Why is my car’s paint rusting?

car rust problems

Next to clear coat failure, rust is perhaps the other major auto paint concern that we hear about most often at O’Rielly Collision Center.  When you discover rust on your car paint, it can be frustrating, embarrassing, and disheartening.  You might be worried that it will get worse and spread.  Your concerns are certainly understandable.  Even though car paint problems are usually cosmetic, they can be painful to look at every day and some problems, like rust, can be very destructive over time. 

The good news is that you can often repair just the area of rust on your car without having to repaint your entire vehicle.  Prior to having the area repaired, however, you’ll need to determine what is causing your auto paint to rust.

To help you find the reason, here are some common causes of rusting car paint:

  • Your paint job was done incorrectly.  If you had your car painted at a shop and the paint job is starting to rust, it’s likely due to improper painting procedures.  Some shops choose to cut corners by hiring untrained automotive technicians, using incompatible paint, or skipping steps.  For instance, they’ll neglect to apply body cavity wax inside a frame rail or they’ll refrain from applying corrosion resistant sealers.

    auto paint problems

  • Your car is frequently exposed to the elements.  Here in Tucson and the Green Valley area, cars definitely take a beating from the sun.  Other damaging elements could be dirt and grime, salt, and pollution.  All of these could lead to problems with rust.
  • Your car paint has nicks and scratches.  Unfortunately, even a fairly small scratch can lead to rust growth.  The reason for this is that a scratch penetrates your car’s protective clear coat layer, which makes it easy for water to seep in and cause oxidation.
  • Your car has poor drainage.  This is an issue that typically causes rust problems on the interior of cars and is caused by poor drainage in the alleyways of your car’s hood, as well as around your windows and doors.  Sometimes, simply clearing out any debris will solve the drainage issue.
  • Your car is a few decades old.  If your car is around 20 years old, it might be rusting due to problems during manufacturing.  We have seen this problem in cars from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

    car paint problems

  • You’ve experienced a lot of wear and tear.  Sometimes, just time and mileage will cause your paint to wear, leaving minute crevices in your paint and opportunities for oxidation.

Are you looking for a professional auto paint shop in the Tucson or Green Valley area?
O’Rielly Collision Center is ready to have your car’s paint looking new again.  We are proud to boast that our techs are GM-certified and our facilities feature top-notch equipment.  See our Before and After page for examples of the work we’ve done and our Testimonials page to see reviews from our customers.  We will work with you to find a cost-effective solution to your unique autobody problem and offer a lifetime warranty on everything we do!


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