Rust is every car ownerís worst nightmare. It can eat away at your vehicle
like a sinister, unseen plague. Rusting is a natural process and cannot be
eliminated. It can, however be slowed down. By regularly checking over your car
for rust spots you can hone in on problem areas. Rust is caused when mild steel
come into contact with water, which is slightly acidic.
Treating small rust spots is quite simple. These are normally caused by road
stones flying up and chipping off the top coat of paint, leaving the bare metal
exposed to the elements. In damp conditions the spot will rust very quickly.
Hereís how to treat such areas:
(1) Wipe the rust spot and an area about an inch around it with a cloth which
has been moistened with white spirits. Scrape away the loose paint. Now rub down
the rust area with coarse sand paper until you reach a sound area of paint.
(2) After clearing off the dust, apply primer(not rust remover) using a fine
paint brush. Overlap beyond the affected area by about a quarter inch. Allow the
primer to dry thoroughly.
(3) Use an old knife to smooth on a thin layer of cellulose stopper. Try to
make a clean job in smoothing over the affected area, without leaving any
(4) Use medium grade sand paper to smooth the job down until it is completely
flush with the surrounding areas.
(5) Having purchased some touch up repair paint, shake the can thoroughly.
Then stir it with a piece of thin wire. Apply the paint smoothly and quickly.
Overlap the paint onto the existing paint work. After 24 hours, apply a second
When searching for an exact color match, look under the carís bonnet and find
the identification plate. You will see a section marked paint color or trim
code. Take this number along to the accessory shop. They should have a color
chart showing which color this corresponds to. This will give you the exact
shade of your paint work.
The most vulnerable areas to minor rust as a result of chips are the lips of
the wheel arches and the area immediately behind the wheels. You can prevent
much of this damage by investing in mud flaps. You may also find that areas
around the doors and locks are vulnerable to rust. This is because your car keys
are likely to chip paint when they knock against the paintwork. Being aware of
this can make you more cautious.
Itís true that rust never sleeps. Neither should we when it comes to treating
rust. Get onto the problem smartly and you will avoid what could develop into a
major repair bill.