My 2009 Honda City S MT developed a leak in the roof ~10 days ago. The service station came back with the attached photos of rust on cowl panel and roof.

Holes in cowl panel Holes in roof

I am being quoted upwards of 100k INR to replace the cowl panel below and repair by welding a new metal strip on the roof. This will involve taking down both front and rear glasses and repainting the roof and entire front of the car.

Additionally, they are also offering a ~40k package to strip the car down to bare metal and then doing an anti-rust treatment and repainting the car (including removal of the various panel dents etc).


  1. How rampant is the rust, roof leakage in Honda City?
  2. Has anybody had Honda strip down their City to metal and repainted?
  3. Does the car fit back together again? I.e. How much rattles and squeaks are there in a refitted Honda City?
  4. Given ~7 year old car, does it make sense to do a strip down and repaint? (expect to keep the car another 3-4 years).
  5. What is the best way to prevent recurrence?
  • Those holes below the windscreen - was that area ever cleaned of rubbish?
    – Solar Mike
    Jan 29, 2018 at 9:02
  • If the rust is that bad there I'd be concerned about the rest of the body. Whether it's worth the cost of repair depend on the value, if it's going to cost more than the car is worth don't do it
    – GdD
    Jan 29, 2018 at 9:57
  • @SolarMike The area below the windscreen is usually under a largish plastic cover, so to clean it would need it to be removed completely and then washed. I don't remember a washing this detailed being done on this car. So I suppose it is 7 years of rubbish and dirt. Jan 29, 2018 at 13:31
  • @GdD The photos above have been produced by a body repair expert. Per him there is only 1 more rust spot near the boot. Apart from that the car body is in good nick. The expert recommends a a full body paint though. Jan 29, 2018 at 13:33
  • So, you've answered question 1 yourself, you know where the rust is already.
    – GdD
    Jan 29, 2018 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


I will address question 4: is it worth getting a bare metal re-spray. I'm not going to answer this directly as I don't have accurate figures, but I'll give you the approach I'd use on any car: the costs of the respray should be less than the change in resale value for doing it when you plan to sell the car.

Say a respray will cost 2000 currency units (CUs), the resale value without the respray will be 10000 CUs and the resale value with the respray will be 13000 CUs, then the respray would make financial sense. If the resale value with the respray is 11000 CUs then it wouldn't make financial sense to do it. Some cars drop some much in value over time that no amount of body work will make financial sense, with others body work is a good investment.

So if you're going to get the money back go for the respray, if not I'd personally leave it unless:

  • You have some sentimental attachment to the car
  • The appearance of your car is important for work or other reasons

To me 7 years is not that long for a paint job, a respray seems excessive. A good deep polish will be far cheaper and probably give a good result.

  • That is a great way to look at the repair job. Thanks. The respray is coming into picture as the repairing the leak would mean the entire front end to be repainted, so I will end up with ~30% car repainted at ~50% of cost. Need to keep the car as a similar new one is definitely out of budget for now. Jan 29, 2018 at 13:58
  • If you look at the pictures you'll actually see two things: missing metal from rust and a missing windshield. No amount of rubbing is going to cure this or even attempt to make it look better. Your use of "currency units" is really good though. You make this explanation viable for any currency. Great way of looking at it. Jan 29, 2018 at 14:32
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2, I was addressing the full respray as opposed to the repair. Of course some repainting is required, this answer is about the non-rusted parts of the car.
    – GdD
    Jan 29, 2018 at 14:41
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 The windshield was taken off at the body repair shop to assess the cause of the leakage. It is stored away safely to be reinstalled later. Jan 29, 2018 at 14:41
  • @varunsangal - Yes, assumed the windshield was still around. Point being, it's been removed from the vehicle. Jan 29, 2018 at 14:47

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