Rust: the silent auto killer

Rust: the silent auto killer

The easiest way to let your vehicle fall into disrepair and eventually become a safety hazard is to ignore rust. Rust corrodes the metal and makes the vehicle unusable, but it does so gradually and steadily enough that we don’t notice it as alarmingly as say, a broken fan belt or malfunctioning distributor rotors and caps.

Furthermore, these days, manufacturers take every effort to ensure that vehicles and their parts are less likely to rust by using galvanised metals and even plastic parts. But the fact is, even with extensive rust-proofing, rust does manage to attack your vehicle’s exterior. Because the worst rust problems usually attack the floors of most cars and are thus hard to reach, even small dents and scratches can eventually escalate to full blown problems. Sometimes, by the time you notice, the entire floor may have to be replaced entirely.

The first step is of course, checking regularly for signs of rust on your vehicle. If it’s manageable the following instructions on how to handle it can be followed. While it’s cheaper to do it yourself, you should keep in mind that attempting to get rid of rust spots by yourself must be done with great care. Often times rust spots might be on the hood or the sides of your vehicle where they may show very easily and look rather unsightly. In such cases, it’s important to get the right shade of paint. Some auto repair stores have paint shades based on car brand, model and year.

If it’s extensive, then it’ll need to be taken to a professional to be fixed. Don’t delay on this as the worse it gets, the more expensive fixing it will be.

Steps to treat small rust spots:

The following tips are only to treat cosmetic damage. Don’t use them on load-bearing parts like seat belt anchors or suspension mountings.

First, remove any fragments and scrub the rust off with sandpaper as best as you can. Don’t forget to wear protective glasses so you don’t get any grit in your eyes.

Apply rust neutralizer or converter and follow instructions on the package for the time to wait before proceeding to apply a second coat.

Then apply a coat of primer and similarly follow instructions on the package. When it’s safe to, wipe and clean the area.

Neglecting to treat rust and letting it spread may result in having to replace parts altogether, which is obviously a lot more expensive. Protect your vehicle from rust by checking from time to time and taking a few hours out to ensure its upkeep.

auto repairs

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