Rust on Later C Class Mercedes

Discussion in 'Bodywork' started by KeithJG, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. KeithJG

    KeithJG Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I have had a discussion on another forum including rust on our motors....luckily i do not have any sense of rust on the body but just ever so slightly on the front subframe welds viewed from the top of the engine. 06 model so 9yrs old!

    As this is my first Merc. if i knew more about the later models i would perhaps contemplate a change later.

    So how do the newer C class models from 2008 onwards fair on rust and i don`t just mean body parts but also components that link other parts together?
     
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  2. Jonesy161

    Jonesy161 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Just had mine serviced last week plus a full visual inspection by an Indy before warranty expired. It's three years old this week, obviously plus a few months.
    The report was extensive, but summarising, they said it was like a new car underneath with no signs of any surface rust. I usually like to give the subframes and mounting points a good dose of wax oil, but no need according to the guy who inspected it.

    Hope this is useful.
     
  3. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    My 2006 C-Class is totally rust free.

    I suspect most post-2003 cars are because that's when they started galvanising them.
     
  4. merc85

    merc85 MB Club Veteran

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    Zero rust on mine 2003 (53) Reg s211 body wise, Ive had the underguards off alot just latly whilst cleaning and only had a very very small flaking paint on the very front of the lower cross member which i rubbed back and painted as a precaution. ;)
     
  5. rf065

    rf065 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Explain then how my fully galvanised 2005 CLK has been in twice for rust repairs, once at 4.5 years and secondly at 6 years?

    Also explain the fully galvanised 2008 ML I saw a few years ago that had rust all along the bottom edge of the rear doors?

    The year Mercedes started to galvanise their cars appears to have no bearing on whether they will rust or not.

    Russ
     
  6. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    I can't explain... which is why I said 'most'.

    Clearly some cars still suffer from rust, though overall the situation was far worse before galvanisation.

    Also, with cars you do not own yourself, it can be difficult to judge the circumstances that caused it to rust because you don't know the car's history.

    Again, I think that overall things are better than they were though they are obviously not perfect.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
  7. OP
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    KeithJG

    KeithJG Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    This is exactly why i asked the question...

    I don`t want to jump from the frying pan into the fire especially when my motor is almost bang on despite it`s age.

    This is what was said elswhere which made me think:

    Rust is a Mercedes problem, still is. W164 M class, saw an 06 reg one with rusty wheel arches and boot lid, W211 E class, mine rusted and most of the older ones from before 07 are rusting, and in a few years the 08 etc ones will rust.

    My W204 C class was rusting, the pipes for the PAS were so badly corroded it was nearly going to collapse and my PAS fluid go everywhere. All underneath the car in the floors etc it was rusting.

    They are just rust buckets. Even the new ones. And the ones hewn from granite, they are rust buckets too. The fabled W123 is a bloody rot trap, peel away carpets, and in the sills, man these things really rust.
    All my Mercedes were 2005 onwards and the 2009 C class was a rust bucket once you looked undeneath, serious rust issues with the piping to the point of danger, and it was only 3y0 45k miles. Not some old wreck where you might expect it.
    My 204 was the AMG sport so built in Bremen


    Thanks to those so far that have posted....i may have to do much more homework before deciding?
     
  8. merc85

    merc85 MB Club Veteran

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    "hewn from granite" presumingly ref to w126 and w123's which were both born in the late 70's and had a very long production time. youngest being around 25years old now!

    As for the M-class who knows if it was a accident damaged vehicle repaired badly.

    None on my 2003 s211

    My father in Law's w204 hasn't any rust anywhere so perhaps Mb's quality control isn't that great??

    As for other brands my 1980's Ford Granada was full of rust,
    My 1990's Volvo 850's both suffered rust on the rear chassis rails
    The 1988 Volvo 240 i also had suffered badly.

    Yet my 1989 w201 Mercedes 190 didnt have any nor did my 1988 w124 260e or My 1985 380sel, but they were much younger back then.

    I think RUST is common on all cars from all periods but people expect a Mercedes to stay rust free being a premium brand.

    Lets not forget all of the Rusty Rolls Royce's out there Astons and the likes.

    There's no excuse for the wdb210's but dont forget the e39 bmw's are not much better.
     
  9. KillerHERTZ

    KillerHERTZ Administrator Staff Member

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    Just as many rusty Audi's and Beemers these days (ignoring W210s)
     
  10. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Rust is multifactorial so its difficult to extrapolate from an individual car to an entire model run. Starting at the production process there are various variables to take into account- the plant and paint shop where the car body was constructed- the quality of the rolled steel employed in its construction- paint systems employed- historically Solvent based paint v Waterbased paint- galvanised v non galvanised steel- or even aluminium- welding v gluing or riveting- gauge of steel- high tensile V normal mild steel even what colour the paint is. Post production did the car travel half across the planet in the hold of a container ship- how long did it sit dockside or in a compound near industrial pollution Was transit damage rectified pre/post dealer delivery. In ownership was the car cleaned and valeted on a regular basis- was in kept in a garage or out in the street- was it used in all weathers or kept inside on days when the roads were gritted or salted. Has it ever been in any accidents and been repaired to varying standards according to your insurance companies- das beste oder nichts V bargain basement repair policy . So lots of variables. Some milestones pre 1992 solvent based paint systems= good -----post 92 water based = not so good till they got to grips with the new technology--- post around 1995/96 The Jurgen Schremp/ Chryser era= not so good-- rumours of variable quality Russian steel in European built cars --- the post 2000 period start of greater geographical Mercedes manufacturing- new W203 C class saloons built in South Africa but estates in Germany, SUVS built in The USA.. Around 2003 more galvanising introduced in Mercedes plants but rolled out over a period of time for different models made in different plants in different countries. Which sort of takes us up to the present day with developments such as more plastics underbody and wheel arch protection for rust protection and aerodynamics and some glued construction. The W204 and W212 have been out for several years now and are generally regarded as slightly better than their predecessors* in the area of body rust protection---- where the jury may be out is the longer term effects of corrosion vibration and heat on their increasingly complex electronic circuitry. Its possible in the future the items most likely to make your car beyond economic repair may be the electronics rather than the bodywork???:dk:


    * there is a specific problem with certain shades of red paint degrading prematurely due to UV damage covered extensively on the forum showing they haven't got it totally right yet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015
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  11. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    My rust-free 2006 car was built in the East London plant, South Africa. And, at 9 years old, it is also largely fault-free and rattle-free. Based on my experience, I would not hesitate to buy another South-African made Mercedes.
     
  12. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    The point being that cars built in different factories will go through different paint and rust proofing processes. Not saying one is better than the other just that there is scope for variation to be introduced between plants and due to different raw materials used. :dk:
     
  13. ash59fifty-uk

    ash59fifty-uk Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Possibly something else to factor in- these rusty examples, where are they based/where have they spent most their life in the UK?

    I know some building structures are heavily weathered by either sea air (coastal areas) and some by what minerals are in the ground, which gets churned up by both green and brownfield sites being developed on at scale causing similar effects

    Would that be a factor anyone reckon?
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  14. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    https://www.nationwidevehiclecontracts.co.uk/guides/vehicle-maintenance/rust-damage
    Is not a bad summary.
    This climate map on rainfall reveals that the UK weather is dominated by weather from the Atlantic and the Gulf stream giving perhaps an uneven distribution of rainfall and airborne sea salt with the South east and East Anglia coming of best in this respect. Always dangerous to generalise of course with higher concentrations of agrochemicals being implicated in rural areas affecting car undersides and urban industrial airborne pollutants affecting paintwork. In all this the widespread but necessary use of salt and grit on roads in the winter months to keep road traffic moving is undoubtedly a major influence on any cars ability to maintain an intact layer of protection betwwen steel and the outside elements. However cars don't rust at low temperature since rusting is a thermodynamic process which requires heat to take place. That's why cars don't rust in the winter- they get damaged in the winter but the rusting takes place in the warmer months. Some say the best place to store a car [ security issues aside] for this reason is in an open car port where it has more chance to dry out and sits at low temperature overnight in the winter. :dk:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. cazyp

    cazyp Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    We live in a damp Country that insists on wasting millions of pounds each year throwing metal eating salt onto the roads. Coupled with that we're a small island so a percentage of cars will be ravaged by coastal salt spray/air.

    Most cars around the 1998-2003 era will rust due to the environmental changes in car manufacture, which brought about water based paint and primer. It wasn't fully understood at the time.

    Galvanising is an electroplating process, most cars though are electrocoated (E-coat) brown tinge to the panels. So not 'fully galvanised.' With these coatings cars still rust. Where the panels are butted up and joined it becomes difficult for the coating to penetrate.

    Accept that most cars will rust eventually.
     
  16. OP
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    KeithJG

    KeithJG Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Rust is multifactorial ....i understand that but rust only comes from the inside out if the metal is painted or covered in some sort of material.

    So therefore is this galvanizing just to extend the life of the metal before the rust is seen to come through ?

    If the steel has rust in it when galvanized will it still rust or is it killed ?

    Rust free cars always seem to be let down by the underneath sub frames and components rusting away ok so the components are easily changed but not the entire sub frame....

    Moving to Mercedes from 29yrs of Volvo my 1997 Volvo V70 T5 which even after 17yrs was not rusty even underneath, just nuts holding things together.

    Perhaps that is the reason Volvo went bankrupt and Mercedes haven`t :rolleyes:

    I was forced to change because the Volvo did look old hat and also the technology was old especially for MPG...
     
  17. cb1965

    cb1965 Banned

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    A friend of mine has just retired from 36 years running a bodyshop undertaking all sorts of insurance and private work.

    He said that without doubt the Mercedes marque (models manufactured in the last 15 years) suffer more from corrosion than nearly any other marque he can think of. He did clarify that far from all Mercedes vehicles corrode badly, but statistically per capita more suffer from bad corrosion than those of other marques! He also stated he'd seen 2008 and 2009 Mercedes vehicles with corrosion levels you would not expect to see on a 20 year old Ford!
     
  18. merc85

    merc85 MB Club Veteran

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    Perhaps there were more mb's in his area than other manufactured vehicles lol
     
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  19. OP
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    KeithJG

    KeithJG Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Looks as though Gav i will just stick to what i know and have, at least my Merc. will see Me out and not the other way around.....Lol
     
  20. cb1965

    cb1965 Banned

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    Sigh, hence the term 'per capita' :rolleyes:
     

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