Rust repair is important for any vehicle owner. If rust isn’t detected early, it can eat through the metal of your automobile completely. These rust holes will expand as long as they aren’t addressed.
Filling a rust hole in your vehicle necessitates first removing the rust and any damaged metal, followed by applying a fibreglass body filler. After that, it’s simply a question of putting up with whatever finish you choose for the repaired surface.
If you are not able to bring your truck into an auto body shop, consider trying to repair it yourself by following these steps:
Remove The Rust
Be sure to wear eye protection and work gloves when you’re repairing rust. It’s also a good idea to work outside or in a well-ventilated area, as the rust removal process can produce fumes.
There are a few ways to remove rust:
- Use an abrasive like steel wool or sandpaper
- Use a chemical like naval jelly or muriatic acid
- Use an angle grinder
Whichever method you choose, be sure to remove all the rust before moving on to the next step. Remove the paint 2 inches (5 cm) all around the rust. Because the filler will not stick to paint, you must remove it from all sides of the hole. A power drill with a wire brush attachment can quickly remove the paint from metal and even some or all of the rust.
With tin snips or a grinder, cut away the affected metal from the hole. Cut only as much metal as you need to get rid of the rust; too much can weaken the structure of your truck.
Once all the rust is gone, sand the area around the hole with a coarse abrasive like sandpaper or steel wool until it’s dull and slightly roughened. The filler will adhere better to this surface than to a smooth one.
Treat the Exposed Metal With a Rust Inhibitor
The exposed metal is still susceptible to rust, so you’ll need to apply a rust inhibitor before proceeding. This will help the filler adhere better and prevent future rusting.
There are a number of products available for this purpose—look for one that’s compatible with the filler you’re using.
Fill In the Hole
Now that you’ve cleared away the rust and treated it with a rust inhibitor, you’re ready to fill in the hole. You can use any kind of automotive body filler for this purpose, but fiberglass-reinforced filler is best because it’s both strong and flexible.
Spread a generous layer of filler over the hole, then smooth it out with a putty knife or your fingers.
Sand & Finish the Fiberglass Filler
Finally, you need to sand the filler smooth so it’s even with the surrounding metal. This step is important because if you don’t sand the filler, it will be very difficult to paint over it later.
Use a medium-grit sandpaper to remove any excess filler, then switch to a finer grit paper to smooth out the area. Once you’re satisfied with the results, you can prime and paint the area to match the rest of your truck—touch up paint as needed.
And there you have it! By following these simple steps, you can fix rust holes on your truck like a pro.