-up is

• What materials you have

• How much time you have

So if you’ve got parts car that are in need of a clean, read on for more advice on the best method for you.

Before you get started

It’s worth noting that the best results will come from taking your time and care with the rust removal. As such, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got all the tools and materials you need and to set some dedicated time aside to work on this.

It’s also important that you consider your safety when using the different chemicals and products, so make sure you’ve got protective wear nearby as well. We’re now going to look at the different methods you can use, so you can decide which is going to be best for you.

Use steel wool

Steel wool can be a great tool for removing rust but just be sure you choose a good quality wool as some are thicker than others and some are plastic made to look like steel.

Once you’ve got this, wearing gloves to protect your skin, add a drop of water and slowly scrub the affected area.

Be aware that dust might accumulate as you’re doing this so it’s advised that you choose a well-ventilated space.

Try sandpaper

Sandpaper is another great way to get rid of rust and you can buy this in different levels of coarseness depending on how bad the rust is. Plus, this comes in many different forms. You can get:

As such, be sure to choose the sandpaper tool and coarseness that is going to be best for your parts. The great thing about sandpaper is you can fold it to get into smaller gaps making this more versatile.

Again, you should choose somewhere well-ventilated to avoid dust build-up and if you’re using a power sanding tool, googles might also be necessary to protect your eyes from debris.

Soak your car parts in vinegar

Now let’s get a bit more scientific and start looking at some of the chemical (and subsequent reactions) you can use to clean rusty car parts.

Because of the acidic nature of vinegar, it can be a really useful way to clean rust off metal.

You should soak the car part in vinegar for about 24 hours. Alternatively, you can wet the part by spraying rather than submerging it in vinegar, although it must stay wet.

After the 24 hours is up you should be able to remove the rust with an old toothbrush or cleaning device that you don’t mind getting dirty.

If it doesn’t all come off the first time around, you can always treat your parts with vinegar again. This method is preferable for the really rusty parts and those you don’t have all day to spend scrubbing.

Note: adding salt to your vinegar mix can help to speed up the process if you’re short on time.

Use lemon juice and baking powder

For parts that aren’t too rusty, you can use lemon juice and baking powder.

This is a cheap way to remove rust and you might find you already have these items at home.

To do this, create a paste (like the consistency of toothpaste) with the lemon juice and powder. Then apply this to the part – making sure the part is not too wet or the paste won’t stick.

Leave this for around 30 minutes to work it’s magic and then you can begin to scrub the rust off much like you did with the vinegar solution.

Consider citric acid

Citric acid is natural (it’s found in fruits like lemons, in fact) and you can buy it to use for cooking and various other things. But it is also a useful way to remove rust.

Just don’t expect fast results unless there is only a small amount of rust!

If you’re going to use this method, you’ll need to put some water in a container and add a few tablespoons of the acid. The more you use, the quicker the process will be.

With parts that are only slightly rusty, you could probably remove them in a few hours. But if you’ve got car parts that are quite heavily rusted, you might want to leave them for one to three days to ensure the rust is fully removed.

Once you’ve got the parts out of the container you can scrub off any residual rust or sludge and rinse them in clean water.

Try a pumice stone

Pumice stones aren’t just great for your feet you know! They can also help you remove rust. That said, the pumice might not last as long as other materials, so might be better for removing smaller patches of rust rather than cleaning whole parts.

Much like sandpaper, you can add a drop of water and use the pumice to scrub at the rust. Just be aware that bits of dust and pumice stone may break off so you might want to do this outside or somewhere with ventilation.

The light weight of the pumice makes this easy to use and scrub, plus they are relatively cheap to buy.

Make a chemical bath

Lastly, you could use a chemical bath to remove the rust, though this will require you to wear protective gear such as gloves and can be more dangerous if you have children or animals around.

If you do choose this approach, there are plenty of chemicals and brands out there that you can choose from. Often labelled as rust remover.

Add these to a container of water using the quantity specified on the packet. And be sure to put the container somewhere it won’t get knocked over.

You can put a lid on to stop the liquid from evaporating and then submerge your car parts.

This can take around 10 hours to work fully but is often the best approach if you don’t want to put in any real time scrubbing the rust off yourself.

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.

How to remove rust from a car

A lot of people don’t know how to tackle rust on the car’s components. Everyone dreams of a rust-free car, as it looks cleaner and gives more value when the car is going to be put on sale. However, did you know that removing rust on a car’s metal is quite easy? You can even do it yourself, Wuling Family.

Over time, rust on cars will spread from one point to other parts, due to exposure to air and humidity. In that case, the car’s metal begins to oxidize or corrode. To avoid this condition, you should regularly clean your car. However, if the rust starts appearing and spreading to other parts, you need to perform some actions.

To take precautions and remove rust in the right direction, you can follow our simple tips below.


How to remove rust from a car

This can be done when the rust has started to build up and can spread to other parts. The step is to sand the parts of the car that have started to rust. You can use manual sandpaper or even a sander and grinder if the surface is wide enough.

After you make sure the rusty part is clean, just use primer paint as the first coat, paint the second coat, and lastly clear coat for the finishing part. Also, remember to wash and polish the painted parts so the results are even better.


How to remove rust from a car

This action is almost similar to the previous point, but the difference is that this method is used when the rust has perforated the car part. First, clean the rusty part using sandpaper or grinned, and afterward cover it with putty so that the hole can be closed off properly.

Additionally, you can paint with a primer as the first coat, paint on the second coat, and clear coat for the last layer. However, before painting, ensure that you have leveled the putty using sandpaper.


How to remove rust from a car

If the rust marks start to appear, you can easily remove them by using vinegar. The content of acetic acid and citric acid are very effective in getting rid of rust.

What you need to do is first, disassemble the affected part and soak it in vinegar for 1-2 days. If the rust is still visible by then, you can continue soaking it until the rust is gone. You can also use a brush for a more effective result.


How to remove rust from a car

Lemon or lime is not only effective for removing stains on clothes, but it can also be used for removing rust on metal in a fairly easy way. You only need to sprinkle the rust part with salt and then soak it in lemon or lime juice. You can also use an aluminum brush or scrub to get more satisfying results.

Baking Soda

How to remove rust from a car

The active ingredients in baking soda are very effective in getting rid of various kinds of stains, including removing rust from your car. It is quite easy, too. You only need to brush the rust on the car with water that has been diluted with baking soda. Do it several times until the rust disappears.

Rust Remover

How to remove rust from a car

Apart from using vinegar, lemon, and baking soda, you can also easily use rust remover. First, soak the rusted part for 15 minutes to 8 hours, depending on the age of rust. Afterward, simply brush it using an iron brush. The price of a quality rust remover ranges from IDR 100,000 – IDR 150,000 for 1 liter.

Take Your Car to The Authorized Workshop

How to remove rust from a car

If you, Wuling Family, experience this condition, you can easily take your car to the nearest Wuling official workshop in your city. Our experts will do thorough maintenance, starting from removing rust to protecting against rust. Your car will then return to its normal condition without having to bother and wait for a long time.

It is even more prevalent during a pandemic condition that we are in today. Wuling, with the #SuperBerani program provides optimal and comprehensive safety services by prioritizing the health of the Wuling Family.

We hope this information is helpful to help you understand better on what to do with the rust on your car. You can do several ways to remove rust by yourself at home without any more problems.