3 Tips for Taking Care of Truck Rust

A black truck.

Truck rust can quickly become a serious problem. If you rely on your truck for your livelihood, rust can have a serious effect on the integrity of your vehicle and may even lead to lost earnings and expensive repair bills. Truck rust normally occurs during or after the winter months when salt from the road becomes stuck to your vehicle and causes oxidation. However, rust can also build up if your truck is old or if scratches are left untreated and exposed to damp air for long periods of time.

1. Prevention

The best way to deal with truck rust is by preventing the initial cause of it. During and after the winter months, you should aim to give all of the metal parts on your truck a thorough cleansing to help prevent salt build-up. This can be done by mixing a bucket of hot water with your preferred car wash soap and applying the solution with a soft sponge before giving it a good scrub and rinse. Make sure you don’t miss any areas on the exterior of your vehicle. Remember to wash the undercarriage as this is especially prone to rust. This is easily achieved using a jet washer.

2. Scratch Treatment

If you have any scratches on your truck, you will need to touch these up immediately before rust has the chance to set in. To do this, you will need to purchase a can of touch-up paint that matches the exterior color of your truck. A color code is usually available inside the engine bay or door post of your truck to help your local auto store to match it correctly. Remember to buy a small amount of primer and automotive lacquer as well.

Clean the area to be touched-up and apply a coat of primer into the scratch. Let it dry for 10 to 20 minutes and apply two coats of color over the primer. Once the color has cured, apply two coats of automotive lacquer to seal in the color and leave it to dry overnight. As soon as the materials are dry, buff the area with a clean rag and rubbing compound to blend the new and old paint together

3. Removing Rust

If you find that a patch of your truck has started to rust, it will need to treated immediately.

Start by removing as much rust as possible using the wire brush. Rub the brush over the affected area and to remove the larger lumps of rust. Remove the remaining lumps with P80 grit abrasive paper keeping the area as small as possible. Smooth the repair down progressively to P400 grit standard and fill in any holes caused by the rust with body filler. A product such as Ospho can now be applied to the area to make the previously rusty surface paintable. Tiny areas of repair can be touched in relatively easily although larger areas may need to be fully prepared and painted using aerosol primer, paint, and a protective clear coat.