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Hi everyone who is reading this. I have a white Dacia Sandero 2015 with around 56k miles on the clock. I believe it needs a new clutch but after looking under the bonnet I am a bit concerned about the rust under here. Some advice would be useful :). I wouldn't want to spend more money on the car if it doesn't have long left and would fail an MOT anytime soon for rust. enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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As you've mentioned the MoT test, I'm going to assume you're in the UK, and getting rusty cars through MoT tests is something I have a lot of experience with. I'll first address the apparent issues in the photos, followed by some general advice:

  • The bonnet is not structural, so rust would not be an MoT failure unless it had significant holes showing on the outside, in other words, a sharp edge in case of collision with a pedestrian. Your bonnet is many, many years away from that stage
  • The structural areas in the second picture - the chassis rail, strut top mount and bulkhead appear to be in perfectly good condition, although we can't see them from underneath
  • I assume the subject of the third photo is the battery clamp. This would only fail the MoT if it no longer held the battery down, i.e. if it were missing or had rusted through completely. It's made of metal thick enough that this won't ever be an issue. The usual problem here is that the bolt rusts and breaks when trying to remove it to change the battery, but that can fixed or worked around
  • In the fourth and fifth photos, the same applies as to the second photo above, so nothing here appears to be of any concern

However, although the car appears to be in good condition with many years of life left in it, photos of the under-bonnet area don't say very much about the condition of the bodywork. The overwhelming majority of MoT failures due to rust happen underneath the car, where it's bombarded with water, stones and salt in the winter. Most importantly, structural areas like subframes, sills (particularly the front and rear edges where they're hit by debris from the wheels), and mechanical parts like the brake pipes and suspension components. To properly assess the condition of a car's bodywork, you need to raise the car and look underneath, at the sills, floors, chassis rails, and all the areas near suspension and seatbelt mounting points.

Ultimately, if you're not familiar with what an MoT tester is looking for, and you're not familiar with how a car is constructed and how rust develops, then you might want to get the car inspected by a professional or ask for the tester's opinion on the car's condition after its next test.

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  • Thank you Alex that has really helped me :). Have a lovely day!
    – Ozzylad20
    Jan 28 at 13:06

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