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How Much Rust Will Fail Inspection
The Detroit Post
Saturday, 16 October, 2021

How Much Rust Will Fail Inspection

author
Bob Roberts
• Tuesday, 05 January, 2021
• 9 min read

If rust gets into a vehicle’s frame or body structure, it can become a safety issue for drivers. In fact, if a vehicle’s structure gets rusty enough, there could be a catastrophic failure even in routine daily driving.

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(Source: www.maineautomall.com)

Contents

First, moisture and carbon dioxide in the air mix to create a weak acid that starts to dissolve the iron. Think about how easy it is to crumble a flake of rust between your fingers, and then imagine that stuff trying to protect you and your loved ones during a car crash.

A stray piece of gravel or a minor fender bender is all it takes to chip a car’s paint, and any iron in the body panels will start to rust as soon as air and water reach the metal beneath it. That means rust spots can be fairly common on used vehicles, particularly if they’ve been driven in a northern U.S. state that uses chemicals and salt to device winter roads.

But if the rusting process goes on too long, it can eat right through the metal, causing holes and allowing body panels to fall to pieces. This is where problems go from cosmetic to dangerous, because modern cars and SUVs rely on these body panels for their structural integrity.

The most serious problems occur when rust gets beneath the car’s surface and within its underlying components. Rust -free body panels boost a vehicle’s structural integrity, but the parts doing the heavy lifting lie under the car’s skin.

Unfortunately, this area of a vehicle is often susceptible to rust -causing chemicals and water, which can accumulate there when a car drives down wet or icy roads. Most customers should avoid used vehicles that show strong signs of structural rust.

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(Source: forums.swedespeed.com)

CARFAX also recommends getting an expert inspection that includes putting the vehicle up on a lift, to give your mechanic a better view of under body components. You can apply touch-up paint to stone chips, small scratches, and other minor nicks and dings, but truly repairing rust can take several steps, a variety of tools and materials, and quite a bit of skill.

Depending on the size and severity of the rust, blending the repaired area with the surrounding paint may require wet sanding or buffing the surface. Dirt can retain and trap moisture, and road salt, bird droppings, and other corrosive materials will eat away at paint if they’re left unattended on metal surfaces for long periods.

Waxing it on a regular basis (twice or more each year) will add a protective surface to the paint and clear coat. Wash and wax more frequently if you live near an ocean or in an area where highway crews spread salt on the roads to melt snow and ice during the winter.

Also, frequently check the fender liners and other areas under the hood, along the sides of the engine bay, for any standing water. Check the trunk or cargo area to make sure water isn’t seeping past the seals.

Stone chips and other nicks and dings that are left unrepaired can develop into rust spots over time, so it pays to buy some matching touch-paint to cover those imperfections. Carbon monoxide poisoning causes flu-like symptoms, including sleepiness, dizziness, nausea, coughing and disorientation; it could also cause death.

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(Source: www.f150forum.com)

However, state auto inspectors look at your vehicle’s body and chassis to determine whether carbon monoxide could enter the car and possibly kill you, your passengers and other drivers. The state auto inspector must use his professional judgment when deciding whether the vehicle is at risk for carbon monoxide leakage.

Pennsylvania's lawmakers have attempted to prevent carbon monoxide-related deaths by forbidding residents from driving cars with holes in the frame that permit exhaust fumes to enter the interior. State laws command auto inspectors to make sure the floor pan doesn’t allow exhaust fumes to enter the car.

The state auto inspector is permitted to approve a car with minor problems if there is minimal chance of a dangerous carbon monoxide leakage. Few items on the state’s inspection checklist result in a flat pass or fail grade, but the presence of a rust hole can alert auto inspectors to check other areas of the car for problems.

Today, rocker panels, which you swing your legs over every time you get in and out of your car, are part of and critical to your vehicle’s structural support, so the only way to fix them and prevent carbon monoxide from entering the interior is to replace them. However, there is such a small clearance between the blades, and the pulley assembly where the fan clutch used to be, I'm afraid if I hit a big bump it's going to hit the blades, and mayhem will ensue inside my engine compartment.

I don't need this one because the fan is gone now... Secondly, how much body rust can I get away with to pass inspection ? It used to work when I would turn the steering wheel far to the left, so I am pretty sure it's just a broken wire in the column or something.

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(Source: woodysclassiccars.com)

The horn problem is usually the little “pin” that is supposed to contact the ring worn out. How much rust will pass inspection depends on the laws in your state.

Any guess by someone that is not an inspector in your state is unimportant. As far as the horn problem, there is a ring on the underside of the steering wheel that mates with a spring-loaded contact in the column as it turns. The spring-loaded contact wears out over time making the horn intermittent/IFOP.

An easy/cheap fix is to make a spacer to mount under the steering wheel ring to make it mate closer to the spring-loaded contact. How much rust will pass inspection depends on the laws in your state.

Any guess by someone that is not an inspector in your state is unimportant. As far as the horn problem, there is a ring on the underside of the steering wheel that mates with a spring-loaded contact in the column as it turns. The spring-loaded contact wears out over time making the horn intermittent/IFOP.

An easy/cheap fix is to make a spacer to mount under the steering wheel ring to make it mate closer to the spring-loaded contact. Is it just like, a drop in resistance or something?I'll try adding a spacer today, thanks for the idea.

rx catalytic converter
(Source: garagedreams.net)

Rust apparently only matters if it lets exhaust gas into the cab, has rusted away a support for the bed or shocks or other important mount, or if it is hanging off and sharp and jagged and poses a danger. My mounts seem fine, my cab is sealed, and the surface rust isn't hanging off.

You might check the spring that sits on the back side of that pin for your horn. For some reason my spring uncoiled causing a loss of contact. The rust shouldn't be a problem.

My Runner has a softball size hole in the right quarter panel and it's been inspected every year since it happened in 02. You might check the spring that sits on the back side of that pin for your horn.

For some reason my spring uncoiled causing a loss of contact. The rust shouldn't be a problem. My Runner has a softball size hole in the right quarter panel and it's been inspected every year since it happened in 02.

I've been meaning to post this but I keep forgetting. Right now, I have my electric fan hooked up to a 12V power source by shoving the exposed cable into the one leg of a fuse in the fuse box under the dash. I had a chance to talk to the dealer; there's no pitting or anything else wrong with the rotor, and the brake pads themselves are fine, just what they are claiming is “excessive” rust.

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(Source: www.abcfireequipment.com)

Said there was rust, but nothing where the brake pad actually hits, and no pits / grooves to worry about. The car is approaching three years old and bear in mind that brake rotors are usually just mild steel.

Being under the car they are subjected to all kinds of road salt, water, mud, slush and grime. If you leave a car parked up for a few days you'll start to see the rotors rusting.

This is swept away when the car is driven but if the pads aren't hitting the rear rotors properly, I could well believe they'd get fairly corroded. If the rear brakes were below optimal efficiency, there is a chance you may never notice.

It should be very easy to see either shining a light under the car or using your phone with the flash on to take a video with your arm extended if you can't fit your head under the rear of the car. Im a NYS inspector and I fail for rusted contact surfaces all the time.

All brake rotors always rusting because they must be made from high carbon steel. The main point is hardness, and deformation resistance to heat and pressure.

Im having a problem getting my 2000 Cavalier to pass Virginia state safety inspection due to rust in the sub-frame rails. The dilemma is the car runs great and I don't want to junk it over this.

Is it legal to repair a subframe by welding repair steel plates to the damaged subframe areas to regain rigidity? Not sure about VA inspection laws but I can't imagine them being any different from NY.

One of our co-workers lives in W. Virginia and was told his car would not pass inspection due to a crack in his frame. The inspector told him he'd better take it to someone else who may not see the weld as it wasn't allowed in W. Virginia.

He was told no welds of any kind ere allowed. Whether it be to repair a crack, rust, connectors, or to install roll cages.

Nobody in our discussion had heard of that applied to a Virginia inspection although we all knew of guys who'd had it done. One of our co-workers lives in W. Virginia and was told his car would not pass inspection due to a crack in his frame.

The inspector told him he'd better take it to someone else who may not see the weld as it wasn't allowed in W. Virginia. He was told no welds of any kind ere allowed.

Whether it be to repair a crack, rust, connectors, or to install roll cages. Nobody in our discussion had heard of that applied to a Virginia inspection although we all knew of guys who'd had it done.

I can't fail a car for a loose ball joint, headlight aim or broken/inoperative side marker lights, but God forbid you don't have a gas cap, your check engine light is on...... or worse yet you have tinted windows. Most states should have their inspection regulations posted online so anyone can see what passes and/or fails.

I checked NY regulations and no where could I find a welded frame being an issue. I have taken a variety of driving courses Both military and civilian to get my Commercial driver's license.

I don't foresee every state incorporating a uniform inspection program any time soon. One of our co-workers lives in W. Virginia and was told his car would not pass inspection due to a crack in his frame.

The inspector told him he'd better take it to someone else who may not see the weld as it wasn't allowed in W. Virginia. He was told no welds of any kind ere allowed.

Whether it be to repair a crack, rust, connectors, or to install roll cages. Nobody in our discussion had heard of that applied to a Virginia inspection although we all knew of guys who'd had it done.

I thought body shops repaired frames all the time? What I will do is call an inspection station that does weld work and simply ask if they can legally fix it.

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Sources
1 trigofva.com - https://trigofva.com/
2 www.yellowpages.com - https://www.yellowpages.com/virginia-beach-va/tidewater-real-estate-alliance-inc
3 www.golocal247.com - https://www.golocal247.com/biz/tidewater-granite-masters/virginia-beach-va/LOC152904638
4 www.realestateabc.com - https://www.realestateabc.com/realtorsearch/VA/virginia%20beach.html
5 www.virginiabeach.com - https://www.virginiabeach.com/listing/real-estate
6 www.cgprealestateconsulting.com - https://www.cgprealestateconsulting.com/
7 connectedinvestors.com - https://connectedinvestors.com/area/member/va/virginia+beach
8 www.wayup.com - https://www.wayup.com/s/internships/real-estate/virginia-beach-va/
9 realtycom.net - http://realtycom.net/
10 www.tripadvisor.com - https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28967-i62-k3331236-Smaller_coastal_towns-Virginia.html