Rust in 91 Accord

My 91 Accord has bad rust around the rear wheel wells. It appears to me to be a flaw in the car because I automatically look at every Accord that looks like mine and I think that they all have rust in the
same spots.
I'm not complaining because the car has just been great. I got it used about 7 years ago and it already had rust so it isn't like I was taken by surprise. I'm really just curious to see if this is in fact a design or maintenance defect.
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Yes, it's common. But "defect" is arguably a strong way to put it. For one thing, Honda owners perhaps keep their cars longer, so they will be on the roads after a decade and so show rust after many years.
I suspect other makes of cars have their own unique rust locations.

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dgk wrote:

Probably a spot which collects water and road dirt. Rusty areas are usually either places where dissimilar metals are in contact (rare on modern vehicles) or where dirt and water collect and don't drain.
John
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Very common in that location in all cars, actually. Some worse than others.

It's not a "defect". It's a consequence of water paths, and of economy in construction.
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TeGGeR

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My 91Accord only started to show signs of rust here this year. In the last two months it finally came through. Two or three orange spots on the white paint on each side.
Defect? I think not! I don't know of any car of this age without obvious rust. Most have heavy rust in some areas, others have rust through.
On Thu, 17 Aug 2006 18:19:25 +0000 (UTC), "TeGGeR"

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Mine. I have no rust at all. It's a '91 with 272,000 miles.

That's because of two things: 1) Neglect, and 2) inadequate rustproofing.
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On Fri, 18 Aug 2006 01:52:18 +0000 (UTC), "TeGGeR"

I'm guessing here but I would think that several factors come into play, with salt being number one on the playlist and freezing being number two. Salt seems to just eat metal, and freezing water cracks open our roads. So salt and water get into tiny cracks and start the wonderful recycling process.
What is odd about what I've observed with the Accord is that I don't see that damage on the front wheelwells, and those are going to get the same amount of crud as the rears. That's why I figured that those rear wells are a weak spot.
When I first got the Accord, I paid a body shop around $300 to kill the rust that I saw. The guy was honest though and said that it would delay the rust but that it really wasn't possible to cure it without spending much more.
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wrote:

Sort of. But freezing has nothing to do with it. With concrete, yes. With cars, no.

Water paths is what does it. Water migrates to the rear. And it takes forever to evaporate from enclosed panels...

Yes, they killed the stuff you could see. They could do nothing about the stuff you (and they) could NOT see, which is 99% of the problem.
The guy was honest though and said that it would

You cannot kill it once it starts. You can only prevent it from occurring in the first place.
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"TeGGeR" wrote:

Ahhhhh... But every freezing cycle causes water to expand and any that becomes trapped tends to slowly take metal parts apart only to allow more water to enter and the cycle repeats itself. Water laced with salt is an insidious compound that one in the rust belt would wish had typical physical properties such as contracting instead of expanding...

Sort of like a beach being cleared because a shark's fin is spotted. For every one that is sighted, a dozen or more are never seen.

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wrote:

I suppose so, but the mere presence of water is enough. Water in the pinchwelds takes ages to evaporate, so all that oxygen has all the time in the world to munch away at your metal.
In fact, rust occurs when the water is NOT frozen.
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On Fri, 18 Aug 2006 12:35:13 -0400, dgk wrote:

Frequent washing in the winter is essential. I bring my car to a Delta Sonic (Automatic car wash) once weekly in the winter to remove salt and dirt from the underbody.
And before Winter, make sure you have a good, solid coat of wax on the car. Including the door jams and wheel wells. The wax will keep the water from penetrating.
I just got rid of a 97 Dodge Caravan. The only rust on the body was in the back right corner, where there was a dent and removed paint years ago. The rest of the car looked like new.
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dgk wrote:

There was a recall of earlier accords due to premature rusting of the front wheel wells that had something to do with the sound dampening in them and the way they held moisture. They must have done a good job fixing the problem.
My old '79 hatchback got 2 new fenders and a paint job for free.
Also, some areas do not have the environmental extremes that others do. California seems to be a haven for classic cars.......
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TeGGeR wrote:

Yep, my father's '94 Pontiac Grand Prix had more rust in the real wheel wells than my '93 Accord currently has.
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dgk wrote:

    The rear inner plastic wheel well liner and the metal body come together and create a place to trap water. The left side is worse because of water that gets in when the power antenna goes down in wet weather. The wheel opening rubber molding also traps moisture. Most owners of these cars pull the molding off and throw it away.     Any use of salt on the roads makes the rust faster and much worse.     Honda has learned over the years where the rust develops, but the process is so long that updates to the design wait until the major model changes. Believe me, most cars are much worse. bob
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