Rust on the a-pillar

I have a 1999 Subaru Outback, and the paint is bubbling at the top corner of the windsheld on the drivers side. I can also see another rust spot developing beneath the paint in the center just along the top of the windshield. The rest of the car is in great shape, and the engine is under warranty for at least 80,000 more miles. Is this the kind of problem that kills an otherwise good car? Is this a safety concern for me and my passengers?

I don’t know about safety but it will eventually leak. There probably is significant hidden rust under the windshield and you are just seeing the spreading rust. The windshield needs to come out, the rust repaired, repainted, and windshield reinstalled again to fix it.

Wow, that’s some warranty!

I Second That!

Also, are you sure the rest of the car is in “great Shape?” Before beginning this repair, I would have a professional body man/woman inspect the rest of the vehicle for rust damage, both obvious and hidden. This will assure you that the car is safe for you and your passengers or possibly lead to “plan B”. Sometimes, but not always, what is apparent is “the tip of the iceberg”.

Murder In The Driveway!

You ask, “Is this the kind of problem that kills an otherwise good car?”

This is what has murdered every one of my cars. Even my cars that were totalled by being hit by other cars were revived, but not the ones beset with terminal rust.

I have nothing good to say about the use of road salt! I hate taxes, too, but I will pay more money to have an alternative to salt put to use.

This is a little surprising for a '99 - are you the original owner? Has the car ever been wrecked?

Do You Drive Through Salt 6 Months Per Year?

This vehicle is 10 model years old. Many cars where I live die a rust-death long before that. The salt is in the form of salt water that bathes body panels inside and out and salt slush that clings to the car for days after driving through it. Sickening.

I’ll second CSA’s input. In some areas rust is a part of life. Many years ago when I was on Guam the cars rusted so fast you could almost sit and listen to the oxygen bond to the iron.

Here’s the whole story on the car… I live in Michigan, so yes to six month of salt. I am not the original owner, but I have owned it for about 4 years. I suspect the windshield is not original becuase I can see some of a rubber gasket around the window on the inside.

I bought what I thought ws a good car, but was really junk. It was unknowingly purchased with a blown head gasket. Since then the repairs were always “cheaper” than buying another car. Repairs include a rebuilt trans, rebuilt engine (with actually 78,000 miles left on a 100,000 mile warranty), new radiator, new front & rear catalytic converters, etc. I say “good” car becuase it has gone over one year without a major problem. So in my mind I now have what should be a mechanically sound car.

Others will disagree because the windshield structure is part of the structural integrity of the body, however if it were me I’d bondo it so rain doesn’t get down in there (if it has a sunroof you’ll need to be sure you don’t plug the drains) and keep on chuggin’.

Termites Holding Hands?

You say you do drive in salt and you tell about all the “mecanical” repairs that have been made and you say, “So in my mind I now have what should be a mechanically sound car.” Mechanically sound car sounds good.

However, the safety can still depend on the extent that rust has damaged unibody frame rails and suspension mounting points, etcetera. These may be in good condition, yet, but I would still get it checked out.

Sometimes on these Michigan Salt Cars the termites that are holding hands to keep it all together, let go. Also, strength needed in an accident can be compromised.
Better safe than sorry.

Have you ever had your windshield replaced? This happened to me with my 90 pathfinder. I had the shield replaced and then about 4 years later I was getting rust around it. Turned out when the IDIOT replaced the windshield…upon removing it he scarped the paint off in the area the shield sits in. Most GOOD places actually will touch this up with a primer/paint…But this shop didn’t and I had some good rust around the windshield.

I believe that the windshield was replaced before I owned the car. So you idea for why the rust is occuring could be correct.