Are you referring to the hole or the rocker panel?
The rocker panel is the piece under your doors - part of the car body.
It is cosmetic (has exterier paint surface) and does add strength to the
It is a common piece you see rusting out on rusty cars.
Holes 'meant' to be there could be from aftermarket rustproofers.
I wouldn't loose any sleep over some rust holes in the rocker panel unless
they are so big you can drive a truck into it (leading me to believe the
rocker panel isn't the only thing rusted). Like I said, take a look around
at some vehicles that pretty much have the whole rocker panel rotted away.
If the rest of car is a rust bucket, I would be concerned about the
integrity, but localized rust areas/holes aren't going to let your car fold
in two. There are a lot of structural 'members' within the unibody from the
center tunnel to the pillars and roof. How big a hole are we talking?
If it is a clean hole & there isn't rusting through in the area, keep
the hole open (this will allowed trapped moisture to escape,
preventing further corrosion). If you want to prevent further
corrosion get the car oil sprayed.
With regards to lowering the safety.... In Europe rocker panel
integrity (lower sill as some call it) is part of the routine safety
inspection. Every other region has it's own values. If there is no
requirement in your area.... ask at a Body Shop what they would do if
it was their own car & base your decision up on that
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