Author Topic: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?  (Read 12332 times)

labrat

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Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« on: April 14, 2014, 08:15:13 PM »
I have a 1998 Honda CR-V that has developed some pretty bad rust spots in the rear wheel wells.  The car is in good condition as far as mechanics are concerned and I'd like to hang on to it for the foreseeable future, but I am wondering whether it is worth it to try to have the rust removed and the body patched and painted.  I've been quoted $800-1000 for the job, but have been told by the shops giving me these quotes that there is no guarantee that the rust issue will be 100% resolved. 

Right now I'm leaning toward not getting it fixed since the rust might make a quick reappearance and I'd hate to spend a cool grand just for that to happen.  Is it better to set aside the $$ to go toward a newer used car once this one rusts out?

Have any of you in Mustachian-land had a similar issue or expensive cosmetic repair on an older car?  What did you do?

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 08:27:20 PM »
I had a 1999 Camry that showed some rust, but in the 3 years I had it nothing got worse.

I wouldn't spend that much on something that's purely cosmetic. There's no way that type of restoration will increase the resale value anywhere near what it costs to do. Getting a newer used car in the 2000-2003+ range will probably be a good bit safer as well.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2014, 10:14:38 PM »
No.

aarivers

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Re: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 07:35:03 AM »
Trying to stop rust on a car is like trying to stop lung cancer in a smoker. You can remove everything you see, but it'll always come back, especially in a northern state or one that uses salt in the winter time.

Having had a CR-V in the past I would just keep running it till the end of time and not worry about the rust. Save your money and when the CR-V kicks the bucket get something newer and rust free, that gets even better  mileage, since I know the best I got out of mine was a measly 25mpg.

BlueMR2

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Re: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 09:46:14 AM »
I *would* go ahead and repair it.  That's a pretty cheap quote.  It won't be a permanent solution, but it could buy you a few more years with the vehicle before it becomes unsafe.  Stop the rust as far out as you can to prevent it from working further in and jeopardizing safety (such as rusting through strut towers).

Forcus

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Re: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2014, 11:39:40 AM »
You didn't mention miles. If this is a low mileage vehicle you intend on keeping a long time, I wouldn't really flinch at $1k for rust repair, if it was a true repair (cutting out the bad metal, coating the backside / welds, paint matching the front side, etc. I like keeping my vehicles clean and that's actually pretty cheap. My mom has a 98 or 99 CRV and spent a couple grand having the quarter panel repaired or replaced because of rust underneath the gas filler area. But she keeps vehicles a LONG time and the rest of it looks great so it made sense to her.

But financially I can't think of a scenario where it really makes sense unless it was an ultra low mileage vehicle you were going to sell for top dollar. But if that was the case I'd just keep it still because it should be good for 200k+ miles.

Another thing, even though Hondas are known for rusting at the back of the wheelwells (CRV, Accord, Civic, etc., they never figured out how to do it right), they generally are solid underneath. But it wouldn't hurt to check as someone else said. Strut towers, subframes, etc., can get dangerous if in an area where salt is used. There was just a recall issued for 01-06 (I think) Escapes for rusty subframes and control arm mounts snapping off. That will get you upside down, in a ditch, on fire pretty quick.

CarDude

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Re: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2014, 07:00:57 PM »
Another thing, even though Hondas are known for rusting at the back of the wheelwells (CRV, Accord, Civic, etc., they never figured out how to do it right), they generally are solid underneath. But it wouldn't hurt to check as someone else said. Strut towers, subframes, etc., can get dangerous if in an area where salt is used. There was just a recall issued for 01-06 (I think) Escapes for rusty subframes and control arm mounts snapping off. That will get you upside down, in a ditch, on fire pretty quick.

This is the part that would concern me. I've driven cars that I wouldn't trust on jack stands because of how rusted they were underneath, and that's not a risk I recommend taking. If it's cosmetic rust, that's one thing. However, if your structure is compromised, start looking for a new ride.

Nords

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Re: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 12:12:32 AM »
I have a 1998 Honda CR-V that has developed some pretty bad rust spots in the rear wheel wells.  The car is in good condition as far as mechanics are concerned and I'd like to hang on to it for the foreseeable future, but I am wondering whether it is worth it to try to have the rust removed and the body patched and painted.  I've been quoted $800-1000 for the job, but have been told by the shops giving me these quotes that there is no guarantee that the rust issue will be 100% resolved. 
Right now I'm leaning toward not getting it fixed since the rust might make a quick reappearance and I'd hate to spend a cool grand just for that to happen.  Is it better to set aside the $$ to go toward a newer used car once this one rusts out?
Have any of you in Mustachian-land had a similar issue or expensive cosmetic repair on an older car?  What did you do?
Our daughter just replaced the timing belt on her 1999 CR-V... 170K miles.  It seems that it has lots of life left on its engine.

If the rust hasn't gone through the fender wells then you could buy a bottle of "Extend" rust treatment at a hardware store and just stabilize the corrosion.  Would the $800 of labor raise the resale value by at least that much?

dcheesi

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Re: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2014, 06:46:09 AM »
Does resale even matter if you plan to drive it until the wheels fall off? My previous vehicles have either gone to the junkyard or been donated; in either case I'm pretty sure they wound up being used for parts.

I would think the more relevant question is how much a repair would extend the car's useful life.

rogera

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Re: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2014, 03:12:13 PM »
Here's an alternate view:

I have a 1996 Honda that the entire front hood rusted through in places. I replaced the hood (for this job it was around $700) and was completely happy with it. The car not only looks a heck of a lot better, it is not letting snow get into the engine.

I realize this is not the same thing as what you are asking. I also have bad rust in my wheel wells, and one option I'm considering is replacing the panels where the wheel wells are. My rust in that spot on both sides seems to be growing each year so I probably will pay the $700 to replace it (my quote for both wheel wells).

I feel it was totally worth it BUT ONLY because my car runs, I've kept up with the maintenance, I don't owe anything on the car, it's cheap to insure, and it is great on gas.

I assume I will have to shell out for these larger repairs every so often, but there are many years I don' t buy anything but oil, air filters, gas, etc.

labrat

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Re: Worth it to repair rust on 1998 CR-V?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2014, 05:13:31 PM »
Thanks everyone!!

Current mileage is 117K, and the rust (as far as my untrained eye can tell) is limited to a 2-3 inch spot on each rear wheel well.  Of course it is very possible that it is worse than it appears.  I'll be sure to get the structural stuff checked out before making a final decision.  The car is pretty solid despite its lack-luster gas mileage, I've maintained it well, and have owned it outright for the past 12 years.  I'd hate to get rid of it just because of it rusting out.  However, if safety is compromised I'll need to save up some dough for a newer ride. 

I'm in the Midwest so road salt, especially this winter, has not been kind to the car.  I noticed that one of the spots very rapidly grew in size and severity (flaking rust) over the past few months, which prompted me to get it checked out in the first place.

I could care less about resale - ultimately I'm just cheap and would like to hang onto the car for a couple more years if at all possible!