Will Rust Come Back After A Repair – How To Prevent It

Rust on cars isn’t a good thing. It affects the car’s aesthetics and, if not removed, can cause bigger damage that will cost a lot.

People who can’t bear the sight of the tiny imperfection of rust on their car will immediately want to remove it, but will that completely stop rust from returning to the car?

Quick Answer

As a general rule, rust will not come back after a repair, provided you remove the rust completely from the car before painting it over or adding other rust treatment to the rusty area.

Sometimes, people in a feat to cover up rust can be hasty and just spray some paint over the rust and move on without removing the rust.

While it might look good, it hasn’t dealt with the problem, making the rust come back after repairing it.

How can you ensure rust doesn’t come back after a repair? Read on!

Will Rust Come Back After A Repair?

People repair rusty parts using different methods. The repair could be little or big, depending on the rust damage on the car.

It may require painting over, replacing body panels, using body fillers, rust treatments, and other ways.

Even with these, you probably have doubts about whether you can permanently repair rust.

Quick Answer

In total, rust will not come back after a repair if rust is completely removed from the affected body panels; that is, you have to sand off the rust totally from the metal before treating the surface.

Of course, not all rust repairs require sanding the rust; you may need to replace the affected part, depending on the rust damage.

However, rust will return to your car if you don’t remove it properly.

How can you remove rust completely? You can do that by replacing the rusty area or by treating the surface.

Replace The Rusty Area

Sometimes when rust progresses, it can be so bad that there is no saving the metal unless you replace it with another metal patch.

You need to replace the metal when the metal flakes off, is completely damaged and has created a huge hole in the car.

In this case, you need to cut out metal patches or use galvanized steel to cover the area.

After measuring the area, you cut out the right fit needed to match the affected area from the metal patch and weld it in place.

One thing to note here is that galvanized sheets are known to be rust-resistant, so you might want to try that.

Once you’re done welding the metal patch, you can apply paint coatings on the area to blend it with other parts of the car.

Then, you can finish up by waxing it for extra protection. 

This might seem a bit complex for people who aren’t DIY fans; therefore, you would need to pay some money at the auto shop for repairs.

However, one thing is sure that rust won’t come back.

Removing The Rust

Another effective way to repair rust so that it doesn’t return is by removing the rust.

This should be the basis of rust repairs that don’t require body replacement.

As long as the rust is removed, your car is safe. How do you do that?

Clean The Area

To completely remove rust, you need to clean the rusty area with a wax and grease remover.

This will help clean the area and prepare it for further rust treatment, so it can be effective. After cleaning, you wait until it dries up or blow-dry it yourself.

Remove Rust Using A Wire Brush

Once the surface is dry, use a wire brush to run over the rusty area to remove the rust. Ensure you touch all the rusty areas to effectively remove the rust.

Sand Off The Surface

Move on to sand off the surface after removing the rust. This will help to brush off the rust from the metal completely.

Sand the surface until the metal is exposed with no rust on it.

Apply A Rust Remover

Then apply a rust remover on the sanded surface. It will help to prevent further rust oxidation from the affected area.

Leave the rust remover for a while before wiping off the remnants.

Apply A Filler Or Fiberglass To The Surface

You need to apply a filler on the surface you just sand off.

If it’s just surface rust, you can rub a body filler on the area, but if there’s a hole, you can fill it with fiberglass and hardener.

You then wait for the filler to dry up and sand the surface to even it with the other area.

Apply Primer

Once the area you’re working on is smooth and rust-free, you can then apply a primer on the surface to protect it from rust-causing elements.

The primer serves as some kind of protection before you coat the area.

Coat With Paint

Then, you need to coat the surface with paint. You would want to use a color that blends with other parts of the car.

Start with a light coat, then another, and a third coat, letting each application dry before the next.

Apply Wax

Waxing is like the final touch of repairing rust on your car. It protects your car from rust attacks for a long time.

How Do You Keep Rust From Coming Back?

It will be quite disappointing to see rust return after fixing it, but sometimes, it can be inevitable.

However, there is a solution to keep rust from coming back to your car.

Quick Answer

As a general rule, you can keep rust from coming back by protecting your car from rust-causing elements, through different means, including washing your car, waxing it, monitoring it, and fixing scratches quickly.

You can protect your car from rust through the following:

  • Wax the car
  • Monitor the paint job
  • Wash the car
  • Protect the car from scratches
  • Monitor the weak spots

If you want to protect your car and prevent rust from returning, you must do some things.

Wax The Car

Waxing is top-tier car protection. In fact, car experts advise that you wax your car occasionally for maximum protection.

Wax serves as a layer of protection that prevents moisture or air from penetrating the car and causing rust

After removing rust, ensure you wax your car. Moving on, you should ensure to wax your car at least twice a year.

Monitor The Paint Job

Rust builds up when the metal is exposed through peeled paint or paint bubbles. There is a reason manufacturers paint cars, and it’s for protection.

Therefore, when that is absent, you may be unable to control rust return.

You need to ensure that the painting on your car is intact, so if there’s an exposed area, you can paint over it quickly.

Wash The Car

Washing your car is essential in preventing rust from returning.

This will prevent debris, mud, or road salt from clinging to your car and causing rust.

You should wash your car more during winter because of road salt. A clean car is one free from rust.

Protect The Car From Scratches

Scratches on cars can cause rust to return. Therefore, you need to protect your car from scratches.

You can ensure you don’t park too close to other cars and use a car cover.

Plus, you also need to go the extra mile to cover scratches quickly before oxidation begins and causes rust to return.

Monitor The Weak Spots

You can also prevent rust from returning by monitoring weak spots on the car for possible rust or vulnerability.

Check the antenna, sunroof, wheel wells, underbody molding and trim underneath the car, and the side mirrors connecting points.

Does Rust Always Come Back On Cars? 

Rust, sometimes, is inevitable, and whether it will return after repairs has been a major concern.

If rust will return anyway, why should you bother about repairing it? But that can’t be right.

Quick Answer

As a general rule, rust doesn’t always come back on cars if rust is properly removed and the surface is protected. In the end, whether rust will return or not depends on the rust treatment; if rust isn’t removed, you should expect its return.

Before you bother about rust return, ensure you remove rust from your car.

You can remove rust by replacing the damaged body part and using a wire brush or sandpaper.

Then you can protect it with primer, paint, and wax, respectively.


Rust is a headache, but it can be fixed. However, the concern is whether it won’t return after repairs.

The only way to ensure rust doesn’t come back is by removing it completely. 

Use a wire brush and sandpaper for small rusty parts, and cover the area with primer and paint. Ensure you don’t forget to wax your car for extra protection.

Finally, ensure you care for your car and monitor and check all body parts for signs of rust or vulnerability, so you can act quickly.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rust won’t come back if removed
  • Painting over the car alone won’t stop rust from returning
  • Waxing will protect cars from rust attack
  • Washing and rinsing the car will protect car and prevent rust from returning or building up







Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge