I have some rust forming around my rear wheel wells. No holes, just some bubbling and a couple of small areas (<= 1 sq cm each) where the paint has chipped off. The shop quotes a full repair at $2,000.00. This would involve them cutting out the rust, fabricating new steel pieces to fit, welding them on, then paint/clearcoat over.

I'm reluctant to spend money something that is purely cosmetic, though I know it will eventually become structural if I ignore it. I was thinking it could perhaps be a cheaper option to have some plastic pieces fabricated to fit over the area where the rust would be cut out. Something a bit like those fender flares you can buy, but without the flaring (more flush with the body, or close to it, as it would otherwise look kind of silly without spending a whole lot more money on wide wheels/tires, spacers, etc.). I'm OK with the "bolted" look, but I imagine they could be fastened on with body clips to holes drilled into the panel for a subtler look.

It's a black car, so finishing the pieces could be as simple as plastidip, hydrodip, or really, it shouldn't be too terribly expensive to paint two small pieces.

Is this a reasonable option?

1 Answer 1


Is it plain black or metallic?

I'd fix it myself, especially if it is plain black...

Get a wire brush and some 'wet and dry', and clean off the surface rust and the paint immediately around it - try and get it back to bare metal if you can. Mask off the surrounding area, and spray it with rust-killing primer (various brands are available in most auto factors). When that's dry, use suitable car filler if necessary to smooth out the surface. Again, leave to set fully, then sand down and prime again. When you're happy with that, spray it with two or three coats of topcoat, trying to 'feather' the edges to blend it into the existing paintwork.

After a couple of weeks, when the paint is fully set, polish it, and hopefully it will look pretty good...

Metallic paint is a bit more complicated, but still doable...

  • I'm not really that handy with these sort of things. I was looking to see if this option is a reasonable thing to ask the body shop. Jun 27, 2017 at 17:09

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