Rust on your car is not just unsightly but left untreated can cause irreversible damage – Corroded metal is weaker and will eventually crumble away warns Suzanne Keane
Apart from the obvious visible signs of rust other hints that you have a problem include bubbles under the paintwork, flaky paint, water leaks or paint blisters.
- Washing – keeping your car washed regularly, especially during winter or after a trip to the beach, will stop road contaminants from causing damage. It’s also important to hose down the underneath of a car on a regular basis (not just before your NCT)! Check along the bottom of doors and panels for drain holes and make sure these are kept clear to prevent water being trapped inside.
- Wax – Once the paintwork is clean a coat of wax will prevent damage being done between washes. If you’re feeling brave spray some under body sealant on the freshly cleaned underside of the car too!
- Repair – Any scratches or dents should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent rust from developing on the unprotected metal.
If the level of rust is minor you can usually touch up the area yourself! For example with a scratch you can usually buy a mini repair kit that will come with a sanding block, primer, paint to match the existing colour and a top coat.
If damage is extensive you’ll have to leave it to the professionals – new panels or welding may fix the problem but if the rust could cause structural issues it may be time to replace rather than repair a car.
Simply covering up rust won’t help you in the long run. All traces of damaged metal will need to be sanded back until it’s clean and shiny – then you can prime and paint to protect. However if the rust has eaten a hole through the metal you’ll need to bring it to a bodyshop!
It’s important to remove all rust when repairing an area – even a small amount will spread and corrode all around it.
Examine your car for any signs of corrosion after every wash – catching a problem early will save you money in the long run!
7th September, 2017