1997 - Rust on rear wheel arch - wolfgirl
Hello, wonder if anybody could give me some advice regarding the polo 97 saloon i bought today. Paid £1000 and on first inspection thought it seemed good deal, passed its MOT 2 weeks ago, 4 months tax full service history, oil lovely and clean and really nice drive, 78000 on the clock. Dealer told me that rust on wheel arches was just stone wear but on closer inspection (once bought) it appears quite bad. Its on the lip of the arch pointing in towards the wheel, all paint has gone and i can pick bits of rust off. Have i been had? Did he take advantage of me coz im a girl!? Id heard good things about this place which is why i trusted him but since looking about online everywhere seems to say stay clear of rust on arches.

Is this very expensive to fix? I dont know if i should leave it and just be happy i have a car til next MOT or if i should do something to save it from getting worse and maybe have it for a year or 2. Dont know many people who know anything about cars so really would appreciate some advice.
rust on rear wheel arch - Rattle
it depends how bad it is, I have just fixed this problem on my mates Fiesta.

Basicaly sand down the surface, then apply some K rust to dissolve any rust toxins, then mask the entire back of the car with news paper and masking tape, then spray with primer, finally repsrar with the colour of your car.

Unless you can poke your finger through it you should be able to sort this out before it becomes structurial. Also get rid of any mud that is behind the arches!
rust on rear wheel arch - Collos25
There is only one sure way to get rid of the rust and that is to cut it out and weld a new section in.
rust on rear wheel arch - wolfgirl
hi andy bairsto, pretty much what i thought, i take it its expensive to do. Do you have a rough idea of how much this kind of work would cost or should i not even bother trying to find out as its a 97 and only cost a grand?
rust on rear wheel arch - wolfgirl
cheers rattle, well i cant poke my finger through it but the lip looks pretty bad. Suppose im worried that if i sand the surface down of the lip i wont have much metal left there to paint. Im guessing its gonna be expensive to get someone to sort it for me, dunno why the dealer couldnt of fobbed off someone else instead of a single parent with kids, but there ya go, one more thing ive learnt to look out for when buying a car. Dont suppose hed give me money back if i took it back now.
rust on rear wheel arch - nick
With respect, a £1000 car isn't going to be perfection. It's probably not worth going to the expense of cutting out the rust and letting in new metal unless the car was an absolute minter and you wanted to keep it forever. I'd treat the rust as described above and gloop plenty of dinitrol or waxoyl around and repeat every year. The rust will come back eventually but you'll slow it down somewhat. It's likely the car will die from something other than rust eventually.
rust on rear wheel arch - wolfgirl
Cheers nick, i guessed as much. Im pretty good at decorating so it cant be that much harder to sand down and apply all that youve mentioned, can it? lol Thats what i was more worried about aswell, trying to do something to prevent it getting worse rather than just leaving it and hoping for the best. Cheers guys.
rust on rear wheel arch - Collos25
Follow Nicks good advice.
rust on rear wheel arch - madf
I followed the methods described by Nick for 4 years on son's Mark 3 Fiesta. Yes rust broke through every year and it looked horrible, but every year I treated it and when got rid of it was still structurally sound.

rust on rear wheel arch - RichardP
The rear arches on my 25 year old Ford Granada aren't pretty, but they've been like that for about 12 years plus! Occasional rust treatment and some paint sorts them out for a couple of years. Rust converters and POR 15 paint is good stuff (see the frost website). Just do your best to stop it spreading to the sills, then you may have a problem. You can't stop rust, you can only slow it down, but I'd expect some cosmetic rust on a 10 year old car. Make sure any accumulated mud is cleared from behind the lip - that is the main reason why they rust due to the trapped moisture and salt!
rust on rear wheel arch - wolfgirl
Cheers everyone. There was loads of mud behind when i felt around, thought id knocked loads of rust off at first but big chunks of mud fell out! Dont know if its because its raining today but it didnt look as bad as i originally thought, although i definatly need to sort it out so it doesnt spread and get worse. Funnily enough one rear arch is worse than the rest. I presume i can get all of the bits i need from halfords, do i need to get in touch with vw to get the correct colour paint? How do you find out the exact colour, when bought it i was told it was dragon green and i have found a code somewhere for this paint, surely that is just the dealer calling it dragon green though. Is there anyway to find out exactly what the colour is?
rust on rear wheel arch - sierraman
If you are going to Halford's you will find they have a range of touch up sprays.If your co;our is not obvious ask an assistant to take similar colours out for you to match them with your car.
rust on rear wheel arch - madf
Paint code should be somewhere either under bonnet or on door - check handbook for location.
rust on rear wheel arch - sierraman
Paint code should be somewhere either under bonnet or on door - check handbook for

Yes, on the slam panel,but it is only of use if you are getting paint from a paint shop,for spraying,no way of relating it to aerosol paints.
rust on rear wheel arch - DP
My local Halfords will make any colour in a touch up stick or spray can if you provide the colour name or paint code off the car.

I did this (also to fix rotting arches on Polo, but a 1998 model) and the colour match was very good

04 Grand Scenic 1.9 dCi Dynamique
00 Mondeo 1.8TD LX
rust on rear wheel arch - jc2
Just remember that your paint may have faded and the original colour will stand out.
rust on rear wheel arch - wolfgirl
Thanks everyone, all been very helpful. Gonna have a go at this next week, hope the rain holds off for a bit though!
rust on rear wheel arch - madf
Asa temporary measure, cover all rust with Waxoyl or Dinitrol. Looks horrible but slows down rusting. Remove with white spirit...
rust on rear wheel arch - TurboD
£1K sounds a lot for a 10 year old polo, a five year old Skoda would have been less, and still not rotton, and many similar bits on it
It is not worth spending much money on, apart from a tin of Hammerite.
always take a disspassionate friend/relation ( male) with you to buy a motor, always.
rust on rear wheel arch - Scott H
>£1K sounds a lot for a 10 year old polo, a five year old Skoda would have been less, and still not >rotton, and many similar bits on it

Please show me where I can buy a 5 yr old Skoda for less than £1000. Cheapest Fabias I've seen at that age are around the £2.5k mark...
rust on rear wheel arch - wolfgirl
Well id already looked around on autotrader etc at prices, it only had 78000 on clock and has full service history with oil change every year (also asked to look at the oil), ones i was coming up with were nearer £1200. Does sound very smooth when you drive it and had just had new starter motor put in, also had MOT til next august with 4 months tax left. No rust on the sills (spelling?) at all, knew to look out for this as my previous car failed on these amongst other things.

If id of had any male friends that knew anything about cars then i would of taken them with me, sadly the male friends (more neighbours, isnt easy to have male friends when your single as their gf's/wifes think your going to steal them) i do have 'think' they know everything but have been proven wrong lots of times. Not all men know about cars you know. I had a grand to spend and can honestly say i couldnt find a car that was 5 years old for that money, unless it had seriously done some miles and had work needed doing before it was drivable.

I would rather it didnt have the rust and im no expert but i dont think it is structural, more just an eye sore (not visible unless on hands and knees though). I have learnt my lesson anyway and it is one more thing i know to look out for when i next need to buy a car, not in the near future hopefully.
rust on rear wheel arch - Hamsafar
I agree about the POR15 it really does kill rust and sets as hard as glass.
You can get it from www.frost.co.uk/
and can be overfilled and over painted.
rust on rear wheel arch - Chuckie888
Rustbullet is supposed to be the best. I have tried it and it's good stuff, very odd when set, not like a normal paint - rock hard and ceramic like. But best thing to do is to cut out the rust, cover in weldable zinc primer, weld in new then coat outside with this and cavity wax on internal bits. Should outlast rest of car then! ;-) Polo's Spanish anti-rustproofing not what it was when made in Germany!
rust on rear wheel arch - wolfgirl
Cheers for frost link. That POR 15 looks good stuff. Says i need to use metal ready first, does this mean i dont need to sand it down then, looks like this metal ready stuff gets rid of rust before applying the preventative paint. Do you know if it would remove the paint aswell or do i need to be extra careful and make sure i only apply it to the parts i will be treating (ie under the wheel arch and not on the side of the car where it would be visable). Or should i sand it down after using metal ready so i get a smooth finish to apply preventative paint and then car colour. Prefer it if it didnt look like a bodge job!
rust on rear wheel arch - RichardP
I sanded first to remove any loose paint, then used the metal ready - no use putting anything on loose flaky paint! I actually am not sure if the metal ready was really necessary though, but best to follow the instructions. I would only treat what is necessary - if you only need to treat the lip, then that will do, however it's best to sand/rub down until you just find bright shiny metal. A drill with a wire brush attachment is good for this type of thing, but make sure you take your time.

Before you do anything, make sure you clean the area well including getting all the dirt out from the lip.
rust on rear wheel arch - c3dhi
Best way is to use a wire brush in an electric drill - this will clean off loose and pitted areas better than just sanding.
rust on rear wheel arch - nick
Best way is to use a wire brush in an electric drill - this will
clean off loose and pitted areas better than just sanding.

Remember to wear eye protection!!!
Also when you paint it, don't expect an invisible repair with an aerosol or brush, especially with meatllic paint.

Good luck.
rust on rear wheel arch - csgmart
£1000 for a 97 Polo with 87k on the clock is about right. You could probably find cheaper elsewhere but the condition would almost certainly be poor.

That's the thing with small VW's they do hold their value well.

I'm probably sightly biased here but my 96 Polo (1.4 3 door) cost me £1,000 2 and half years ago and with only 50k on the clock. I got really lucky as the girl I bought it from at work had tried to p/x it against a new car and the dealers were only offering her £500 as it has a big key scratch down one side and the drivers electric window wasn't working.

I've now put 30k miles on it and I've only spent a small amount on service parts (oil, filters, tyres, exhaust back box, brake pads, shoes etc).

When I eventually come to sell it I hope to get about £500 for it so overall it will have been very cheap motoring for the money.

Enjoy your new car it should provide you with many years of reliable service. If I could find another low mileage one in good nick I would definatey buy again.

Value my car