rust alphabet. These cars are rusting! - Automotive at INTERIA.PL

This mercilessly exposes all the savings used by producers - poor varnish, thin sheets and low quality of factory anti-corrosion protection. Should you be afraid of rust? How much will it cost to remove it?

Corrosion is a fatal disease for a car. Remember that most modern vehicles have the so-called. self-supporting body. If rust attacks stringers or joists, repair often turns out to be unprofitable. Driving a car with a heavily corroded body is not only an aesthetic problem. Breaking the spring cup or swingarm mounting while driving can cost us our lives. No engineer is able to foresee how load-bearing elements heavily affected by corrosion will deform in the event of an accident. How much can the fight with the "ore" cost us?


Half the trouble if we are dealing with superficial corrosion. Although painters' services are not cheap, they only spoil the aesthetics of the vehicle. Painting one element usually costs between PLN 300 and PLN 500. So if there are two fenders and two doors to "correct" - our budget can be reduced by PLN 2,000. zloty.

Unfortunately, in many cases, if corrosion appears on the edges of doors or wheel arches, it means that it has also been etching the thresholds, floor and stringers for a long time. Then the tinsmith must get to work - the repair consists in cutting out the "infected" element with corrosion and inserting the so-called repetitions. Such services are laborious and expensive.

Repairing the thresholds is - with a light hand - about PLN 500. If the tinsmith also needs to take care of e.g. wheel arches, the cost of painting the elements should be added to the price of the service.

You have to be aware of the fact that in the case of cars susceptible to rust, the fight against corrosion is a never-ending adventure. Even a professionally performed door or wheel arch repair rarely turns out to be effective in the long run. Evidence of the presence of rust, "bubbles" under the varnish may begin to appear as early as two years after the repair.

For this reason, in the case of cars particularly exposed to corrosion, prevention is definitely better than cure. Once every 3-4 years, it is worth performing a comprehensive maintenance consisting in injecting anti-corrosion agents into the closed profiles and securing the chassis with a new maintenance.

However, it is important to entrust this type of work to professionals who, for example, will ensure that the new maintenance does not clog the factory drain holes. Otherwise, this type of "repair" may even contribute to the faster spread of corrosion.

For which models should the owner pay a lot of attention to the condition of the bodywork? Here is a short list of popular brands.

Alfa Romeo

The problem of corrosion can be talked about only in relation to newer models, such as the MiTo or 159. The anti-corrosion protection of cars such as 147 or 156 looks poor. The front longitudinal members, floor and wheel arches are mainly exposed to rust. . Interestingly, Alpha Alfie is unequal. Cars - theoretically - had galvanized bodies, but rust often attacks accident-free copies.


Starting from the late 1980s, the PSA concern has been famous for its exemplary anti-corrosion protection of its cars (galvanized bodywork, polymer-protected chassis). The exception is the tailgate of the first generation Citroen C5 and Peugeot 407 SW. Rust (superficial) appears at the decorative strip above the license plate.


Cars from Bavaria - as a rule - rust slowly. Corrosion can therefore be found on older copies - E36, E39 and - more and more often - E46. The key points here are the wheel arches (including the front ones), the bottoms of the doors and around the seals. A dangerous affliction of the first E46s is also the breaking of the subframe of the rear suspension! When deciding on a car from before 2001, it is worth carefully checking its fastenings.


Vehicles such as Logan or Sandero are called "budget" for a reason. The producer's savings are visible, among others, in: in low-quality anti-corrosion protection. In numerous Logans, there are known cases of rapid rusting of the lower parts of the doors, around the roof gutters or the fuel filler recess.


The fact that most cars, such as Espero or Tico, immediately disappeared from our roads is the "merit" of poor anti-corrosion protection. Fortunately, with newer cars, such as Lanos, rust is a bit less brutal. The thresholds, wheel arches and the rear hatch are most often corroded.


As in the case of Alfa Romeo, rust is a problem for owners of older models. For now, they are free of Fiat 500, Croma or Bravo (currently produced). In the Stilo, corrosion attacks the rear suspension area and the floor (it is often not visible - rust is covered by exhaust heat shields). In the case of models such as Seicento, Brava or Siena, it would take a long time to write about typical places. Be sure to see the car underneath before buying!


Poor corrosion protection is one of the features of most Ford models. The flagship example is the Mondeo - rust attacks all incarnations of the family car. Most often we will meet it in the lower parts of the doors, around the wheel arches and car body edges. In older copies, it is worth checking the thresholds carefully. Corrosion particularly liked - especially the first generation - Focus. The "grandmaster" of rust is also - produced until 2008 - the first generation Ford Ka. In his case, the "ore" attacks the floor and construction elements. If you are planning to buy - be sure to check (with a hammer) the condition of the chassis.


Rust absorbs mainly older models - e.g. the VI incarnation of the Civic. However, corrosion affects many Accords produced until 2008. Most often it is superficial, but the delicate varnish makes it difficult to fight it. Mainly the lower parts of the doors, wheel arches and hoods as well as the rear hatches (in the vicinity of the decorative moldings) rust.


Mazda's problem is its Japanese pedigree. A long journey across the ocean makes the car body exposed to salt. Corrosion is particularly hard on the first incarnations of models 3 and 6. In both cases, the rear wheel arches, their connection with the rear belt and the sills corrode. The floor is also a sensitive place, especially above the fuel tank.


In the case of Mercedes, corrosion is a real scourge. Rust affects almost all models produced in the years 1994-2008. The owners of older vehicles - the C-class W202 and E-class W210 have the biggest problem. In both cases, rust can be found in the thresholds, the lower parts of the doors, under the seals at the height of the windows, on the wheel arches, in the vicinity of locks or decorative strips.

An unpleasant manner of both models is the breaking off of spring cups (front) and the corrosion of the rear suspension arm mounts! The first generation of the A-class and the Vito and Sprinter vans also have a big problem with rust. In newer cars - C-class W202, S-class W220 or M - rust is only cosmetic (attacks mainly body plating elements), but the fight against it can cost a fortune.


Few people know that the Mini R50 is not only a trouble-free vehicle, but also the best protected against corrosion. Rust particularly liked the tailgate and doors in their lower part. Fortunately, cases of sheet metal perforation are rare.


Corrosion makes itself felt in old models: Almera, Micra and Primera. Mainly the thresholds in their rear part (clogged drains), the doors (around the moldings) and the wheel arches rust. Corrosion appears less frequently in the vicinity of McPherson mounts and on the pits.


Newer models, such as the Agila, Meriva or Insignia, are generally rust-free. Corrosion quickly digests older cars - Corsa B, Vectra B, Omega or Astra I and II. The latter - although the youngest copies left the assembly line only 5 years ago - most often have problems with the rear wheel arches, door rims, around the seals and the trunk lid. In the case of older Opels, it is also worth paying attention to the door trim around the decorative strips and - necessarily - the thresholds.


The bodywork of newer Renault models is largely made of plastic, so in the case of cars aged 5-7 years, the problem of corrosion does not occur in practice. However, it bothers the owners of old models, such as the first generations of Laguna, Megane or Scenica (wheel arches, sills, body edges).


With the exception of Felicia (wheel arches, sills, tailgate, bonnet edges, floor) - "modern" Skodas usually do not have serious problems with rust. Corrosion most often affects the rear hatches (a problem similar to the Citroen C5) of the first generations of Fabia and Octavia, but it is usually superficial. The owners of the first generation Superb also complain about the "redhead" (mainly the edge of the tailgate).


Suzuki - as a rule - do not corrode more than competitors' vehicles, unless we are talking about the second incarnation of the Swift model produced until 2006. The car has the same problem as the Daewoo Tico (which is also a Suzuki construction) - too thin sheet metal and poor paint. As a result, it corrodes everything - from the doors and roof to the floor.


In the case of accident-free copies, rust, which is important - superficial, will appear late, after about 10 years. It attacks, for example, rail mountings and around the number plate illumination (Touran), tailgate and wheel arches (most models).

The problem is that the bulk of the offer on the secondary market are privately imported cars with a very complicated past. For this reason, rust can appear on any model, which - of course - is not the manufacturer's fault in this case.


The Swedes are famous for their exemplary anti-corrosion protection - models such as the S60 or S80 basically do not corrode. The presence of rust indicates sheet metal repairs. The exception is the cheapest S40 model (especially the first series). In this case, corrosion appears on the edges of the doors and wheel arches, thresholds (in the front part) or - from the inside, on the connection of the door with window frames. In either case, the rust is more of a cosmetic nature.

What are your experiences with rusting cars? Share them in the comments! Don't forget to specify the make, model and year of your vehicle.

Pawel Rygas