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Rust Never Sleeps -- Questions About Rust Problems



  • I use Fluid Film all the time. They've got a dealer locator on their web site:
    It's worth finding.
  • I am considering buying a 91 Cutlass Ciera (3.3 litre engine) that looks fine, except for a potential corrosion problem at the towers that anchor the front struts. The rust is underway, but not too ugly at present. Has anyone with a Ciera ever had a tower rust out and fail completely?? I did have just that experience one time with a former car (Dodge Colt), resulting in the strut popping up against the hood!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,406
    Oh that's a bad place to have rust. Is it actually just surface rust or is it already flaking, pitting or holed? You might have a body shop lift the car and look around. I hope this car is like REAL cheap.


  • Thanks for the input - I will get the professional inspection. Problem is, it appears that it's only the one location (at the towers) that is the concern - the car is immaculate on the exterior - with original 1991 paint job! But of course, the underside is the bit that counts.

    I believe they now use 99% salt to 1% sand on the roads in Manitoba! Believe it or not, last winter they did a pilot project spraying concentrated brine on a section of the Trans-Canada Hwy and may proceed to expand the practice as it was so 'successful'!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,406
    Well look at it this way...rust can't get to the top of the towers without having also touched the bottom and elsewhere. The issue here is structural safety not cosmetics, and a body shop I think is the best judge of whether the car has been compromised or not structurally.


  • Precisely. I accepted the vendor's offer to do an inspection with the vehicle on a hoist and will get it to a body shop if necessary.
  • I have major rust all over the edge between the roof and the glass wind shield, the workshop is concerned as removing the windshield could break, he is advising the use of chemical material that is supposed to "consume" the rust and fill in the hole gaps, then paint.

    Issue, he's got no chemicals, any heard of this treatment and can advise manufacturer?

    Thanks. safouane
  • ivan5ivan5 Posts: 2
    not sure if this "rust" thread is still active, but I have one for you... I just bought a 1991 4runner for $500. Runs strong enough, but it's a total rust bucket. The owner just had the brakelines replaced due to rust, so they're OK. It's all through the undercarriage, but as far as I can tell there are no holes in the actual frame, just some flaking. My question is this: is this thing actually dangerous to drive? I only use it on the rare occasion when I need 4WD (camping etc, maybe 20 times a year). I'll happily drive it until it crumbles unless it is actually dangerous. Could some major piece of the suspension or frame actually fall apart on the freeway? Thanks
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,406
    Well no one can say without a thorough inspection. If the rust has weakened some point where the suspension attaches, you're damn right it's dangerous. That would include such things as shock towers, steering box mounts and rear axle mounts. Rule of thumb, if you can jam a sharp awl into the rust and it penetrates, and this rust is near a suspension mounting point, you have a problem.


  • ivan5ivan5 Posts: 2
    thanks for the reply... The mechanics who looked at it were vague about the safety piece. They said it was "more or less" safe, but I couldn't nail them down. Would a body shop be better equipped to tell me? Do they do that kind of thing (i.e. inspect for rust damage)? It looks like the shock towers are a little flakey, which make me nervous. thanks again
  • cpmikecpmike Posts: 1
    I'm a motor vehicle inspector who owns a 1991 toyota 4runner. Your best bet to find out if you have a saftey issue is to go to your autobody shop and have a structural integrity inspection done. I'm currently replacing several sections of my body that have rusted out. Common places that they rust are around and in the rear wheel wells, (this could have your side sections of your rear bumper falling off), your front fenders and the drain hole plug up in the lower part of the doors and tailgate causing that area to rust. Take a screwdriver to any areas of the frame you think might be bad. If your truck is like mine, it will just be the paint scaling off.
  • 127horse127horse Posts: 1
    We had rust bubbles and some breakthrough around the gas cover on our 99 Olds Cutlass. The body shop attempted a patch that failed because in one day the bubbles were back! Subsequently we authorized the replacement of the rear quarter panel. We saw the removed piece which has a large area of rust and the body shop said they've never seen anything quite like it on a car just 7 years old. The warranty booklet says rust through is covered through 6 years. Has anyone heard of similar Olds problems that GM is covering?
  • Hey --- starting up again in posting in another forum (it's been quite awhile) and looked up my 'recent' posts and came across one from over 5 years ago -- well, we still have that DGC and it now has 107K miles on it. The good news is that the rust repair has held up quite well, the bad news is that other parts are starting to bubble and eventually they'll rust as well. In late '05 we had the tranny rebuilt (which was guaranteed for 12K/12 months) which was really worth it as the van still performs well 3 years later. We dropped collison coverage a few years back as the van is probably only worth about $2K in a trade-in but as it still looks OK, is safe and reliable (have taken it on two 2K round trips without incident within the past year - needed more room than our other cars) so we'll keep it until the next big repair exceeds that. Here in the rust-belt it truely is the climate that limits how long cars bodies last -- we also have owned a '99 Miata since new (has 47K miles now) and as we store it during just the winter, the body is almost new -- I'm glad I had the rust repaired on the DGC as I'm sure it would have just gotten worse but as it doesn't get driven much now, it may just last a few more years for us!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    What's a DGC?
  • If you link back to the old post -- DGC = Dodge Grand Caravan
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Rust has developed on my 2000 Olds Intrigue below the fuel filler. the car is gray with 174k miles. I plan to replace the car in the summer and want to fix the rust spot to make it more attractive if I decide to trade it or sell it. the rust spot is about 3 inches wide and appears to be on the surface.

    Is it possible to fix the rust area myself?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Rust is like an iceberg. What you see on the surface represents a small portion of the actual damage that lies under the paint. If you're planning on trading it, I wouldn't bother fixing it as the dealer can repair it better/faster/cheaper than you can. If you do decide to fix it it may work against you as the used car manager will be able to spot the "repaired" area since paint matching on a ten year old car is almost like artwork.

    Bottom line is that you're not going to get much for a 10 year old discontinued brand of GM vehicle and mismatched paint and a bad bondo job won't help it much either.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I know it is not worth much but it's worth even less with a rust patch by the gas cap.

    How about if I want to fix it so it doesn't look like a big rust bucket?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    Guess it comes down to what your time is worth versus what you can sell the car for. Course if you know of an autobody shop who really needs the business...
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    I do know a few folks that own auto body shops. Considering it is not a big spot, I was hoping to do it myself.
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