How to Prevent Auto Body Repair Rust from Forming

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  • 2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-200
What You'll Need
Sandpaper P80 to P100 grade
Wax Remover
Air chisel
Grease remover
Lint free cloth
Safety glasses
Epoxy primer
Top coat paint

If your vehicle has been damaged in an accident, it is important to prevent auto body repair rust from forming on your new replacement part. There are preventative steps you can take if you are repairing the vehicle yourself.

Step 1 - Gather Replacement Parts

First, you will need to replace your damaged part by removing the old part. If it unscrews or unclips, simply remove it using the relevant method. If it needs cutting away, you will need to have the right tools available such a grinder or air chisel. Once you have removed the damaged part, you can then proceed to the next stage of replacing it with the new part.

Step 2 - Fit the New Part

Secure the new part to the area and make sure it is fitted correctly in place. You may need to clamp and weld the replacement part if it doesn’t clip or screw into place. This will always vary according to the car make and model you are mending. Once your replacement part is secured, you can move on to the preparing the surface.

Step 3 - Surface Preparation

Clean the area thoroughly with the grease remover and the wax remover and wipe clear with a lint-free cloth. Make sure that all metallic surfaces are sanded correctly and offer a good bonding surface to your primer prior to applying. Once the surface is prepared, you should coat it with an anti-rust epoxy primer. This is a key factor in preventing repair rust from forming on your newly replaced part. This will also repel any oxides from forming on metal surfaces and prevent the serious issue of rust appearing.

Step 4 - Paint and Protect

Priming your new auto repair is the best step in preventing rust from forming. The next key factor is to paint it correctly with a top coat of paint. Spray the paint evenly to avoid dripping. Cover every inch of the new panel or repair accurately and do not leave any areas of bare metal uncovered. This will avoid weak spots in the paintwork which could become susceptible to rust. After applying the first coat of paint, allow a thorough flash-off time before applying the top coat.

Step 5 - Wax and Polish

Keep your vehicle waxed and polished to protect the top surface of your paint. Doing so will eliminate the risks of short term damage to your vehicle. It offers a protective coating from weather conditions and prevents any bare metal around your vehicle from being hit by surface rust.

Surface rust may not seem so odious but it will eat through any bare metal and tear into it slowly and grow under the surface of the paint. Make regular checks around your bodywork and tap gently at floor surfaces and seals to make sure rust has not been creeping into the underside of your vehicle.