What to Do When You Notice Car Rust

Rust (n): Rust, also known as iron oxide, forms on iron or steel and will eat a hole through your car and wallet if it goes untreated. By catching it early, you can prevent a costly expense and keep yourself safe as a rusted car can be dangerous.

how to remove rust

Preventing Rust

When the iron in steel reacts with the oxygen in the air and water, rust forms. While it’s impossible to keep your car from ever encountering air or water you can take steps to prevent car rust.

Here are a few precautions we recommend:

  • Park your car in a garage or car port whenever possible – especially if it’s going to rain
  • Wash your car frequently (road salt, dirt, and debris can speed up the corrosion)
  • Conduct frequent inspections to check for rust spots – you’ll want to look for imperfects like bubbles and flaking

Removing Car Rust

If you’ve already identified a reddish-brown spot on your car, you’re probably wondering how to remove rust. Depending on the size of the flaw, you may be able to do it at home. We recommend taking any spots larger than a quarter and in plain view to the car shop where they can seal and paint over it to match your car’s color. If it’s a smaller spot or out of sight (such as under your car), it’s probably safe to treat it at home and save some money.

What you’ll need:

Step 1: Locate the rusted area.

Step 2: Use the sandpaper to clear the spot of any flakes and red rust till the remaining metal is exposed.

Step 3: Put on your gloves and use them to apply your rust remover. Be careful not to contaminate the bottle.

Step 4 (optional): Apply a sealant and paint over the treated area.

Removing rust doesn’t have to be a big deal. It can be intimidating to try and fix a structural and cosmetic flaw without the assistance of a mechanic, but we hope you feel confident and empowered to address rust spots.