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Discussion Starter #1
I don't have any, and I don't want any. My car is less than three years old, so I wouldn't expect any this soon. But how about ten years from now.....if you've still got the thing?

There are areas on my car that I can see will be a problem.....from past experience and from some inspection of this particular Focus. Here's where the first outer body rust will occur (IMHO) and what you can do about it before the fact.....

Take off a front fender inner splash shield......but before you do buy some new 5/16 nylon rivets, because they break easily. O'Rileys a box of 15 for $3.



Take a look where the dirt/water is getting in there.....



You can't prevent all this crap from getting in, but you can stop a lot of it with a foam collar around the shock opening.



Here's where the rust is likely to start first.....at the rear of the opening behind this foam flap. The thing is sealed too well at the bottom. Any crap that enters there is likely to stay trapped behind the flap, build up, stay wet, and eventually cause fender rust. This happens on many cars. Here's what mine looked like....the other side was much worse.





Crap will get back there no doubt. But if you cut about an inch off that foam flap on the bottom, water will drain out easier, taking the crap with it. There is no 100% certain way to keep this area clean and free from dirt build-up. But if you take the wheel-well shield off maybe once a year for cleaning.....you might prevent this area from rusting. I cleaned everything off and re-painted the area with Rustoleum black paint before I put everything back together. Here's where I made the little cut....



If you only keep cars a few years, rust is no worry. I usually keep cars over 10 years......rust can be a bad problem. It's much easier to prevent.

I'm doing several of this sort of rust prevention methods....anybody interested? I can post more photos....
 

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Too bad my car wasn't newer than it is. I'm getting rust on my trunk lid right above and below the trim strip where the ford emblem is; common place to rust.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's quite likely that different years/models have different potential rust issues. I took the hatch cover off my '06, but couldn't see any problems, existing or potential.

But I did find an issue with the drain holes (five) on the hatch itself. You don't have to take the cover off to see these holes (two are visible in the photo). These drains are important to prevent rusting. Well....two were clogged with wax, and one was improperly punched out at the factory. I was able to open them all up with a small screw-driver. This chips some paint....a little touch-up paint fixed it. Something to check out...

 

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Well what i would of done if i got my car earlier in its years was rustproof everything. My 89 ranger was fully rustproofed and its just chippin and rusting. So yea look at gettin that sheet metal and ur frame rustproofed. I think it comes in spray cans now??
 

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I just found a couple of developing rust spots I need to take care of. For those with hatches - raise the hatch, and look along where the bumper cover fits under the hatch opening, my cover has rubbed the paint off two small spots about eight inches in from each side of the hatch opening. Sorry, no pics right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That last rust problem....tough one. Sounds like the hatch needs adjustment....either that or the rear bumper got hit and is pushed upward. How to fix? Maybe touch-up the edge where the paint is rubbed.....but it's likely to get rubbed off again. I'd try running a strip of that door edge guard (the clear tape type)......over the bottom edge of the hatch. Plus keep after it....

I've been taking parts off my Focus...just checking for potential rust problem areas. Took the tail lights off today. That's a bad spot on many cars that leaks water into the trunk area. Mine looked pretty good. There's a rubber boot around the wire harness.....but it looked ok. There are three plastic inserts in the body for the attachment. There are seals to keep out the water, but I applied a glob of silicone grease on each insert before I put the things back together. Should be ok....check the wire boot every few years.

Water leaks in the trunk usually end up by the spare tire.....check it frequently. If anything's wet back there find the leak....
 

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Great tips. I will be removing the inner shields and following your tips. I use clear Rust-oleum. I noted others recommended dealer mud guards and protecting "u" channel on bottom of front doors. Also intend to wash undercarriage weekly during winter. I have a new 2013 SE and my son has a new 2012 SE so I am just learning the tricks.
 
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