Same car new topic 2005 mazda 6 wagon

Think this price to repair rust of my quarter panel is what should be expected? Shop said there was nothing there - no metal,

just rot. They had to fabricate new metal and then paint it. They showed me pictures of before and after as to what they had to do. Unfortunately I don’t have any before pictures (which probably would be needed for anyone to see the extent in order to give an educated opinion) BUT, assuming the worst, think this is what it is and I couldn’t do better if I shopped around?

Since they were doing the radiator I figured just have them do the rust instead of taking the car different places to get estimates. And I’m told that $100/hr is the going rate now, so would it be any different anyplace else? Pictures of the receipt attached.

That price is about right to do a rust repair on the quarter panel of a fifteen year-old vehicle.


Ok. Thanks for the confirmation.

If one rear quarter panel has rust this bad, what about the rest of the car? You might want a complete inspection for rust before spending this much on a repair. If I spent over $3000 on a repair, I would want at least another 5 years of use, and probably more.

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There’s a little rust on the other quarter panel that isn’t anywhere near like this side was - it’s just basically surface that they said to get done so it doesn’t get bad - that I’ll have done in the summer and some spots on the hood that aren’t bad that I won’t have done until next year maybe. I asked about rust under the car and they said yes, there’s rust on the whole underside seeing as it’s a 16 yr old car and has gone thru that many salty road winters, and that I should have it rustproofed/coated and that will stop the rust that’s there from continuing while protecting from any more beginning. Will talk to the people who do that and see if that’s true, and if so, I’ll have that done before next winter.

I’m planning on this car outliving me, or at least until I get to the point that I can’t drive anymore. That could be 5 yrs or more (who knows when we’re gonna die?)

That is a waste of money . It is to late for undercoating .


The existing rust–which may well be worse than you think–will continue to grow and expand underneath the undercoating, but because it will be hidden from view you won’t know how extreme it is until it is too late. You should think about how the unitized construction of this car will be compromised by the advancing rust, and how it would also compromise the safety of the occupants in the event of a crash.

The going rate for labor varies according to locality. For example in my area (southern New Jersey) it’s $140 per hour. I’ve seen it as high as $165 in northern New Jersey.

I asked about the rust underneath, if it was unsafe to drive or anything, and they said no, it’s not THAT bad (unsafe to drive) and that the undercoating will stop it from getting worse.

Although nobody told me this, my impression was/is that they sandblast the rust off, or as much as possible anyway, and then coat with rustproofing. If they don’t do that and just spray over the rust then I’d agree it doesn’t make sense to do. But if they can get most of the rust off, to me, coating would help to at least prevent what’s there from getting worse. Yes? No?

So now what do I believe now? Undercoat because they say it will help? Not undercoat because it will hide any ability to see if it’s gotten worse, or how much, as mentioned? Do I ask the undercoating guys anyway just to see what they say about it, whether they’re saying things just to get the job, or being honest about whether rustproofing will really stop and/or prevent rust?

Obviously the time to do it is when it was new and first bought, or at least shortly after that. But that’s moot now.

Should I get another opinion from a body/collision shop about the rust? Are there “rust experts” with no ulterior motives of getting paid that give honest opinions? Or do I just have to decide who to believe?

And who do I go to for that complete inspection for rust?

There are transparent oil-based rust control methods available, different from the Rusty Jones type rust proofing mentioned.

Krown Rust Control

I would hope the shop working on your car performed an inspection before beginning the work. How can an estimate for repairs be written without an inspection?

As to your reply about the oil based coating: Is that recommended over the other kind? Should I ask to have that done? Will it be any more effective? Will it help?

As to your reply about who to go to, I don’t understand your query. Are you talking generally, when I had the car towed to them? They did perform an inspection. If you could reread what I said they said about the radiator, the rust on the quarter panel and the underside of the car. They looked, told me what was wrong and fixed it. Except for the underside rust.

(The radiator comments were in a different discussion, not this one. General Discussion I believe it was posted in.)

Are you asking about something different?

What type of coating was recommended by the shop? Applying rubberized coating to rust will be like painting beach sand, it won’t stick and it will be a loose layer trapping moisture.

There should be no need to find another shop to inspect the car for rust, the shop that performed the repairs should be well experienced in this area. The comments above are in doubt of the shop’s abilities. If you don’t trust the body shop that repaired the rust damage, find another body shop to perform an inspection.

Ok, still confused. They didn’t recommend any particular type of undercoating, they just said undercoating.

How do my comments imply I don’t trust this place? I didn’t say I didn’t trust the shop that repaired the quarter panel rust. They showed me pictures and explained and I believed them. I asked if the price charged was normal for that type of repair since I’ve never had that type of work done before.

I asked about the undercoating that they recommended (not any particular kind) and got the reply that it’s too late to undercoat, it’ll only hide advancing rust, rubber isn’t good but implied that oil-based is better.

That is different from the quarter panel rust they fixed. Your comment: “How can an estimate for repairs be written without an inspection?” was in reply to my Q of who do I go to for rust inspection. The estimate for repair was for the quarter panel rust, not the undercoating or rust under the car.

So that reference confuses me.

It was other posters that recommended an inspection from a second body shop.

Who would perform under body rust repairs other than a body shop? When writing an estimate for repairs it is in the interest of the Technician to include all needed repairs to make the job as profitable as possible.

Well, they didn’t say I needed repairs to the underside rust, they just suggested getting it undercoated. They said it wasn’t that bad, so I imagine if they wanted to they could have said they need to fix it. But they didn’t.

I’d find a good body shop and ask them. They can prioritize the work and price it for you. Tell them exactly what you have in mind. Given the car in question, I don’t think they will give you bad advice.

As you’ve discovered repairing rust problems on cars can be an expensive proposition. The amount of labor time seems reasonable. There’s a lot of detailed work involved. Consider how much work you accomplish in a typical 40 hour work-week in your own job, for example.

You might ask how $100/hour is a fair rate, given the typical skilled employee in the USA probably earns around $35/hour. Remember from that $100 the shop has to pay rent on their building, property taxes (if they own it), fire & liability insurance, new tooling, new software updates, new repair information updates, health insurance costs, etc. So getting them to do it at $100/hour is actually a pretty good deal, all in all.

There’s several alternatives

  • If you have a lot of this sort of work needing doing, schedule it all at once. You may be able to bargain for a discount on the labor rate.

  • Learn how, then do some of it yourself.

  • Sell or junk the car and buy a non-rusted replacement.

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As to your alternatives, 1 is the only option. 2 and 3 are nonstarters.

They are a good body shop. The only one I could find, and with a good reputation. And your comment about “ask them” - ask them what? Don’t understand.