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My 17 year old 2005 Corolla, Want to drive it (say) 10-17 more years. RUST is in the way. Where can i go, who can i trust?

1914 Views 27 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  empirefalls
I am happy with my 2005 Corolla. Everything is just simple in the car. From using the radio to not a zillion options/sensors. Running very good. Waxed 2-3 times a year for a decade. Gets 45-48mph on highway, I bought the 2005 Corolla new---i know the exact history of everything on the car. If i could buy a brand new 2005 Corolla today, would!

RUST HAS PUT ME UNDER THE GUN. Surface rust right now BUT of course rust never sleeps, Rocker panels are starting to go. I started checking out some garages for rust repair but, frankly, i dont how to chose and trust a garage to do quality rust repair. Thinking i need a rust proofer on the Corolla after the rust repair.

Any directions to go/ help?

(BTW, help on this forum has help my corolla get to 200,000 and saved me $1000s )
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I am happy with my 2005 Corolla. Everything is just simple in the car. From using the radio to not a zillion options/sensors. Running very good. Waxed 2-3 times a year for a decade. Gets 45-48mph on highway, I bought the 2005 Corolla new---i know the exact history of everything on the car. If i could buy a brand new 2005 Corolla today, would!

RUST HAS PUT ME UNDER THE GUN. Surface rust right now BUT of course rust never sleeps, Rocker panels are starting to go. I started checking out some garages for rust repair but, frankly, i dont how to chose and trust a garage to do quality rust repair. Thinking i need a rust proofer on the Corolla after the rust repair.

Any directions to go/ help?

(BTW, help on this forum has help my corolla get to 200,000 and saved me $1000s )
All the body shops I know offer lifetime warranty on there work. If it's not "cancer" then it's cosmetic. Pictures would also help tell more of the story. If you do repair rockers you can go to rvinyl.com and get paint protection film to cover those areas after paint
 

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Just do a to search for best auto body shops in _ and see what shops get the best reviews, I prefer family operations vs. the chain type shops. Then go get a free estimate of what work ya want and look at cars there working on and may have finished waiting to be picked up. Ask about shop warranties and who they get panels from if needed. I.E each rocker panel on your car is about $270 from Toyota (P/N 7691102030D0) or about $50 from carparts.com with a 90 day guarantee.
If they haven't rusted thru yet the shop could take em down to bare metal ,seal, prime and paint.
 

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Also if you overly concerned you can contact a restoration shop. They do excellent rust repair, and typically decent paint jobs. I have a buddy that works at one local to me, who helped me do new floors, rockers, cab Conners, and plate both sides of the father in laws 86 f250 he owned for 30 years. The tips and tricks working on that rust bucket were invaluable!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for replies, read each one.
i checked out 2 places that do rocker panels----going to be 3 weeks (lucky it is not a month and a half or more) just to have the car physically looked at for a quote. (garages are booked solid with work).
I had someone who has done alot of repairs on my corolla....he said replace the rocker panels, some rusting beginning on the quarter panels, but the rest of the underbody looks in good shape.

Any ideas about what replacement of the rocker panel work would cost on a corolla?
I would go cheap-just to get me by for a year or two. Or spend extra money for solid work
 

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thanks for replies, read each one.
i checked out 2 places that do rocker panels----going to be 3 weeks (lucky it is not a month and a half or more) just to have the car physically looked at for a quote. (garages are booked solid with work).
I had someone who has done alot of repairs on my corolla....he said replace the rocker panels, some rusting beginning on the quarter panels, but the rest of the underbody looks in good shape.

Any ideas about what replacement of the rocker panel work would cost on a corolla?
I would go cheap-just to get me by for a year or two. Or spend extra money for solid work
If you watch vehcor, he shows how a diy can replace a panel. The quarter panel has multiple layers and are spot welded to the chassis. Work gets long and tedious. By doing the patch panel route, it can be quicker, but will require filler.

Check out his channel when you get a chance. It’s interesting to see how he correctly replaces panels rather than using body filler. He’s in Chicago, so he knows his rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Couple of notes. Gonna be about 3 weeks to update this thread--that is how long it was just to get an appointment to have a professional look at it. Still reading for comments tho.
Also, 5 months ago, i posted a similar thread about this topic---what changed is now rocker panels AND RUST issues that need addressing.
 
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If you can afford the coin, my suggestion would be to find the quarter panel from LKQ or car-par.com. Then have tje shop make you a patch panel from that. This way, you won’t have more rust later from the patch panel itself.

Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Next week an auto body shop has set aside 3 days to do the rocker panels.
Hertz rental have their cars fixed there so i take that as a good sign. They fixed another car of mine 3x.
Rocker panel replacement Prices: $1200....or $1600-2000 for better (i think that means paint?).

Couple questions, (thanks for helping too).
When the rocker panels are done, will the car run noticeably better? besides being safer.
If the auto body shop has a warranty for the rocker panel repair work. what is likely the warranty?-- rocker panels falling off or something?
One more big question, a tad vague: -- Is it possible something bad may go wrong doing the rocker panels and i dont have a drivable car at all?
,
 

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Next week an auto body shop has set aside 3 days to do the rocker panels.
Hertz rental have their cars fixed there so i take that as a good sign. They fixed another car of mine 3x.
Rocker panel replacement Prices: $1200....or $1600-2000 for better (i think that means paint?).

Couple questions, (thanks for helping too).
When the rocker panels are done, will the car run noticeably better? besides being safer.
If the auto body shop has a warranty for the rocker panel repair work. what is likely the warranty?-- rocker panels falling off or something?
One more big question, a tad vague: -- Is it possible something bad may go wrong doing the rocker panels and i dont have a drivable car at all?
,
The warranty will depend on the shop. Could be anywhere from 1 -3 years. Warranty will cover paint and workmanship. Not the labor.

Did you order the whole panel or just the section to make the repair?
 

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Next week an auto body shop has set aside 3 days to do the rocker panels.
Hertz rental have their cars fixed there so i take that as a good sign. They fixed another car of mine 3x.
Rocker panel replacement Prices: $1200....or $1600-2000 for better (i think that means paint?).

Couple questions, (thanks for helping too).
When the rocker panels are done, will the car run noticeably better? besides being safer.
If the auto body shop has a warranty for the rocker panel repair work. what is likely the warranty?-- rocker panels falling off or something?
One more big question, a tad vague: -- Is it possible something bad may go wrong doing the rocker panels and i dont have a drivable car at all?
,
It won't run any different. If you and a fender sticking out and had it repaired it would fix aerodynamic issues and return better gas mileage (probably not noticeable)
 

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Next week an auto body shop has set aside 3 days to do the rocker panels.
Hertz rental have their cars fixed there so i take that as a good sign. They fixed another car of mine 3x.
Rocker panel replacement Prices: $1200....or $1600-2000 for better (i think that means paint?).

Couple questions, (thanks for helping too).
When the rocker panels are done, will the car run noticeably better? besides being safer.
If the auto body shop has a warranty for the rocker panel repair work. what is likely the warranty?-- rocker panels falling off or something?
One more big question, a tad vague: -- Is it possible something bad may go wrong doing the rocker panels and i dont have a drivable car at all?
,
My two cents.. I highly suggest that once the vehicle has been looked over for any other rust related safety concerns (brakes lines, suspension components), and when all body work is done, you should consider applying Fluid Film to the car. Any oil undercoating will do. Some shops offer this service. It stops the rust where it is, and keeps it from spreading. When I bought it used I coated it and filled the rockers with oil and they are still like new after many years of road salt. Just make sure any safety issues are looked at and addressed first and it will make your car last a lot longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks for helping everyone. reading every word in everyone's post if i dont respond.
"Did you order the whole panel or just the section to make the repair? "
answer-- dont know. as i mentioned above they gave me 2 quotes. i infer the whole panel is best

i am going to the auto body shop today to get ask final questions,,,....,,Before i drop off my car for work in 4 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Shop is backed up, could not get me in til next week now.
Will my Toyota be a safer car with new rocker panels? (not a patch job repair)
 

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Shop is backed up, could not get me in til next week now.
Will my Toyota be a safer car with new rocker panels? (not a patch job repair)
No, It will just pass inspection. (at least here in Canada)
Repairing the rockers properly, will prevent further rust in that area.
 
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