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Hi everyone,
I have a 2009 Ford Focus with about 130k in mileage. Since it's used in the northern part of the countries where harsh winters and road salt are common, I want to do everything I can to preserve the body of this car.

Unfortunately, some paint has already disappeared from the rocker panels and there are door areas where paint is missing and surface rust has started to form. In each of these door areas, the surface area exposed is usually no bigger than a quarter coin.

I would like to make sure that the affected areas have the rust sanded down and repainted but do not want to repaint the entire car. Are there body shops that will do sanding and paint work to blend in with the original factory paint job? It doesn't need to be perfect but it just needs to be protected. Right now, air temps in my region are already between 35-50F, and I don't have a garage. So, I'm thinking a DIY job before this winter is out of the question. Plus, I've never painted a car before and would really like a pro to handle that.

How much could I expect to pay to get some rocker panels sanded down and repainted and to get these couple of door spots fixed? And do you have any recommendations for where I can find people willing do this? I live in a large metropolitan area and so far most body shops I've called are part of large chains and refuse to do anything short of repainting an entire body panel at once (some insist on removing the body panel ahead of time). Furthermore, the body shops I've called are pushing me to have the entire car repainted at the tune of 3-5k, which is more than the value of my car. I can buy a used Focus of my vintage for 3k from a dealer, but I hate seeing cars go to waste or to rust further when they don't have to and when prevention measures are available.
 

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Welcome to owning a 10+ year old vehicle. I feel your pain. I have 2 fullsize Broncos that are 20+ years old and I too battle rust. My advice to anyone owning a 10+ year old vehicle is to make websites like this one and UTUBE your best friends. Paying a mechanic or body shop guy to maintain or repair your vehicle is not cost effective. You would be better off making payments on a newer vehicle. That being said body shop's do not pay their bills repairing older cars. They make their money through insurance companies. Of course they will repaint your entire car and do the body work for 4,000 to 10,000, but patching panels for 500$ will put you out of business fast. Especially when the customer wants a perfect job for next to nothing.

You have to stop the rot. Google por15 or a good rust inhibitor for a long term fix but at least put something on the metal to stop it from spreading. Wire wheel on a grinder to remove the lose stuff and a rattle can of self etching primer will stop the spread. Both my Broncos are black. I buy .96 black spray paint from Walmart on a weekly basis. Whenever i do a repair job I paint everything I can see..... But I Love my rides and plan on keeping them forever.
 
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