Hello there, my name is Jamir, and I just had a question I wanted to get answered and hopefully gain some knowledge. Several months ago, I bought my first car, a '04 Kia Amanti. I got it for a relatively good price, I would think so myself, and though it has some issues, I feel they are minimal. However one thing with the car that has been bugging me is the rust on the sides above the rear tires. On one side, I would think is pretty manageable and the other looks almost far gone to do anything. I’m buckling down and am looking at different rust removers to try and fix this. My question is, would it be worth it, or is the rust so bad, it would be helpful to see if a professional could take care of it and if they deem it can be taken of? I have some pictures too, to help paint the picture better. Any help or recommendations are very much appreciated.
Well , since rust is like an iceberg ( you only see about 20 % of it ) I would at least get a professional opinion as to how bad it is first. Get their estimate for repair then start a web search for videos on rust repair to see if that is something you can do.
You need to cut the rusty sheet metal and weld a new piece or else the rust will comeback after a few month.
I have been down the exact same road on my first car. Rust can be removed by grinding it away, or sand blasting and then treating with an acid wash. You will be left with a hole. The correct way to fix this is to weld in a patch and smooth with filler. Both side must be primed and the outside painted to match the car.
And the rust will come back. Rust never sleeps.
In New England they call it cancer.
If it’s as bad as you described, yeah the only way is to cut it out and weld in new metal. Or for something that will last a couple years until the car is junked, you can cut out the bad stuff and use fiberglass instead of metal. Unless you do it yourself though, it’ll probably cost more than the car is worth.
In the Middle Atlantic States, we also referred to rust as “cancer” in the '50s, '60s, and '70s. While severe rust problems are relatively rare in modern cars, they can be… insidious… and can easily lead to junking a car that is mechanically viable.
Based on experience, any repair you attempt will be temporary. I’ve done several repairs like this, and none of them look very good, but you can attempt them like I did. It can’t get any worse.
Here is what I did:
Use masking tape and paper to block off the areas around the rust. Don’t get too close, you’re going to want to leave some room between the spot and where the paint is good.
Sand the rust down to the metal.
Prime the metal before it gets a chance to rust again. Walmart sells a "rust converter " primer that I’ve used, but any primer you pick up from an auto parts store will do.
Paint the primed area after the primer is dry. You can use a can of automotive spray paint or brush touch-up paint on it, but if you can find a close match, spray paint will be easier.
Paint several coats, letting them dry each time.
With any luck, the rust won’t come back until you’ve moved on to another car, but if it does, you can repeat the process. If you want it to look nice, though, you should hire a body shop to do the repair.
Those are expected places for rust to develop in a car b/c that area gets coated with slash-up road salt from the tires. B/c these are known rust areas, there are probably replacement panels available. In that case the old panel is removed, and the new panel installed. Google ‘Kia replacement body panels’ for some ideas. Most folks wouldn’t attempt a body repair like that themselves however, as it usually requires quite a bit welding experience to do it correctly, both functionally, and aesthetically. In some cases the panels can be replaced simply by unbolting the old one and bolting the new one in, depends on the exact situation.
Lots of ideas, but the problem is, as @VDCdriver wrote, insidious. It will never go away without the investment of lots of time and money, and few vehicles are worth that. Not only is it ugly, it’s also weakening the structure of the car in important ways and the car will become unstable and weak, and finally dangerous to everyone. No telling how long that will take, but it’s mostly time related so if you drive a lot of miles often you could still get some good use of the car.
I had a 65 Tempest LeMans convertible that looked good, but had lots of rust underneath, so that finally it started sagging so much that the doors would jam on uneven surfaces. I had to sell it to the recyclers for parts.
I’m not sure if the OP is aware that his Kia–like almost all modern cars–has unitized construction, meaning that it does not have a conventional frame underlying the body. With unitized construction, the body and key panels underneath the body itself form the car’s “frame”.
Thus, unlike cars of yesteryear that had a conventional frame, a modern car’s structure will progressively become weaker as the rust–much of which is not visible–progresses. With a 15 year old car, there will inevitably be rust, and only a good body shop can advise you on the full extent of that rust.
If rust is beginning to eat away at the car’s floor pan and other key structural elements, it would be best to think of this as a temporary car because its book value would not warrant the extensive–and expensive–repairs that would be necessary.
The only way that I remove rust from a vehicle is to tow it to a salvage yard.