Repairing rust on 2008 Ford F-150

I have a 2008 Ford F-150 Lariat, crew cab. There is extensive rust along the length of the lower quarter panels…inside and out. Dealership shrugged and said it was out of warranty. Am having it repaired ($4,800.00) by reputable repair shop considered by Lexus and Infinity to have outstanding capability at competitive prices. Two other quotes were much higher.
The truck has 130,000 miles (80% at highway speed) and is garage kept. I have kept it properly maintained and have all service records.
AM presently communicating with Ford about the situation; but do not hold much hope of action on their part. May have to take other steps.

Me thinks you are wasting your time. Your warranty expired years ago .


The truck is 11 years old. What obligation do you think Ford has to you at this point?


Rust happens. If you live where roads are salted during the winter, or on a barrier island, there is not much you can do. Frequent, thorough washes can delay the onset, my vehicles get washed, with undercarriage wash, after an evening beachside. You can see a film of salt after only a few hours.
Some responders recommend rust proofing.

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Where do you live? If you are in one of the areas that apply a lot of salt and grit to the roads in the winter, I am not surprised that you have rust in these areas. Same goes if you live in a place along the shore. The Ford Warranty Guide has the following to say on the subject:

“Damage Caused by Use and/or the Environment
The New Vehicle Limited Warranty does not cover surface rust, deterioration
and damage of paint, trim, upholstery, and other appearance items
that result from use and/or exposure to the elements. You, as the owner,
are responsible for these items. Some examples are:
• dings, dents
• cuts, burns, punctures or tears
• road salt
• tree sap, bird and bee droppings
• windstorm, lightening, hail
• earthquake
• freezing, water or flood
• stone chips, scratches (some examples are on paint and glass)
• windshield stress cracks. However, limited coverage on windshield
stress cracks will be provided for the first 12 months in service, regardless
of miles driven, even though caused by use and/or exposure
to the elements.”

The warranty guide also has the following information:

“(3) Your vehicle’s body sheet metal panels are covered for an extended
Corrosion Coverage Period, which lasts for five years, regardless of miles
driven. The extended warranty coverage only applies if a body sheet
metal panel becomes perforated due to corrosion during normal use due
to a manufacturing defect in factory-supplied materials or factory workmanship.
For damage caused by airborne material (environmental fallout)
where there is no factory-related defect involved and therefore no
warranty − our policy is to provide free repair of paint damage due to
the airborne material for 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever occurs

My 2009 F150 never developed any body panel rust over the 8 years I owned it. My Father’s 1999 Ranger’s body panels are still basically rust free despite heavy use and lots of mud over the last 20 years. However, I live in Eastern North Carolina and road salt is only lightly used and the trucks rarely get close to the ocean.

Are you running the OE tires, or have you installed larger wider and/or offset tires? I’ve seen the debris thrown off from those literally sand blast the sides of vehicles.

Bottom line - Unless I am missing something, I am not sure why you feel Ford should pay to have your body panels repainted.

City vs highway driving and where you store it doesn’t matter as far as rust is concerned. If you drive it through salt, it’s going to rust. You’re right about at the age where it can be expected to get rusty.

The only thing that can slow it down is if you wash it right after you drive it through the salt which, of course, is impossible during the winter unless you have a car wash in your garage.

BTW, if you still have the option, I’d advise you cancel the rust repair. All that’s gonna do is get you 2 years, tops, before you see rust again. Once rust starts, you can’t stop it without extraordinary measures - we’re talking disassemble the whole car, sandblast it down to the metal everywhere, weld in good metal where the rust has eroded the original, and then give it a factory-level paint job again.

And even then, if you drive it in the winter, the rust will come back.


In my experience, the worst scenario for rust is salt exposure coupled with keeping it in a garage. I believe the reason being, even unheated garages can warm up enough to liquify the snow/slush and promote salt corrosion. Cars we have kept outside in the winter fared much better then the ones we kept in the garage, all other aspects being relatively the same. I watched 2 or 3 garaged cars rust away at much faster pace than the ones we left in the driveway, in the cold, where the slush remained frozen on the car.

That’s definitely true. In my younger days I’d have parked outside all the time and dealt with the discomfort and inconvenience of scraping my windshield at 10 below, but I’m older now and just accept that the car’s gonna rust eventually.

If it was me, I would put the cost of the repair in the bank and leave the rust alone. Eventually it will get bad enough to get rid of the truck and to get another, probably about the time you hit 200k and a ton of other repairs costing big bucks begin. At that point, you will have a nice down payment on the bank for your next ride.