So I live in northeast USA and we get snow/salts.

  • 102,000 MILES
So I live in northeast USA and we get snow/salts on the roads all of the time, I brought my car for a inspection today and my rocker panels are rusted so they are patching them up, but my mechanic told me *this will be the last inspection I will do on this car* he didnt explain why, can someone tell me why my 96 car wont pass inspection again? Btw this car has been driven in snow/salt conditions for 17 years, could the frame be rotted? If so is it worth fixing or should I seek a new car?
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 AT 8:20 PM

1 Reply

This is definitely not one of Ford's better cars. Take this as an opportunity to trade it for something better. You can thank your politicians for the need to have your car inspected for such things. Here in Wisconsin we use WAY too much road salt. The slop it creates sends many more cars into the ditch than from driving on packed snow. We also rot our cars away and I have yet to see one fold up from rust. Unibody cars are much stronger than older, bigger cars with steel frames, ... As long as that rolled-up sheet metal isn't compromised by rust. While they don't fold up or collapse, they DO react differently in a crash. Carefully designed-in crumple zones are no longer effective. It's at least in part that your mechanic is worried about a lawsuit if you're hurt in a crash. Blame that on ourselves and our tendency to sue whenever possible. You're paying the cost of that now.

You didn't say how badly the rocker boxes are rusted. Do they have little holes or are they completely gone? People in different parts of the country are accustomed to seeing different things. I heard of a mechanic out west who refused to fix the exhaust system on a car from Wisconsin because it had a little surface rust on the gas tank. He had never seen that. Surface rust on any nut or bolt here means the car is at least six months old.

I've seen Dodge Dynastys with both rocker boxes totally gone on both sides and you would never know it by driving the car or looking at it while standing beside it. Fortunately we don't have any politicians deciding for us what's okay to drive.

I'd want an explanation of *this will be the last inspection I will do on this car*. If it passes now, why not in the future? What kind of patch job is he planning on doing? Just cover up a few little insignificant holes or buying new panels from Ford? If he figures it won't pass inspection later, what does that say about the work he is planning on doing now?
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Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 AT 10:54 PM

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