Further to my little rant on another post I spotted a while back what I thought were the beginnings of surface rust breaking through the paint on the rear arch, offside. Due to health, weather etc I just haven't had the opportunity to get anything done with it.
During the week I had the car in at a local garage, one that has done some work for me, work that I simply can't tackle anymore, I thought I could hear the exhaust blowing so thought that with the drive to and from Roddy's upcoming Birthday bash and my Brother visiting later on in the month, I best get it looked at.
They are a company that despite my reservations about custom exhausts, which does still stand as they are never proven items but just an assembly of bits that happen to fit, fitted a larger centre resonator to my system as it was just getting silly loud, we later found that the original resonator had lost all its internal packing, hence it getting louder and louder, what they fitted for me was a like for like but approx. 40mm longer resonator unit, this brought the car back to acceptable noise levels. Anyway, they found that the exhaust was all fine, possibly been a product of my own imagination after a lovely evening drive last week, it was out on some local country roads and a mixture of gentle driving mixed with some serious blatting, I reckon it has been during the havy blatting that I have just percieved it to be getting louder due to the amount of trees, walls etc close to the roadside and the fact I haven't been out for such a drive for a while.
That's the good news, however, with absolute credit to this outfit, the Mechanic had spotted the still surface rust breaking through the paint and told me about it, he said that he'd spotted it and knowing how particular I am about the car, thought it best to tell me. 10/10 for attention to detail but in fairness they do have a contract to service and maintain a fleet of supercars that are hired for track days, there was a Lamborghini Gallardo and an Audi R8 sitting in their shop, last time I was out they had a McLaren 570s up on the ramps, fair to say they are on the ball.
To the point after that lot of waffle
I find it astounding and really unacceptable that the GM, registered in November 2011 has the beginnings of what, if left could turn to serious corrosion. I do believe that it is in part due to erosion of the paint due to where it is, to forward inner flange that connects the rear wing to the inner wheel arch by spot welds, it will see a fair bit of road dirt being blasted at it epecially in the wet but really for a modern car it really is not acceptable.
As I mentioned in the other post, we just traded the faithful Fiesta in for the Focus and depite it being seven months older than the GM, kept outside, used every single day more or less, that car had absolutely no rust on any body panel. It really begs the perennial question of just what the hell Mazda are playing at. By contrast to the Fiesta, the GM is garaged in a fairly well insulated garage (never below 7 degrees over last winter) with a dehumidifier running full time, one would expect this to help if not prevent such premature corrosion taking place.
I've seen it used as an excuse for some of their failings but being a smaller player in the international markets is not and cannot be used as an an excuse, they know the markets they sell to and want to play in the big open market so should as a responsible manufacturer take the required steps to safeguard their vehicles for staring to rust so badly often within months of a customer taking delivery from new.
Now, I would certainly never entertain buying any other Mazda other than an MX5 but this is based on mechanical durabilty and the way the car handles out of the box mostly, unless the geo is badly out, not uncommon though and many people drive their 5s without ever having a geo done as they percieve it as handling and driving well, trust me, getting a geo done should be done as it can release so much more even if you think the car drives well, a good geo will always improve the drive of any 5.
As for rectification of this corrosion, I was already on it and gathering the required materials to make a proper repair. I will need to mask off the area needing attention then remove all existing paint, treat with Dinotril rust convertor possibly paint over with POR15 on both the inside and outside of this flange (now now
) spray with POR15 undercoat and then finish off with the basecoat colour applied by airbrush and then ensure that I apply multiple coats of clearcoat, certainly many more than it ever saw at the factory to just add strength by sheer thickness of the clear coat. This would probably need to then be blended in with wet and dry and then machine polished down to avoid a large visible step between the transitional edge. I am considering applying along that inner surface a strip of 3M VentureShield to protect from erosion from road borne detritus, hopefully doing this and taking my time to do so should provide a lifetime of protection.
It's worthy of note that Ford use 3M VentureShield or similar on certain areas of their cars, noteably on areas that may be suceptablle to high levels of errosion. I also once noticed while in a local Morgan dealership that the front wings on new Morgans have a similar clear film applied to the front wings of the cars to stop stone chip damage. Whatever they were using was all but invisible but very tough and virtually invisible, apparently it polished just as well as a clearcoat does so will remain as a virtually invisible yet replaceable shield.
Sorry for the long post but it is in some respects a tale of caution for in particular NC owners to keep an eye open on this area and if it is presently clear of signs of erosion of the paint to potentially get a protective film such as the VentureShield applied.
As you may also gather, I'm pretty peed of with Mazda yet again for failing to provide that which is expected of any modern car.