Removing rust from your car - step by step

You need about 4 min. to read this article.
Removing rust from your car - step by step

Rust appears on cars that have not been properly protected against corrosion or are simply older. How to deal with this problem without the help of a painter?

Models with a tendency to corrosion

Corrosion most often affects elements that are exposed to high humidity. First of all, these are the wheel arches and sills. No wonder that the biggest problem occurs in winter, when a dirty mixture of salt, sand and snow wreaks havoc, and the sun’s rays are not strong enough to dry the car well every time

Before buying a car, it’s a good idea to carefully inspect the condition of the body and undercarriage to ensure that the car is corrosion-free. Unfortunately, there are models prone to corrosion. These are, inter alia – Honda Civic and Accord, Mercedes from the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first century, Volkswagen Passat B6, Hyundai i20 or a large part of Opel models. Of course, there is no rule here. Everything depends on how the owner or owners took care of the car, whether it was garaged, washed and waxed.

How to prepare for body repair?

If our budget is limited, we can try to remove rust from the paint ourselves. We will need to purchase products that we can easily get at a paint store. These will be:

  • sandpaper, preferably of different gradations (the smaller, the stronger the abrasive effect and vice versa), to bring the surface as smooth as possible;
  • primer, preferably with anticorrosive properties, so that the problem does not return very quickly;
  • proper paint, of course with properly selected color (here you will need a paint code of our car).

It is good to have at our disposal a gun with a compressor. However, if we do not have this type of equipment, we must ask the store for primer and spray paint. In addition, in the case when it comes to advanced corrosion, we will probably also need a car putty.

How to do it?

The first step is to remove the layer of rust from our car. If this is only a superficial layer of rust, the matter is simple. We remove it with sandpaper, starting with lower gradation, gradually moving to higher. In this way we will be able to get the smoothest possible surface to paint. The problem will arise when it is no longer just a rusty tarnish, but a strong pitting. Even holes in the car body may fall out. Then we can try to fill the loss with putty, but if this does not work, we have to replace the whole element. Remember – to remove all the rust, so that before painting we have only “bare” sheet metal. We also need to clean and degrease the place properly

Next, we proceed to apply primer. We apply one coat, and after several minutes we apply another. Of course, if we decide that it is not enough, we can apply more. We wait another dozen or so minutes, and then we proceed to paint. Here, too, you will need several layers, depending on the color coverage. It is very important to give time for each layer to dry. If we did not use acrylic varnish, we should also apply a layer of clear varnish, which protects against damage. It would be good to carry out the procedure in a properly lighted place – preferably in the garage. Outside, if the wind is blowing, it will be very difficult.


The whole enterprise is to reduce costs. Remember, however, that “home” ways are difficult to make the repair, as it should be. If we want the problem to return quite quickly, it is best to go to a professional painter. Then we will pay admittedly a few hundred PLN, but we will be protected for a long time. In the case of self-repair, the cost should close in a hundred zlotys. Remember to take care of the car. This is the basic and most important rule. Then we will reduce such problems to a minimum


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