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Rust due to Rail Dust

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Has anyone had this problem? I find it hard to believe that the railcar trip from Hamtramack MI to Pontiac MI can cause this condition. I noticed tiny rust spots on my vehicle and the dealership is telling me they can't do anything about it because the car is past the 12 month/12,000mile Rail Dust warranty.

Also, how do I fix this? Is this going to lead to more serious paint problems if it is not taken cared of?

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That sounds suspicious to me. The rust marks were not there before the car was transported? Could those marks have been caused by the rail trip? Could it have been acid or a chemical sprayed somehow?

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Rail Dust Damage Repair


Approved safety glasses and gloves should be worn when performing this procedure to reduce the chance of personal injury.


If rail dust has penetrated into the basecoat, the panel requires refinishing. Ensure all the rail dust has been removed prior to refinishing or the rust spots will return.

Rail dust damage comes from the tiny iron particles produced from the friction between the train wheels and the track. It can also be deposited on vehicles if stored near any operation producing iron dust, i.e., steel ore yards. This dust can either lay on top of, or embed into the paint surface. It is usually diagnosed as bumps in the paint surface or rust colored spots in the paint.

Move the vehicle to a cool shaded area and ensure the vehicle surfaces are cool during the removal process.

Thoroughly wash the repair area with Liquid Wash and Wax GM P/N 1052870 or the equivalent.

Wipe the area dry.

Clean the affected area with silicone, wax and grease remover.

Perform the removal process according to the manufacturer's directions of the type of repair material used, Gel Type Oxalic Acid or Clay Type Non-Acid Based. If, upon inspection, some particles are still present, the process may be repeated. If the damage has been repaired, complete the repair to the entire panel.

Polish the entire panel after the removal process. Refer to Clearcoat Repair Specifications - 3M Products or to Clearcoat Repair Specifications - Meguiar Products . If small pits remain in the clearcoat after all of the damage has been repaired, refer to Clearcoat Repair w/o Repainting .

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It sounds more like dust from the semi-metallic brake pads. Usually rail dust manifests itself within 12 months.

Try using detailing clay to remove the spots. I notice small specs on my Seville and they are easily removed with detailing clay.

'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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