tiny rust spots on car

Dealing With Tiny Rust Spots on Car: What Should You Do?

Nicks, dings, and scratches can cause tiny rust spots on your car and lead to major damage to your vehicle if left untreated. Learn how to remove rust from your car by following these step-by-step instructions from the best auto body shop in Tucson, Formula 1 Collision Center.

For automotive repairs and restoration, call our collision specialists at 520-369-4291, and keep your vehicle looking as good as new.

Why You Should Address Surface Rust Promptly

Surface rust exists on the outer layer of your car’s body panels along the protective layer of your vehicle’s paint coating. If you notice signs of rust, treat it as soon as possible to prevent the corrosion process from advancing. Rust can penetrate deep through your vehicle’s metal which sometimes requires professionals to replace entire body panels.

How to Treat Surface Rust Areas on Your Car

To remove surface rust from your car, you will need the following tools: 

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Plastic sheet
  • Painter’s tape
  • Grease remover
  • Sandpaper (between 180- and 600-grit)
  • Protective sealant
  • Automotive paint (matching your car’s color)

Step #1: Prepare Your Workspace

Before removing the tiny rust spots on your car, start by preparing your workspace. Put on any safety gear, such as goggles, gloves, and dust mask, then use plastic sheeting to cover the area around the rusted portion of your vehicle. Leave an opening at least six inches wide around the affected area and secure the plastic in place with the painter’s tape. 

Step #2: Cleaning the Surface

With the corroded portion now framed, you can now clean the surface of the rusted area. Remove any dirt, dust, and residue using wax and grease remover. This will prevent contamination of the metal during the sanding process.   

Step #3: Sanding the Rust

Take your sandpaper or grinding disc and sand the surface rust away using gentle circular motions. Make sure to sand the area around the rust as well. This will effectively remove the paint from the corroded portion of your vehicle and expose the shiny metal base underneath. 

Step #4: Applying Sealant or Primer 

After sanding, clear all dust from the metal with a microfiber cloth and clean the area with degreaser again. You can now apply protective sealant or primer to the repaired area. A protective sealant acts as a primer and prevents the chemical reactions that cause surface rust

Step #5: Applying Automotive Paint

Once your primer has dried, clean the area with grease remover again. You can now buff the repaired area with a microfiber cloth and apply your automotive paint that matches your car’s color. 

Wait 30 days before washing and waxing your car. This allows adequate time for your car to completely cure and is the most important step in maintaining your vehicle’s new paint job.

Contact Formula 1 Collision Center

Do you have tiny rust spots on your car? Count on Tucson’s most trusted collision specialists to restore your vehicle to its best condition. Call Formula 1 Collision Center at 520-369-4291!


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  • Monday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
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  • Wednesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
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  • Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed
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