Bad Frame Rust: How Much Is Too Much?

Metal frames are malleable, flexible and durable hence are a favorite choice for most car frames. However, they are also vulnerable as they rust easily.

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How much frame rust is too much?

Frame rust is considered too much when it gets to a point where the frame develops holes, becomes too weak, and gets to a point where it is reddish brown and powdery. Other parts become too light and develop soft spots.

I came to learn about a rusty frame being a common issue when we visited a mechanic. My friend insisted on having my truck frame checked when he spotted a few soft spots on the car. 

Apparently, rusty frames are more common than many people think; this was something I learned the hard way.

What Does Bad Frame Rust Mean

I wanted to understand how rusting frames come about on car and truck frames considering that they are painted and coated. I spent a good amount of time asking the mechanic questions regarding the rusting issue. The answers I got were quite revealing.

Frame rust refers to the brownish red substance that forms on trucks, cars, and other types of vehicles. One thing that is clear though is that rusting is not a rare occurrence. In fact, it is normal for cars with frames made of alloys or metallic parts.

Any vehicle, including a truck can develop rust dents and cracks. Typically, the rust surface develops when the alloy or metal surface is oxidized. This is when oxygen and moisture react.

The process is accelerated with the presence of salt, which explains why cars rust faster in areas close to oceans and seas. The humid air is loaded with salt. 

This often starts with small holes developing and can become unsafe over time as the place becomes weak if repairs are not done quickly.

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When Frame Rust Becomes a Cause for Concern

Surface rust starts gradually and slowly causes the metal frame of any car or truck to thin before eventually putting car owners at risk if no repair is done. The layers of damaged car paint coat peel off slowly and only keen observers will notice changes.

The rusted surface becomes dust-like and brittle enough that it will break. This process is known as corrosion. All rust issues on car frames escalate once the corrosion Kicks off.

You should worry about the metal’s integrity when your rusty truck frame shows signs. The first thing that happens is that the metal will become fragile. 

When the rust is severe, chances are that the truck frame allows weather elements into the metal. This is why you should always act fast and take the car to the mechanic for inspection.

Let the expert inspect the interior and exterior parts of the vehicle. They have the expertise to offer the right support through repairs that specifically target the rusted areas.

Note that your vehicle frame protects the under components of the vehicle including the chassis. There may be bolts that come off if the rust issue becomes worse due to ignored repairs. 

Regular maintenance such as applying grease and having parts replaced can help avoid severe effects.

Rusting also causes your car frame to lose its aesthetic appeal, which in turn affects the beauty of the vehicle. A rusted frame also causes health risks as it can predispose the owner of the car to tetanus.

Take caution and think about your next course of action if it is easy to chip parts of the car from the vehicle. The covered surfaces should never peel off easily if the rust has not compromised its quality. After all, most of the parts are welded in and should not disintegrate easily unless thoroughly compromised.

Always watch out for rust under the car or on the lower frame side.Most trucks will start developing rust issues from these areas.

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Different Causes of Rusty Frame

There are several reasons why rust may develop on frames of trucks and vehicles. Something as simple as road salt or salty humid air can trigger rusting on cars. Not many people expect this to happen because of the paint coat on their vehicles.

Rather than wait till the damage is done to have the frame repaired, it is best to approach the issue before it happens. This is one of the few ways that preventive measures work. 

Top causes of these rusting frames include but are not limited to the following:

The age of the vehicle

When the car is first purchased, everything checks out. However, as it ages, layers of paint and other protective covers begin to slowly slip off. This exposure leads to oxidation especially when elements such as water and air come in.

The material of the frame

The material matters a lot since durable metals and alloys will not rust as fast as the weak ones do. A good example is the rust recall material used in Toyota models. Older vehicles tend to have more frame rusting compared to newer vehicles because of change in technology. 

Location also matters

When you live close to the ocean or sea, the salt and humid air will cause fast corrosion and rusting. Also, vehicles that are exposed to weather elements and not under a garage or shade will rust faster. Make sure to park your vehicle under a shade or in the garage if you want to protect the truck frame.

The vehicle’s exterior condition

It is best to attend to cracks and dents on vehicles quickly. Ignoring such minor repairs will have to be compensated with a high cost in future. There is a need to block such openings as they let in water and air and promote oxidation and rusting.

Can you Save Different Surface Rust Issues?

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When you spend some time on your browser trying to find the best vehicle in the market, your hope is to find the best value for your money. A factory will manufacture vehicles with the hope that potential customers will come in to purchase.

The company’s aim in the first place is to ensure profit from such transitions. Therefore, they’ll have necessary checks and balances that ensure the vehicle frames are in top shape to attract more costumes. Any slight manufacturing errors will lead to returns and repairs before any sale is done.   

Can Painting Over a Car Frame Save it from Rusting?

If the rust case is not too deep, painting over it may help prevent future damage. Dealers and car experts will advise you to invest in restoration services. Unfortunately, this comes at a significant cost.

Rehabilitation and restoration happens in specialized projects where the rotten parts of the vehicle are removed completely and replaced.  The patch work is done using fiberglass and other materials which influence the cost of the final project. The location and extent of the rust also play a big role.

Failure to act quickly will lead to new frames and replacement of parts such as the timing belt. Paint can help salvage this situation but it should start with first sanding the affected area before applying any type of paint. Sanding also allows you to gauge the extent of the rust damage.

What is the Duration that a Rust Lasts on a Frame?

The longevity of the rust on frames depends on the extent of the rust. The more holes the rusted frame develops, the worse it gets. The depth of the rust also affects the repairs it will need.

Always bring a mechanic with you whenever you want to buy a used car. They will inspect the car and carry out all the necessary checks.

Does Wd40 Work on Rust?

Using Wd40 on rusted surfaces works like magic. It helps to lose dirt and rust and also ensures protection of the surface against future rusting. The lubricant prevents corrosion and prevents friction too.

The Wd40 also helps prevent irritating sounds and noises that are released when a surface rusts. Constant friction causes damage to metal frames and metal surfaces.

Key Takeaways

  • Rust on metal frames is more common than most people appreciate
  • Get a mechanic to help inspect your car before purchasing
  • Rusty frames are caused by several things including salt and weather elements.
  • Take care of rust on frames as soon as they start forming
  • Never ignore rust on metals as they can lead to expensive repair costs.