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Removing Rust from a Car or Truck

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Rust and Peeling Blue Paint on Car

Rust will damage your vehicle faster than you might think. Therefore, if your car or truck is getting rusty, it is important to get rid of that rust as soon as possible. This is a guide about removing rust from a car or truck.



Here are questions related to Removing Rust from a Car or Truck.

Question: Rust Removal Tips for My Old Truck

I have another question: I have an old Toyota truck I use for going to the dump and hauling brush. It's starting to get pretty rusty. I am not worried about how it looks but don't want it to rust out. Anyone have any tips to remove the rust or even just preventing it from further rusting?


Most Recent Answer

By Sandy (Guest Post)07/22/2008

Duro EXTEND By Loctite Corp., is the only answer. I used it on A VW Bunny P.U. to stop the rust bleeding out of the cab seam joint (between box & door) .Problem solved. I followed instructions and applied several coats but never did top coat with color paint, (just to see what would happen). Sold the truck 7 years later, with the black spots, but no further rust. I am a believer in EXTEND.

Question: Repairing Rust Spots on Car

Can you remove or cover up rust from a car's wheel-well? I have an older car that has begun to rust just above one of the tires on the body of the car. I would love to hear any tips.

By tamhans from MO


Most Recent Answer

By TCR04/26/2010

In short... Rust is cancer to a car and must be destroyed! Not covered up, or even encapsulated, though this can bide time it will be back with a vengeance! Get rid of it by grinding to bare metal or if necessary cut away enough metal from the body and replace it. Then use a water proof filler to reshape the work and finish with putty sanding smooth with 60-240 grit sand paper. Use finishing putty (which is only thick primer paint in a tube) and sand 400 grit paint and Clear Coat (important).

Question: Truck Has Rust on Undercarriage

I have an 06 Toyota Tacoma that I recently bought a couple months back. Ater putting it on the lift and looking at the undercarriage I found a lot of rust everywhere on the whole undercarriage. Whoever had it before sprayed the whole undercarriage with a black rubber/Rhino lining material, because rust is everywhere! My question is, what can I do if anything to clean up some of it so I can at least keep the truck another year or so or how badly am I screwed? Thank you.

By Torry C.

Most Recent Answer

By Christi [7]10/14/2012

My husband has used Cocoa Cola to "etch" rust from tools before & once he used Sprite.

Question: Repairing a Rusty Roof

We a problem with the metal roof on our church, rust. Every few years we have the costly job of repainting it. We are thinking of using, Extend, but have some questions. Is Extend recommended for use on metal roofs that see direct sun all day? Can you paint over Extend with a lighter color? How many years can we expect Extend to hold up in this application, before rust shows up again? What is the square footage coverage per gallon and the cost of a gallon? And finally, how many coats of Extend will it take to do the job right?

By David D.

Most Recent Answer

By April [185]04/09/2012

Most likely the manufacturer has a phone number on the product. Call them, or your local hardware store that sells it could answer your questions.

Solutions: Removing Rust from a Car or Truck

Do you have knowledge about this guide topic? Feel free to share a solution!


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Repairing Rust Spots on Car

Just washed our vehicle and noticed spots where it is starting to rust. Anyone have any ideas as to how to keep these spots from getting bigger? Thanks, and also thanks for all the other replies. Great to hear from you.

Gloria S.

RE: Treating Auto Rust Spots

You could make the repairs your self but the rust will return in short order. What has to be done is all the rust and some abutting paint has to be sanded to bare metal, then a rust inhibitor applied, then primed and a top coat applied. If your car has a clear top coat then that has to be applied as well. To get a longer lasting repair it should be done at a body shop.

If you do it your self you will not be able to blend the paint and where you made the repair will show. The body shop will use a air spray gun and be able to blend the paint where you will be using a aerosol paint can and will not be able to do the needed blending. (04/05/2008)

By Dean

RE: Treating Auto Rust Spots

Many years ago, when I discovered some rust spots on the trunk of my car, I went to the auto supply store and got some liquid metal. I painted it over the rust stain spots and it held until I sold the car several years later. I would think that this product would still be on the market, wouldn't you? It's worth a try to ask around, at any rate. Good luck and God bless you. (04/07/2008)

By tedsmom

RE: Treating Auto Rust Spots

Years ago I worked in an auto body shop & had Navel Jelly (bought at an auto parts store) put over the hand sanded area of rust to prevent it from spreading. Just follow the directions on the bottle...IF a woman can do it surely a man can and it worked. Good luck! (04/07/2008)

By Paula Jo C. Mebane, NC

Archive: Repairing Rust Spots on Car

How can I repair rust spots on an old car? I want to do it at home.

By Padufresne from Canada

RE: Repairing Rust Spots on Car

I've watched my husband work on our cars, and what he does is; first he sands the area very well using sandpaper made for metal. We have an electric sander, so that makes the job a little easier. Try to remove as much of the rust as you can. My husband sands down to the bare metal in an effort to remove all of the rust. Then he covers the rust spot with a two-part auto body repair product such as Bondo (follow the directions on the package to mix it). He puts the product on with a plastic putty knife, covering all of the rust, and then smooths it out as much as he can. If the rust has caused a hole in the metal that is large enough to give you problems when you try to fill it, you can put a piece of metal screen behind the hole and then apply the Bondo or whatever product you choose.

After the body filler has dried, he sands it to remove all the irregularities, and then he sands it again with a finer grit sandpaper to make it as smooth as possible. After he is done sanding, he cleans the area very well and then sprays on a coat of primer. When the primer dries, he adds a finish coat. You can buy small cans of spray paint to match almost every car color in your local automotive supply store, as well as, in the auto department at Wal-mart. The salesperson should also be able to help you choose the best product for your needs, and maybe give you a little free advice on how to use it. Good luck. (05/04/2009)

By Patty Lynn

RE: Repairing Rust Spots on Car

It can be done, but it won't last and the color won't match. Maybe a year or do. First you have to wash and de-wax the area to be repaired. Then sand the area to remove the rust and sand beyond the rust area into the old paint. You may have to use a coarse then a fine grit sandpaper. Because you do not have a spray gun you will have to use aerosol paint spray cans.

Spray the sanded area with a primer. When dry scuff with a nylon pad then apply the top coat. You have to determine whether to use lacquer or enamel paint. Also the paint in the spray can is the closest match possible. You old car paint most likely has faded so you will not get a perfect match.

When one tries to do this type of repair it doesn't last very long. To get a good job I would let a body shop give an estimate to see how much it would cost and to see if it is feasible to spend the money. A autobody supply store should also be of help. You can find them in the yellow pages. (05/04/2009)

By foxrun41