Dealing With Rust Damage To Your Vehicle's Body Panels

Cars driven in areas that have a lot of snowfall often suffer from premature rust damage because of the salt used to melt snow. Dealing with corrosion and rust damage usually means replacing body panels or extensive repairs. Still, for most people, that means taking the car into an auto body repair shop to have the work done right. 

Common Rust Issues

There are a few places where rust and corrosion are worst on cars due to road salt. The bottoms of the doors and fenders and the rocker panels are all common spots for salt to settle. If it is not washed off regularly, rust will start there and get worse over time. 

Taking your car to an auto body repair shop to have those areas fixed can be expensive. But washing your car regularly to remove road salt can slow the rust down significantly. Make sure when you wash your car in the winter that you get the undercarriage, inside the fenders, and behind the bumpers to remove the salt and sand that may be sitting in there. 

This will help reduce the chance of rust in those areas and preserve the car's body. Once the rust starts, it is still important to wash the salt off the car, but you will not stop it without auto body repair. 

Body Panel Replacement

An auto body repair shop can often replace heavily damaged areas with new body panels, but the location can sometimes make that more challenging. A fender that is rusted badly is easy for the auto body shop to change and then paint to match the car, but a more permanent panel, such as the rocker panel under the doors, can be more difficult. 

Because the rocker panel can not be unbolted and replaced, the auto body tech will have to cut out the old material and weld a new panel in place. The seams or joints where the panel and the patch meet needs to be filled and sanded to ensure the right shape, and then the area must be primed and painted. 

If all the rust is not removed, the panel can begin to rust behind the repair and will need to be redone later. 

Repair Estimates

If you are dealing with rust damage to your car's body, it is important that you get an estimate for the repair. The best way for the tech to be sure that the damage is repairable is to thoroughly look it over. There are times when the level of damage is worse than it first appeared, and as the tech starts working on it, they find more problems. 

If that happens, you will need to decide how far you want the auto body repair shop to go with the rust repair. Contact an auto body repair service for more information. 

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Car Tips for Car Lovers

Some people treat cars like disposable appliances, but others see them as long-term investments. For people like this, a car is something to be cherished, maintained, and maybe even passed down to the next generation. If you're here, it's because you're one of those people who refuses to buy a car only to throw it away a few years later. Like you, we have a passion for our vehicles. The articles you will find here reflect that passion and our desire to help you keep your car on the road for as long as possible. The advice we provide isn't meant to give you the bare minimum necessary to keep a vehicle on the road, but instead to help you keep your car feeling brand new no matter its age.