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Should Body Rust be Repaired?

About a year ago I scraped the left side of my car against a concrete post in a parking area. At the time I did not think too much about it because the damage appeared to be mostly cosmetic. I have recently noticed a few small areas of rust have appeared, and two body shops have given me estimates of approximately $900 to fix all the damage, which extends across both doors and the back quarter panel. Is body rush something that needs repairing or is it more of a cosmetic thing? I plan on keeping this car (2005) at least 5 more years. Thanks.

Left alone, rust can cause an early demise of any vehicle. Pay the body shop to fix it and don’t worry about it anymore

Agreed. That rust will spread like wildfire if you don’t get it fixed right now. I had a 1988 CRX that had a tiny little speck of rust about the size of a pencil eraser on the lower fender. At the time, I didn’t know much about cars, and didn’t think anything of it - you could barely see it. Within 2 years it had eaten a hole in the sheet metal big enough that the hatch light would shine through onto the ground any time I popped the hatch.

For a cheaper solution if you care try the Rustoleum makes similar. You should stop the rust and this will do it, then a touch up paint 20 bucks and you are done.

In five years, it’ll be in very bad shape. The sooner you fix it, the cheaper it’ll be.

You obviously don’t care about cosmetics (and good for you incidentally). But you really should get the rust stopped and get a coat of paint over the metal. I’d try mechanically removing the rust (wire brush, sandpaper,). If you can’t get it all down to bare, shiny metal, use a rust converter. It comes in a spray can – available at a hardware store – to convert the rust to iron phosphate. Prime and paint. Spray cans again. Depending on your car’s color, you may be able to buy a small spray can of touch up paint at a parts store. Some are a pretty good match. Some aren’t. Depending on luck and skill, the result will look somewhere between not too awful and worse than it did when you started. But the rust should no longer be an issue.

Use the same treatment if you see rust developing around paint chips. If you live in road salt country in another few years, you may start to see rust that is working its way to the surface from problem areas inside the car that you can’t get to. Door bottoms are a common area for that. Not much you can do about that regretably.