Rust on 1996 toyota

My son bought a 1996 Toyota Corolla as his first car. There is rust developing on the drivers side door panels, mostly around where the decorative strip is. I am wondering what we can do to stem the tide, so to speak. Hopefully something simple can be done. We can worry about patching the small areas that have already corroded, but he would like to not have it get worse. Suggestions welcome.

You cannot really do much about rust on a 19 year old car. Having owned a number of older cars, I just got some matching touch up paint and covered the rust with it.

Remove the trim sand away as much of the rust as you can. Then put a rust converter on the bare metal. Prime the area and wet sand it. Then spray with a matching color. More than likely it will come back, but it will take a while. Plus it’s fun to do and a good learning experience.,d.eXY

It needs to be gone over from underneath to make sure the car is safe. Many times rust on the outside is the cancer from the inside eating its way out. Hopefully this is nothing more than small areas of surface rust which can be sanded away and painted over with no problem.

It’s also possible for a 4 or 5 year old car to rust away to the point where its unsafe and especially so if the car has a history in the Rust Belt.

is it surface rust, or is it rusting through from the inside? The latter is more difficult to fix, and probably not worth the trouble, as there are probably lots more ready to show up.

And, as ok4450 states, have the car checked for rust damage to the point where it is unsafe.

If there’s rust on the door skin, there’s probably significant rust on the frame and suspension, as well

you need to crawl underneath. Put it on 4 jackstands and go under there, with a good light. You might be shocked what you find

If you’re unable/unwilling to do that, pay a mechanic to inspect it

+1 to ok4450’s and db4690’s comments.
While it is possible that the only significant rust on this nearly 20 year old car is on the door panels, the likelihood is that the rust you see on the body is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Because rusting of suspension components, brake lines, exhaust components, and even the floor panels all constitute safety issues, I strongly suggest an inspection–on a lift–in order to see if the car is safe before proceeding with any cosmetic rust remediation.

If a thorough inspection doesn’t turn up rust anyplace else and the rust is restricted to the driver’s side door, the car may have been hit on that door and the body work not done correcfly. This isn’t a major deal, eespecially in a 19 year old car.

If Triedaq’s suggested possibility turn out to be true, you man probably find a replacement door from your local boneyard. Maybe even in the same color. If you get to this point successfully, the parts guy at the local dealer should be able to print an “exploded view” drawing of the door assembly for you. That’ll make installing the replacement door much easier.

If you’re lucky, and only the door is rusty, and the rest of the cars isn’t, and you find the same color door at the junkyard . . .

Transfer the door lock cylinder from the rusty door to the good door, or have the door lock cylinder of the good door rekeyed

I’m saying this, because a lot of idiots install a junkyard door, and don’t transfer the lock cylinder, and also don’t rekey the lock cylinder, either

And then they’re stuck driving a car that requires multiple keys to unlock the car and start the car

Agree with the above. Corolla rust problems start in the rockers and fender wells when it’s real bad.It might be a sloppy repair job n a door in this area and should be worth fixing with your own elbow grease. I would definitely check for rust in areas mentioned before buying a car this old. If it’s rust here alone it’s probably from the outside first. You would not have inside rust normally start half way up a door. The decorative trim pieces definitely have to be removed to do a decent repair. In general, these cars rust as they age like there is no tomorrow if withing thirty miles of salt. Hopefully the car was raised somewhere south. If from the salt belt, you ain’t seem noth’n yet.

I’ll be the crotchety old guy in the corner since the rest of the posters here have all the good advice needed…

In MY day cars would start to rust at 3 years old! If you didn’t have a hole in the lower front fender at 5 years, you were HAPPY.Heck, cheap cars like Pintos and Vegas and Gremlins CAME with rust from the factory, no charge! A 19 year old car had long ago returned to dust…

That was my day too. Cars have come a long way, but only grudging so amd only when forced too. Everyone can slow the process down with a little work. But in my opinion, many just want an excuse to buy a new car.

" Hey dear, I know you don’t want me to buy a new truck, but there is rust in ours and it won’t pass inspection. I just happen to be trying a new one out. Come for a ride and see how you like the color" These conversations are much more common thanks to rust.