15 Easy Tips On How To Prevent Rust Getting Worse

Rust on a car is a nightmare or worse, depending on how bad it is.

For example, a simple rust spot on the car can deface and ruin its aesthetics.

On the other hand, rust that has eaten deep into the metal, car engine, and structure can make the vehicle a hazard.

Thankfully, you can prevent rust from getting worse. How? 

Quick Answer

On average, you can prevent rust from getting worse by treating the current rust problem through different means, which include sanding the rusted surface, using rust remover, painting, waxing, using rust inhibitor, and other rust remover methods.

If you love doing stuff yourself, you can try DIY methods when the rust is still in the early phase.

However, there are some rust situations you may need a professional to inspect and treat for you.

When rust eats too deep, it may be unsafe to keep driving it; therefore, you need to prevent it from worsening.

This article contains detailed ways to prevent your car rust from worsening.

Read on to find out.

How Do You Prevent Car Rust From Getting Worse?

According to researchers, moisture and harsh elements are the major causes of rust in cars, and can worsen rust.

While it is almost impossible to protect your car from contact with moisture and the elements, you can prevent rust from ruining your car’s value and structure.

That is, you have to tackle rust as soon as you notice it on your car.

In total, you can prevent car rust from worsening through the following ways:

  • Use rust remover
  • Park car in a garage
  • Sand the surface
  • Paint over the rust
  • Cover up scratches
  • Wax the car
  • Ask a professional for help
  • Apply corrosion-inhibiting primer
  • Check weak spots
  • Wash and inspect the undercarriage
  • Replace the rusted area
  • Use fiberglass gel
  • Use body filler
  • Weld metal patches on the surface
  • Cover with galvanized metal

If you want the rust on your car to stop from spreading and ruining it, try the following:

Use Rust Remover

One way to prevent rust from getting worse is by using a rust remover.

Many rust removers effectively get rid of rust from car surfaces; you just need to find a good one.

After finding one, you need to prep your car for application.

Ensure you clean the rusted surface and remove dirt and debris, so the rust remover won’t seal them in.

Different products have various requirements for using them, so you should read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying. 

Park Car In A Garage

Moisture is one of the vicious elements responsible for rust on your car and can even cause it to spread to other areas.

It will worsen when moisture settles in the rusted area, and you need to protect your car from further damage.

Therefore, parking your car in a garage seems like the ideal thing to do.

It will protect your car from further moisture damage.

Additionally, the temperature and humidity in the area can dry out retained moisture from the car.

Sand The Surface

Another effective way to prevent rust from worsening is by sanding the rusted surface.

Sanding the rust off the car helps remove the rust-causing oxidants. 

By doing this, you can stop the rust from worsening.

However, you should be careful when sanding, so you don’t remove the metal on your vehicle too. 

Spanding the rust off means you have now exposed the metal, and leaving it that way gives room for rust to return quickly.

Therefore, treating the surface with an inhibitor or remover is advisable so rust doesn’t return.

Paint Over The Rust

You can also prevent rust from worsening by painting the rusted surface.

When rust starts, you’ll notice some paint rubbles on your car or even exposed metals. 

Advisably, this is a warning sign you shouldn’t ignore.

Remove the rubbles and expose the metal.

Then, sand the surface to remove debris and smoothen it out. 

Once you are done, you can apply a primer or filler on the surface before painting it over, depending on what’s available or how serious the rust is.

After the paint dries off, you would have succeeded in preventing rust from spreading.

Cover Up Scratches

Untreated scratches on cars will eventually translate to rust if you ignore them.

Scratches show that there are few exposed areas on your car, and slowly as water touches your car, a small amount will stay on its surface.

To prevent this, you need to cover up scratches from the car.

Depending on the scratch depth, get a good scratch remover, and apply it to the surface. 

Wax The Car

Wax on a car is like a layer of protection, which your car needs when rust appears on it.

It will prevent the rust from spreading to other parts of the car.

Moreover, it leaves your car shining, making it look new.

Instead of exposing the car metal to rust, you should sand the affected part and coat it with paint.

Then, wax the entire body of the car, including the undercarriage. 

Ask A Professional For Help

DIY methods cannot deal with serious rust problems unless you are a professional and deal with cars daily.

If fixing things isn’t a hobby for you, then asking a professional for help seems the next viable option, or you stop driving the car.

For huge rust holes or falling rusted plates on the car, rust removers or paint can’t treat them.

They may have affected the engines too.

A professional will examine the rust’s damage and check whether your car is salvageable.

Apply Corrosion-Inhibiting Primer

You can also prevent car rust from worsening by using a corrosion-inhibiting primer.

The primer helps seal the metal surface and prevent moisture and oxidants from penetrating the metal.

Apply the inhibitor after sanding and cleaning the rusted surface. Get a good inhibitor and apply it to the rusted area.

Check Weak Spots

Your car has some weak spots that are vulnerable to rust, and most times, they are areas you don’t pay attention to.

If you don’t notice this, rust can spread to those areas. 

Some areas to check are the antenna, sunroof, underbody moldings and trim, wheel wells, underneath cars, side mirror connections, and more.

Basically, you should check areas hidden from the areas. 

When you notice rust in those spots, you can treat them yourself or ask a professional, depending on the level of rust.

Wash And Inspect The Undercarriage

Your undercarriage is easily negligible because it’s beneath your car.

However, this area is extremely vulnerable because it’s very close to the ground, can retain debris, water, and mud, and is susceptible to scratches and dents.

You need to inspect the undercarriage often to ensure no rust budding.

In addition, you need to wash it so no rust and dry mud isn’t hanging onto the surface.

Replace The Rusted Area

When rust gets so bad, you can’t save the car part just by slathering paint on the surface, and the rust will stop.

In this case, you will need to cut out the rusted area and replace it with spare car parts.

Use Fiberglass Gel

Rust can dent your car and leave small holes in the body.

In that case, using a rust remover or sanding may not be enough. 

You may need to fill up the holes in the body with fiberglass.

When fiberglass dries up, it becomes as solid as metal, and with a good finish, it will look like your car’s normal body part.

Sand, the rusted area, mix fiberglass with hardener and fill up the area.

Then sand off excess, use a primer, and finish up by painting the surface.

Use Body Filler

You can prevent rust from getting worse by using a good body filler on the affected area.

First, you need to sand off the rust before using the filler on the area.

After the filler solidifies, you then smoothen the surface and paint over it.

Weld Metal Patches On The Surface

For metal areas that flake off, you will need to cover the exposed area with metal patches.

Get some good metal parts and weld them to the surface after sanding them off.

Then apply any rust inhibitor before painting over the metal patches.

Cover With Galvanized Metal

Galvanized metal is coated in zinc from both sides and is rust-resistant.

It prevents rust and corrosion and can stay rust-free for up to 50 years. 

Try this method for serious rust cases that can’t be fixed with paint, primer, or an inhibitor.

Cover up affected areas with galvanized metal and stop rust from worsening.


Preventing rust from getting worse on your car can be easy, time-consuming, or costly, depending on the level of rust.

It’s best to prevent rust from worsening when it’s just at the surface level instead of waiting till it becomes a bigger problem.

Moreover, after stopping the rust, ensure you carry out routine car maintenance to prevent it from returning.

Key Takeaways:

  • Car rust can be prevented from worsening by painting and using other rust treatment, 
  • For serious rust problems, asking a professional for help is better,
  • Regular car maintenance can prevent rust from returning,
  • Always monitor the car’s weak spots to stop rust on time.












Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge