Auto body repair & detailing/Rust on Quarter
QUESTION: Hello Dave, and thank you for taking my question. I have a 2007 Ford Edge SE. We love the car. I notice some bubbling of paint on the driver's side quarter around the wheel well, and also the inside edge of the driver's side passenger door near the seam. What is the best approach for taking care of it? Interestingly, the passenger's side is perfect.
ANSWER: Hi Bill....Rust and corrosion commonly occur on wheel well areas, as well as on the inside or outside of a door. In fact, these are usually the first places for corrosion and rust to start. The reason this happens in the wheel well area, is that dirt and water get trapped between the inner and outer panels, building up, and settling at the bottom of the wheel well lip. If corrosion protection was not completely and properly applied to cover all bare metal surfaces before vehicle assembly, whether from the factory or from a collision repair, this is unfortunately the result. The exact same issues can arise on a door shell, if the same conditions arise. If you notice on the inside door edge, there should be at least one drain hole at each end of the door. The same applies to the inner quarter panel. Commonly these drain hole get plugged up, continue to hold more dirt and water, hence the corrosion starts.
In regards to your bubbling paint issue, to repair this, I would first start by just sanding down the affected areas with an orbital D/A sander, (or by hand if a sander is not available), using 100-120 grit sandpaper. The reason for sanding only at this stage, is the possibility that the rust is only on the surface and has not compromised the strength and thickness of the metal. After this time, if there is indeed corrosion that can't be sanded down to bare metal, you will need to next sand with 80 grit. If the corrosion is still visible at this point, you will then need to use 40-50 grit grinding discs on a small grinder or drill attachment. Any rust that is still not able to be removed after grinding, should be sand blasted to see if pin holes are visible. If pin holes are visible, the proper repair procedure would be to cut out the affected areas, and a metal patch welded in. After welding, grind the welds and surrounding area down, and apply a coat of short strand fiberglass. Sand as required, and then apply a coat of quality polyester body filler to level out and feather back into the non damaged metal. Prime and refinish as needed.
If there is any other questions or concerns you have Bill, please do not hesitate to write me back....Hope this helps.....Thanks for your question....Dave.
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QUESTION: Dave - Thank you so much. For these types of repairs, is it generally better to go to the dealer, or the independent shop?
Hi again Bill....Independent shops are just as valuable and credible as any Dealership shop is, in regard to rust repair, as well as any other collision repair, as long as they both have Journeyman Certified Autobody Technicians to do the repairs. My advice to you, is to check out both types of shops, see what shop offers you the best hourly rate, the least amount of down time, and a free estimate. Any credible shop will offer a free estimate.
Hope this helps you out also....Have a great weekend....Dave