When you first see the rust coming through on your car it can be a moment of dread for most car owners. In the UK, being an island surrounded by corrosive salt water and with a relatively wet climate, it is pretty much inevitable that rust will work its way into your car at some point of its life. These ideal environmental conditions for rust will also accelerate the damage once the first spot of corrosion arrives. When you first notice the rust you may wonder how much time you have before the damage becomes critical and replacement is necessary because a repair can no longer be done. The answer is that you should treat and repair the rust as quickly as you can. As well as costs rising the longer you leave it, the structural integrity of the vehicle can rapidly be threatened.
When the rust bubbles start to appear it is tempting to wait and see what happens next – nobody wants to pay for repairs unless they absolutely have to, right?
Rust is the layman’s term for Fe2O3, commonly known as iron oxide. The process of rust formation is called oxidation and affects iron, steel and other iron-based materials. Given enough time, a very long time, iron will reduce totally to iron oxide. You will have seen examples of cheaply and badly made cars from the 60s and 70s that demonstrate this process well, displaying massive signs of rust and holes in the metalwork.
Surface Rust and Blemishes
Aside from looking unsightly, surface rust is the first sign of an approaching more serious issue. By investing a relatively small amount at this stage, you can restore the look of your car and avoid much more costly rust repairs later. Mobile Smart Repair can repair most surface rust damage jobs on a mobile basis for a very fair price.
Once the rust moves from the surface and begins to spread it is known as scale rust. Rust is self-propagating, meaning that it will spread itself, if left unchecked. The rate of penetration depends on several variable factors; the type of steel, thickness, proportion of other materials in the alloy, the level of exposure. Certain elements that are added to the steel like nickel can make it more rust resistant but is still no guarantee of avoiding oxidation. The environmental conditions are also a large factor in the speed of the degradation; salts such as road salt or other contaminants dissolved in water make the chemical reaction happen much faster.
Even at this more advanced stage of scale rust, Mobile Smart Repair can repair the damage rather than replace the affected panels, giving a faster and lower priced solution.
If the rust is allowed to develop too long, whole sections of the steel will turn to iron oxide which is brittle enough that you can poke holes in it with your finger. At this stage, repairs become more costly with either welding or full panel replacement required. Even at this stage, we can still repair your vehicle at a much lower cost than a traditional body shop but we will usually need to take the car away for a few days.
If you see rust developing anywhere on your vehicle then the best thing to do is contact us straight away to get the best possible price for a repair.