How to Bondo Rust Holes In a Car

Rust is simply a fact of life. It tends to be a constant issue close to the shore, in humid areas and in the salt belt.

Read More: how to fix rust holes on a car with bondo

Even a chip from a stone can give rust a foothold on your car and lead to cosmetic or structural damage. Body repair is often considered one of the most delicate and complicated car repairs, but learning how to Bondo rust holes is luckily quite simple.

While “Bondo” is the name of a 3M product, it has also become a generic term for plastic body filler, and several companies make similar stuff.

The putty can be useful for filling rust holes in the most rust-prone areas of a car including quarter panels, fenders over and behind the wheels, and the bottoms of doors. However, whether or not you can Bondo a rust hole will depend on the location and severity of the rust.

To Bondo or Not to Bondo

Using body filler to reshape a curvy fender.Minor surface rust can often be sanded and painted, but major rust pitting and holes may require a little more effort and material — specifically, Bondo or some other quality body filler.

Useful for You: Bye-Bye, Bounce

However, Bondo shouldn’t be used on every kind of rust hole. Because it can’t support any weight or protect you in a crash, you should never attempt to use Bondo for rust holes in anything structural, such as frame rails or reinforced areas on unibody vehicles (i.e. Modern cars and crossovers.

Fuel tanks and exhaust systems are also a no-go because body fillers will not cure when exposed to fuel and will crack when exposed to heat.

Welding or replacement is the only option for structural components that have rust holes. On the other hand, for non-structural body repairs, knowing how to Bondo rust holes can help you restore your vehicle’s appearance and prevent more rust formation.

How to Bondo Rust Holes

To get started, the body filler needs something to stick to. Raw, unpainted metal is preferred. Primed metal will work. A rust converter should be used to prepare rust-pitted surfaces for body filler. Rust The rust converter stops the oxidation process which creates rust, and prevents the spread of rust.

If rust has thinned or eaten through the panel, then the Bondo needs a backup. You can use fiberglass sheets, metal mesh, or fiberglass screen.

Once you have a good surface to work with, mix body filler with a spatula or plastic scraper on a piece of cardboard. Only make what you’ll use in about ten minutes, or else the filler may cure before you are done. With your spatula, apply the filler to the surface. Try to keep the final thickness (post-sanding) less than a quarter-inch to prevent future cracking.

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After 15 to 20 minutes, use coarse sandpaper (30 to 60 grit) to shape the repair and feather it to the surrounding body surface. After another 30 to 40 minutes, the surface should be ready for final sanding with 180 to 300 grit paper. After cleaning the dust from the surface, you’re ready to prime and paint. This article will provide more information about the plastic body filler process.

There are some parts of your vehicle that may never rust, but other parts might seem like they could turn to dust right before your eyes without proper attention. You can avoid unsightly structural damage and body damage

if you catch rust early. The best approach is prevention, so be sure to take care of rust when it’s still minor with some touch-up paint or undercoating. If that rust gets to the next level, knowing how to Bondo rust holes might just save the day.

You can find all the paint and body products on NAPA Online. Or, you can trust one of 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations to perform routine maintenance or repairs. For more information on how to Bondo rust holes, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo via Flickr

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