Anyone who drives a vehicle will likely have to deal with at least minor rust at some point in their car’s life. Those who live in areas that receive heavy road treatment with salt and other chemicals to improve winter driving conditions will typically face an even greater challenge combating rust on a vehicle. Once a car has become rusty, you may wonder if it is worth it to repair the damage. The answer to that question and repairing rust on your car can vary depending upon the type of rust your car has, as well as a number of other considerations.
The Different Types Of Rust On A Car
Not all rust is the same. Surface rust is perhaps the most common type; it affects only the top layer of your car and is primarily cosmetic in nature. It most often occurs when the paint on a car is chipped or scratched, exposing the metal underneath. That small metal portion may rust slightly, but the rust is not deep and remains only on the surface.
Scale rust goes deeper and is a natural progression from untreated surface rust. The metal on the body panels begins to corrode, and, left untreated, scale rust will begin to weaken the metal by causing flaking.
The most damaging type of rust is penetrating rust, which may occur if you do nothing to fix scale rust.
Penetrating rust, as its name suggests, has entirely infiltrated the metal and begun to convert the steel in the car’s parts to iron oxide. This much more brittle material allows holes to develop and can result in equipment failure and more complex repairs.
Considerations For Repairing Rust On A Car
If you are considering repairing the rust on your car, you must first determine which type of rust you are dealing with. Your vehicle may have multiple types, and certain areas may be more or less damaged than others. Keep the following considerations in mind as you evaluate whether repairing the rust on your car is worth it.
The Cost Of Repair
One of the primary factors driving the decision to repair rust on your vehicle is how much the repair will cost. Rust can cover a deceptively large area, and a spot of rust the size of a quarter will require a basketball-sized area of repair. This means that a vehicle that is rusted throughout could require a significant investment in order to bring it back into working order. However, surface rust is the simplest to treat; if your vehicle is just beginning to rust, dealing with the problem early on could prevent costly repairs later.
The Value Of The Car
It is also important to consider the value of the car that is rusted. A car that has retained value greater than the cost of repairs may be worth the price to keep it in good working order. However, value is not measured only in dollars; a vehicle that has sentimental or other importance to you may benefit from repairing rust to improve its longevity and restore its visual appeal as well.
Sometimes, rust can penetrate an area that makes continued operation of the vehicle particularly dangerous and can continuously compromise its safety. Rusted supports for the fuel tank could pose a severe risk, and extensive rust throughout the undercarriage or body panels could leave the driver or passengers barely protected in the event of a collision. Rust that has extended through the exhaust system may also allow potentially hazardous gases like carbon monoxide into the cabin.
In these cases, it is important to critically evaluate whether a rust repair would be cost-effective, as well as whether the repaired product would remain sufficiently strong and functional to ensure that the vehicle is still safe to drive. In the majority of these situations where important equipment necessary for the automobile’s functioning is impacted, repairing rust is not worth it due to the danger of driving a vehicle with weakened structures.
Work With the Auto Body Restoration Experts To Examine The Rust On Your Car
Whether you would like to seek out rust repair for your vehicle or would simply like an evaluation of your car’s current rust state, be sure to rely on experts who have worked extensively with rust repairs. Robs Customs & Restorations would be happy to speak with you about rust repair on your vehicle, what costs you can expect, and whether the rust you are experiencing is compromising the vehicle’s safety. Reach out to schedule an appointment to talk with a pro.