How to Fix Rust Spots on a Car

So you’ve decided to restore your first classic car, you found an excellent shell at the local salvage yard, and you have the money to make your dream a reality. But you come to find out that your shell has rust all over it.

Rust can be a nightmare scenario for any custom car builder; if you have rust, you will most likely have to remove the infected panels depending on the damage. One of the common misconceptions made by people when dealing with rust is determining surface rust; many people wrongly assume that if the rust has not created a hole, then it can only be surface rust.

Well, this is entirely wrong actually, determining where the rust came from is secure. If the rust has not come through the surface paint, then it cannot be surface rust because it went through the inside of the metal. The only real surface rust occurs when the rust comes through the paint. In this article, I’ll be detailing how to locate rust spots and how to remove them and protect your investment correctly.

The most common area where rust can be found is on the lip at the bottom of a car door. The car door is like a clamshell; the outer layer is wrapped around the inner layer along the edges and bottom. If you see rust in this area, you can usually just get rid of it using a grinder, but this will not destroy the rust.

In this case, you will most likely have to just cut the rusted section out of the panel since the rust has eaten through the door until you can see it through the paint. Replacing the rusted part of the paneling is quite easy, you will need time and some effort, but you can rescue your rusted panels.

You will need to wear the proper safety gear when attempting this repair; a hand grinder is a dangerous thing. And if you don’t like wearing safety goggles because you think they look stupid, just imagine yourself if you don’t have any eyes to wear glasses with.

When cutting around the rust spot make sure that you hold the grinder tight, don’t cut too fast as precision is the key to any automotive repair. With some modicum of luck you should have eliminated your rust problem, just weld a brand new panel in the previous rust hole and apply filler and primer.

If your rust problems persist you might have to replace the entire panel, hopefully, this will not be the case. Fixing rust spots in your car can be a relatively quick weekend project; you will protect your investment and prevent any further damage.