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2008 Honda Fit - visible hood do I repair it?

Hey there! So today I noticed small little rust spots ALL over the hood of my Fit. I called up the dealer and ordered some touch up paint but I want to do this correctly, so, can someone please tell me how to properly treat rust spots? All of the spots are smaller than a pencil eraser.

THANKS A MILLION! I can’t believe it is rusting after just over one year…


Something must have been sprayed onto the hood to cause that.

Is “ALL over the hood…” an exaggeration?

The cause should be determined first so you know what you’re dealing with.

There’s a slight chance the dealer may have had other similar complaints and may be able to help.

Other than that, I’d go by a auto body shop for a couple of opinions.

IF the rust spots ARE all over the hood it will likely be easier to remove the hood and sand/grind it down to bare metal, prime it 2 or 3 times, paint 2 coats and clear coat the finish.

The vehicle being one year old shouldn’t result in having a paint fade problem unless it has sat in the blazing sun since manufacture.

What you have is in all likelyhood ‘rail dust’, fine metallic particles that have become imbedded in the paint. Your car is not rusting. Read more about it here:

Note, I haven’t used the particular clay advertised on that web site. You can get clay and spray at car parts stores/departments.

Excellent post. I just waxed my car and noticed those spots all over my bottom panels.

I Drive White Cars In The “Salt Belt”.

The roads are salted and plowed for months every year (6+ of them this year). When spring or summer finally rolls around the roads literally have orange paths on them where the snow plow blades have been in contact. The orange color comes from the blades’ steel residue combining with all that salt. I get “rail dust” generally from the greenhouse on down.

Andrea, don’t put touch-up on your car until you stop by a body or collision shop (maybe your dealer has one) and have a professional step out and look at it for you.
They can advise you. Touch-up is good for stone chips, but not rail dust.


What about your warranty ?

Warranty Would Cover Defective Paint. However, Most Are Guessing The Problem Is Being Caused By Environmental Contamination (Dirt And Dust).


Well all of my research is telling me they aren’t going to cover it unless the rust is causing holes THROUGH the metal. I have been reading unofficial Fit forums, and many people are complaining about the crappy paint job that seems to be associated with the Fit. I am going to the dealer at 12:30 today…they already started resisting over the phone. I will bring up the rail dust, but, I have a feeling they will just blame me and tell me I didn’t wax enough. All I know is that I drove a CRV for 9 years and the paint was just fine…

You are correct.

The so-called “rust” warranty is actually a rust perforation warranty.
Surface rust is not covered.
A panel that is perforated by rust during the warranty period (5 years, or more with some makes) is covered.

I would say the very front of the hood has little pings all over it…various rust spots, and spots where the paint is completely knicked. I keep plenty of distance from the car ahead of me, etc…I do live in Michigan, but, I have never had this problem before…it has only been through ONE winter. I think it’s a cheap paint job.

[b]Andrea, Arm Yourself With Information.[/b]

Seriously, before you have a possible “shoot out” with a dealer representative, stop at an auto body/collision shop or two and have a professional automotive painter take a look. They can possibly determine whether it is a defect, damage, minor, major, or a possible cause and solution. Sometimes cars receive damage and paint work even before they are sold new. A good body shop can quicly assess your car.

CSA (former body shop manager)

Thanks…they said they have a body shop across the street and will have someone come over. I will go to a different body shop tomorrow, and if the stories don’t add up, I will go back to the dealer. I don’t plan to fight with them…I just want to see what they have to say first so I can take the information to someone else.

I don’t see how this is possible with a HONDA, it just can’t be possible…

sarcasm? 'cause it’s true…

Andrea, You’re Welcome. You’re All Over It! Good Plan.

Please let us know what happens along the way.


Well, the Service Manager said it was not a ‘defect’, of course. He said that, if it was rail dust, the orangish substance would also be on the plastic panel (and plastic doesn’t rust, of course…also, it is isolated to the hood…wouldn’t rail dust be everywhere?). He thinks it’s stone chips, to which I say “DUH”…the point is that the paint finish is cheap and EVERYTHING makes it chip. So, I am pretty cetain myself it isn’t rail dust. I mentioned that my CRV never had this problem, and his simple answer was that it was because the Fit is lower to the ground. So, I think I am going to by some sandpaper, sand the small rust spots, prime 'em, and paint 'em in accordance with instructions I have since found on this site. (they are small holes at this point so it’s gotta be rust from stone chips, right?). I might also buy a zeta hood deflector or something…any thoughts on that?

Andrea, You Still Need The Other Shop’s Opinion.

Sanding and touching-up will make your car look like it has a bad case of acne. Using a tiny brush to touch-up the small spots without sanding would probably be better. Once the paint is perforated however, anything you do will be temporary. Ask the pros about this.

You shouldn’t have to, but since it’s only the hood, I’d get a couple estimates for refinishing the hood panel. The shop should be able to apply a tough epoxy clear coat that will hold up better than what was on it. A deflector or shield of some type would help after the finish is restored.


Please don’t get the sandpaper, you’ll ruin it. There’s a clear coat, you can’t just sand and touch it up. Have another good shop look at it. I can’t believe these are actual rusting paint chips, that’s unheard of. Try using the clay first, at least.

Also, cars are shipped with some protective plastic over parts of the car, so the rail dust would not necessarily be all over.

Finally, I would escalate this with American Honda - if your dealer admits it is rail dust, you should press Honda for a fix.

I repeat, you will end up with a mess if you sand/prime/paint a bunch of spots. (I speak from bitter experience…)

Thanks for all of your help!!! So, you would just use touch up paint and not sand? Or, would you use some sort of a wire brush to get the rust off and then use the touch up paint?

I would go to a collision shop, but, I would prefer to try doing it myself first because, if they have to refinish it anyway, would my attempt really matter in the long run?

I’ll see what the shop says…