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Learn2 Repair Scratches and Rust Spots
(3 steps)

From rust bucket to fussbudget

Since the world is an unpredictable place, you may end up with a small dent or scratch on your car. And, since there's a reaction for every action, this little imperfection may lead to a tiny speck of rust. In turn, this tiny speck of rust can lead to more tiny specks of rust, which will eventually lead to not so tiny, somewhat glaring hunks of rust.

If you're not ready to shell out for another car, follow these steps for nipping the vicious scratch-and-rust cycle in the bud.

Before you begin

First, check if your car is still under warranty. Most newer vehicles (roughly 1990 models and up) have rust-through protection as a part of their extended warranties, but tampering with the vehicle's body can void it. However, once you start seeing rust on your vehicle, there's no guarantee that after it's removed and the areas are repainted, you won't see any more of the problem (even if you have the work done by a professional). In fact, you can probably count on seeing more--it's just the way nature works.

Given this fact, think twice before going for a professional body overhaul, like repainting or rust-proofing. There's nothing worse than spending all that money, only to see the problem return a year later. If you keep an eye out for the signs and deal with each problem as early as possible, plus exercise preventive measures (like cleaning and waxing your car regularly), you should be driving with confidence for years to come.

Note: Some steps in this 2torial involve power tools and products containing harmful chemicals. Always follow the proper safety measures outlined in the instructions of whatever tool or product you use.
   Go to Step 1 of 3

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Step 1: Identify the problem
Step 2: Repair scratches
Step 3: Repair rust spots

  • A few pieces of terry cloth
  • Car washing soap
  • A bucket
  • Car polish
  • Newspaper
  • Masking tape
  • Touch-up paint
  • A jar lid
  • A paint applicator (see Step 2)
  • Sandpaper (see Step 2 and Step 3)
  • Car wax
  • Body filler
  • Primer paint


Know When Your Car Needs a Tune-Up
Check Brake Fluid
Check Your Car's Oil
Turn a Stuck Ignition Key
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