How to Repair Rust on a Luxury Car
Here in Texas, the weather can worsen in the blink of an eye. What starts as a sunny, warm morning can quickly escalate into a full-blown tropical storm by the evening. Such weather can take quite a toll on your luxury car in terms of rust.
You should know that, despite how it looks, rust is a repairable problem. Here’s how to repair rust on a luxury car:
How Does Rust Affect a Luxury Car?
When many people think of car rust, they mostly see it as an unsightly mess and go about their business. The reality is that rust can be dangerous. As rust escalates, it ruins the integrity of the vehicle.
If you notice severe frame rust, pieces of the vehicle itself can snap right off as you’re driving. This will, of course, compromise your safety. If the rust spreads, your vehicle may be reaching its end, and it certainly will protect you less in the event of an accident.
Types of Rust
What most people don’t realize is that there are different types of rust. Fortunately, not all rust is a sign that your vehicle is dead in the water. Some types of rust are ugly but localized, making them a manageable problem.
Cosmetic rust spots appear after debris or a rock-chip penetrates the paint. The metal underneath is then exposed to water, air, and everyday contaminants. In time, the metal itself begins to weaken and rust forms. In such a spot, the surrounding paint will also weaken. Again, it’s a minor and easily manageable problem to have.
An unfixable rust spot is, as the name implies, unfixable. When corrosion appears on the seams of body panels — inside of the door, along the fenders, etc. — you should worry. This corrosion is attacking thin portions of the car. In time, a hole will form, and you’ll ultimately inhale fumes from the exhaust or put others on the road at risk.
How to Repair Rust on a Luxury Car
The good news is most luxury vehicle owners can handle rust repairs themselves with around $100 in supplies from a local auto parts shop. Overall, the rust repair process for a luxury car is not difficult. It is, however, time consuming. Much of the process comes down to waiting. You need to wait for both primers and paint to dry after the actual spot repair.
Step 1: Tape the Area
First, to protect the rest of the vehicle from paint overspray, mask off the affected area. You can spread poly sheeting over the engine and fenders, then do the same to fit the door opening and tape the jamb.
Step 2: Remove the Rust
Rust removal is really quite simple. First, crack any blistered paint using a scraper. Then, sand down the rust spots using 40-grit sandpaper. You want to get right down to the bare metal. Next, enlarge the sanded area so you have room to feather the edges using 120-grit sandpaper. Lastly, complete the feathering with 220-grit sandpaper.
Step 3: Clean
Using a grease-cutting dishwasher detergent, clean the unmasked area and rinse with clean water. You’ll need to wait for it to dry naturally. Then, wipe down the area once more using a lint-free cloth.
Step 4: Apply Primer
You’ll need two types of primer: epoxy primer and filler primer. First, spray the filler in a heavy coat along the rust repair zone. Your goal is to blend the filler into the surrounding paint. Next, a self-etching epoxy primer will help create a bond to the bare metal. Use it as a first coat. You’ll spray two to three medium coats of epoxy primer, then wait one hour for it to dry. Lastly, sand the primer with wet 1,000-grit sandpaper. Once you’re done sanding, apply two or three heavy coats of lacquer filler primer and let it dry.
Step 5: Sand the Primer
Using 320-grit sandpaper, sand any drips and sags. Then, use wet 600-grit sandpaper to smooth the primer and feather the edges. Finally, 1,000-grit sandpaper to final-sand the entire repair zone.
Step 6: Paint
Start off with a base coat covering the entire repair zone. Allow for the recommended dry times between each coat. Next, apply a clear coat and, again, follow the recommended dry times.
Repairing rust spots on a luxury car is a time-consuming process. For most, a quick trip to Krause’s Automotive is the right move. For top-rated luxury car repairs, give us a call at 972-221-8743!