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Removing Rust from a Car or Truck

Category Rust
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.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 23, 20040 found this helpful

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?


By Tawnda (Guest Post)
April 26, 20040 found this helpful

There are two products I have seen at Walmart both near the spray paint aisle and near the garden area by the grills that is made just for that.

One is a spray that cleans rust/grease off and one is a spray paint to prevent further rusting and easy cleaning in future.

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By tonya (Guest Post)
April 28, 20040 found this helpful

if not concerneed with looks and so far only have surface rust. go pick up some rustoleum spray paint and have at it. it will only cost a few dollars and will protect from rusting further.

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By Cody (Guest Post)
May 14, 20041 found this helpful

Muriatic acid takes almost all rust off of metal extremely fast. But it also leaves the surface unprotected, which causes it to rust with a day or two if it is uncovered.


My tip: there is no substitute for sanding.

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By Jerry (Guest Post)
May 18, 20041 found this helpful

Ospho will remove rust and prepare eurface for painting. Then find a paint( -Rustolium etc) that will match to seal out rust.

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May 29, 20040 found this helpful

I've tested a bunch of rust removers and converters and the best performer for rust conversion (by a LONG shot) is Duro Extend. I used to buy it at Home Depot but have been getting it cheaper at a local car parts place. It's the chemical of choice for Palomar Observatory, which is located in a high moisture environment plus winds which whip off paint. It converts rust to a black, paintable surface. You do need a top coat so don't let it go for weeks after conversion. Almost any paint will do.

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By Ceejay (Guest Post)
June 17, 20041 found this helpful

Many years ago,I bought an old chest with metal corners that were rusted almost beyond help. I used Duro"s Extend, which at that time was a paint on. I couldn't believe how it turned out.


Extend gave the metal a matt black finish and looked like new. A chest that I paid $30 for is now worth several hundred. Oh, and after all these years the metal still looks like new.

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By (Guest Post)
February 13, 20060 found this helpful

The easiest method is the rust converter will need two coats this is a primer so will need to do a top coat in enamel.The other option is the anti rust paint made by wattyl rust kill or hammerite anti rust paint i think it lasts up to 5years before rust starts to come though only preparation is to wire brush to remove loose rust it needs rust to adhere.These are tough paints and are durable only require 2 coats no top coat comes in various colors.

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By lilredex (Guest Post)
October 18, 20070 found this helpful

If you mean, protecting the backside from rust, go to a parts store and get some oily coating that can be sprayed on. It comes in "no drip" or "creeping" types. We can buy RUST CHECK formulas at CTC here in Canada. If you wish to make your own solution, disolve bee's wax (toilet seal rings) in Varsol until it is saturated then mix with old oil or used ATF.


A garden sprayer will work if it (the oil) is strained and not too thick, but a SHOOTZ gun is the best if you have compressed air available. The parts store will have everything you need to DIY.

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By Sandy (Guest Post)
July 22, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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October 23, 20170 found this helpful

I have purchased a 67 Chevrolet Truck. It has been sitting for 17 years. I would like to remove the surface Rust and paint without a lot of sanding.


What is the best Chemical for this so I can prime it quickly ?

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October 23, 20170 found this helpful

I don't mind sanding after I get most or all the rust and paint off. Again which Chemical is best for this & how much will it take to do a long bed pickup.
Randall Barger

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October 23, 20170 found this helpful

Where do I purchase the acid at & how much will I need for this job ? Here is the Truck I will be restoring.

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October 23, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you so much I have heard about that product. But didn't know the name of it. Thank you.


You have been very helpful and I appreciate it. Any idea on how much I will need ? One good thing it was an Arizona Truck before being driven here. Randall.

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By 1 found this helpful
September 15, 2009

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 tam from MO


September 21, 20091 found this helpful

Go to your local auto parts store and ask for some Naval Jelly. You follow the directions on the bottle, but I think you put/paint the stuff on with the brush that is included in the bottle; it not only stops to rust but also removes it. Good Luck!

I learned this working for an auto body shop years ago. Let us know how you come out!

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April 26, 20100 found this helpful

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).

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October 12, 20120 found this helpful

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.


October 14, 20120 found this helpful

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

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March 4, 20120 found this helpful

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.


April 9, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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September 15, 20090 found this helpful

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

By patricia a dufresne from Canada


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 Patricia Eldridge

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 Deanj

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May 4, 20090 found this helpful

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.


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

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 Pat Giles

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

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