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I have a Toyota Etios Liva Viera Limited Edition car, which is going to be three years old next year January. It has run for about 3711km.

Today, I noticed these spots on the car body:

Car body spots

I tried washing it with soap and water and cleaned it with a soft towel. But the spots are not going. They're not visible from a distance, but when the car body is touched, one can feel that it is no longer smooth. This has happened to all the four doors.

Yesterday I had taken my car for a small servicing at the authorised Toyota service centre, for some small checks like underbody paint protection check, and had asked them to wash the car as well. I believe that due to the sticking mud, I did not notice these spots before, and once the car has been washed, I can feel these prominent spots. However, I can assure you that these are not caused by the service personnel.

What are these? Are these rusts? Can a car paint allow rusts on the body? Do I need to paint the body again? How can I prevent rusting of my car?

I live in Kolkata, India.

  • Yes, most car bodies are made of steel : it rusts over time if not protected. Only answering your first question... – Solar Mike Sep 24 '17 at 13:21
  • keep it properly cleaned and waxed. I wouldn't go to some extreme like repainting unless there is an obvious problem (I see nothing in your photos). That said you may want to check your warranty terms so if there is a body rust issue you can make a claim before it runs out. – agentp Sep 24 '17 at 13:42
  • @agentp how do I wax? Should I rub a candle against the car body? – Wrichik Basu Sep 24 '17 at 13:48
  • if your wax question isnt covered here, post a new one. mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/1291/… – agentp Sep 24 '17 at 13:53
  • almost looks like stone chips - specially if you live in a very dusty place – Mauro Sep 25 '17 at 13:23
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The rust spots that you have shown in your photo look like really small stone chip marks which have given way to rust as the metal beneath became exposed. This would be fairly quick as you live in Kolkata (hot and humid). Given Indian conditions, minor chips from stones flying around are always there, these quickly give way to rust.

Have faced similar in my car (I live in Bombay which is both salty and humid). The quickest/cheapest fix I could find was to use a matching shade of paint (I selected from Com-paint) and dab on the rust spots. Has worked well for me so far.

Also, regular waxing/body treatment helps stave off rust, but not indefinitely.

  • Since you've brought this up after a long time, let me clarify it properly through an answer. – Wrichik Basu Jan 29 '18 at 10:26
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I agree with what others have said before, and a car body can get rusted overtime, but three years seems to be too low, generally it should take around five years for a car with low or no protective measurement against rust like cleaning regularly, waxing. One thing might have happened is that water might have went inside the doors and rusted it from inside due to driving with windows down during rain or while washing your car or even could be the seal is not working as expected (unlikely for three years old car), I would recommend removing one of the door panel and check inside for rusts.
For second question it will best if you find the cause of rust first and then update your question

  • We never drive with windows down: we were advised while buying the car that if we travel with the ac on all the time, there would be less dust inside the car. As per the others that you mentioned, I can't do them at home. I'll have to take it to the centre again. :-( – Wrichik Basu Sep 25 '17 at 12:21
  • I knew people normally don't do that, but to get rust rust on all four doors is uncommon, if your car is not under warranty anymore then you should visit a local mechanic and ask him to remove door panels as it will be cheaper that way @WrichikBasu – Nilabja Sep 25 '17 at 12:26
  • I'll get a warranty upto 2020, so three more years. Periodic maintenance is in January, so I'm thinking I'll delay it till then. – Wrichik Basu Sep 25 '17 at 12:30
  • just hope that those spots doesn't get any bigger till January, meanwhile you can call the service representative and have a chat with him/her about the issue – Nilabja Sep 25 '17 at 12:35
  • yes, I've done that. Sent him photos by whatsapp. He said that he has to take a closer look. But assured that even if it is rust, they have technologies to remove that. I just have to pay..... – Wrichik Basu Sep 25 '17 at 14:46
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As others have said yes it's possible for most car bodies to rust although it would be rare on a car that is only 3 years old unless there was damage that had penetrated through all the paint/clear coat layers through to the bare metal underneath.

Most manufacturers will offer a reasonably long anti-corrosion warranty period (this is separate to the mechanical warranty for the car) - in the UK Toyota offer 12 years for example.

As for your specific "spots", it's hard to tell from the photos but as you refer to them as "prominent" this makes me think that they feel raised to the touch. In which case they may well be tar spots stuck to the clear coat rather than rust spots - a small rust spot is more likely to be from a stone chip which will be felt as a small indentation on the car's surface rather than sticking up.

If it is just tar spots then the good news is that they aren't really "damage" to the car and are easily dealt with by using a clay bar

  1. Wash the car with a good car shampoo (something like this from Autoglym will do the job nicely), then dry the car off with a microfibre drying towel

  2. Working in small sections (about 2ftX2ft) spray on the quick detailer from the clay bar kit and then rub with the clay bar itself. You want enough of the liquid on the paintwork that the clay bar moves smoothly against the paintwork without "sticking" but not so much that it just slips off. Don't worry it's easier to than it sounds! You'll want to pay particular attention to the "spots" on the surface - you may feel slight "catches" as the bar encounters these spots - this is normal and with a few minutes work (reapply quick detailer as necessary) they should lift off the surface onto the clay bar. You'll want to fold and refold the clay as it picks up dirt to ensure as clean a surface as possible is being applied to the car.

  3. Once you have clayed the whole car body lightly spritz the paintwork with quick detailer again and buff off with a fresh microfibre cloth.

  4. You now need to protect the paintwork with a wax or sealant - the choices here are endless and you can spend as much as you like but for your purposes a decent quality liquid wax such as Meguairs Gold Class will do the job and is very easy to work with.

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I took my car for service last week at the authorised service centre. The service personnel had a close look at the problem, and had it checked by his senior. It's not rust. As per the senior official, the car was driven through roads where road work was going on. Stone chips had been thrown up be the tires, which hit the body and damaged it badly at several places.

They advised a proper painting of the car body. It would take about a day, but they confirmed that the original look can be restored.

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