Your car requires a rather large amount of tender loving care. There are a number of things that can go wrong with your car that are occasionally out of your control: a battery that was bad from the very start, numerous alternator problems, a faulty security system, and more. There is one thing that is within your control, though: rust.
Rust goes beyond that of merely a cosmetic problem, rust can severely affect the integrity of your car's structure. Luckily, taking preventative measures agains rust is not too terribly difficult, and even when rusts sets in, with a little know how and elbow grease, you can combat it.
You may notice that your car's exterior, particularly its paint job, is suffering from cracks or flaking. Take a close look and maybe even peel away a bit of the paint that's already beginning to flake. If you notice a reddish hue under the surface of the paint, then you're probably suffering from surface rust, which is the first sign that your car is becoming susceptible to rust.
Lucky for you, surface rust is a relatively painless fix and does not actually take a significant amount of time to rectify. Surface rust usually requires you to buff off the paint of the car such that the shiny metal skeleton of the vehicle is exposed. Then, you will want to buff off the offending areas of surface rust. Apply primer to the vehicle's body and then repaint it your color of choice. You can, of course, also leave one or all of these steps to a local auto body repair professional, if you have the money to spare or if you don't feel comfortable committing yourself to this particular job.
Deeper Rust Damage
Unfortunately, if you decided to ignore you car's surface rust, you may have opened yourself up to a much bigger, deeper problem. Surface rust that is left unattended can cause much deeper damage, one that goes beyond a cosmetic issue and a problem that can seriously affect the integrity of your vehicle.
Scale rust is the first stage that goes beyond surface rust. Scale rust will actually begin to self propagate itself, as opposed to surface rust, which requires the correct oxidization elements. Scale rust will begin to affect the metal base of your vehicle, as opposed to just the paint or outermost exterior.
To get rid of scale rust, you will have to knock down the rust with a metal wire brush, smooth it out with a grinding wheel and then take extra precaution to create even more smoothness with sand paper. At this point, you can proceed much like you did with surface rust, by applying primer and then a coat of the paint of your choosing.
Deep rust damage does not end here, however. If left unattended, scale rust can transform into penetrative rust. This form of rust is incredibly difficult to deal with, as it actually penetrates inside of the metal base of your car. Generally speaking, this will require panel replacement with the affected panel removed and replaced with an unaffected panel. This in and of itself will require the touch of a professional, so it is highly recommended that rust be dealt with in a timely fashion before it becomes penetrative.
Rust is a serious issue for your car inside and out, but luckily, it doesn't necessarily need to be. Rust can be taken care of in its early stages before it develops into a problem that is not only difficult to deal with, but can be time consuming and expensive.