Dealing with rust is simple enough as long as it's done quickly. No matter what you do, don't just paint over the rust to cover it up. This is a popular tactic for people who're trying to keep their cars looking good for just another year or two, or people who're trying to sell old cars and who want to make them look like they're in good shape. Painting over the rust does nothing except cover it up; It'll still be under there, slowly spreading through the metal, literally rotting away your car. You must actually remove the rust before you paint over the spot where it was.
Rust is a serious problem for any car. It's not just that rust looks ugly; It is akin to cancer, in that it slowly spreads through the body of the whole car, eventually making it break down and fall apart. If you plan to keep your car for any length of time, you should remove any rust as soon as possible so the whole car doesn't just rust away.
The first step is to remove the rust. Generally there are two ways of doing this: Mechanically, and chemically. Mechanically removing it is done by just grinding out the rust with sandpaper or something similar, until you've gotten rid of all of it and exposed the bare metal of the car. Chemically removing the rust is done by simply spraying on a rust remover. You can probably get a can of the stuff at your local hardware store. It just sprays on and dissolves the rust until it's gone.
Once you've gotten rid of the rust, the only real step that's left is to cover up the car's bare metal so it doesn't start to rust again. This is done by simply painting over it. If you don't care how your car looks and the rust area was small, you can just go over the metal with some touch-up paint to cover it up. This will often leave a little hole or dent, but it's better than rust. If you want the car to look good as new, you can go the distance and start shaping the body by sanding around the area to make it smooth, then putting primer and paint on it. In any case, once you've gotten the bare metal covered, it's basically protected from rust for the time being, until the paint starts to chip or wear away.
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