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2014 Hatchback Fender Rust from Windshield Draining?

1816 Views 28 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  mfaulkner
I have a 2014 hatch which has formed two identical rust spots coming from the inside of both fenders, at ~2 o'clock looking at the driver side, 10 o'clock passenger. I'm convinced that this stems from a repair that a body shop performed in 2017, not assembling the drainage/ "gutters" off of the windshield properly. They are denying responsibility as they say they removed the two front doors but did not remove either fender.

Does anyone have experience (a) seeing similar rust spots develop on their car under different conditions or (b) taking the front doors off and needing to disassemble/ reassemble windshield drainage?

Thanks so much for your help. Pictures attached.
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My Mazda6 has foam blocks close-to that area. I worry about them worsening issues like that. What area of the country do you live in?

What's worse, here, in my mind - is that the type of corrosion, there, tells me that the basic steel pressings comprising the fenders are very poor quality... Possibly impurities-laden steel-making. It's spalling-off in flakes. 馃檨. That bodes poorly for, potentially, other parts of the car. Luckily those are bolt-on, and replaceable. The rear quarters, not so much.

I thought Mazda had turned the corner on rust issues 馃檨.

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I have a '97 Civic 2 dr Si (equiv. to a Civic EX in the 'States). There are a few minor areas in the body that have a bit of rust... have had, for years (I'm embarrassed to say). Corrosion does NOT proceed at all on a rapid basis. Don't know why some cars, once corrosion starts, go absolutely nuts... and some not. I think it's steel chemistry, steelmaking "cleanliness", and post-pressing treatment/handling- and processing of the components.
It's definitely suspicious that the rust spots show up in the same place. However, have you observed any evidence that the body shop did something wrong? Seems a strange spot to drain water from the windshield to me.

Could be a manufacturing defect as suggested, but I do find this strange that it would occur in both genders at the same location.

This needs more investigation. There must be a root cause and any attempt to repair it is pointless unless that is addressed.

Repairing rust like that isn't easy, high chance it will return unless done very carefully. If it were me I'd paint the entire fender, just looks better with less effort. At some point it's also a better option to get new fenders and paint those. Far less work and no chance of it coming back.
It's definitely suspicious that the rust spots show up in the same place. However, have you observed any evidence that the body shop did something wrong? Seems a strange spot to drain water from the windshield to me.

Could be a manufacturing defect as suggested, but I do find this strange that it would occur in both genders at the same location.

This needs more investigation. There must be a root cause and any attempt to repair it is pointless unless that is addressed.

Repairing rust like that isn't easy, high chance it will return unless done very carefully. If it were me I'd paint the entire fender, just looks better with less effort. At some point it's also a better option to get new fenders and paint those. Far less work and no chance of it coming back.
Replace the fenders, 'cuz if they rust like that, even cut-out/replacement of metal areas... well, other areas of the same steel pressing will rust like crazy, too.
Replace the fenders, 'cuz if they rust like that, even cut-out/replacement of metal areas... well, other areas of the same steel pressing will rust like crazy, too.
yes relacing fenders is easiest. the rest of the fenders could be treated for rust after any repair with body cavity wax. it's also completely not worth the effort. i would replace them if it were me given the time it would take to repair. some people also are willing to spend a lot of time to save a small amount of money....to each their own, so i give options.

thing is i'm not entirely convinced this is a manufacturing defect. the fenders would be made in separate stamping dies - and there's a lot of stamping dies. exact same failure on both fenders? i find it hard to believe that's a coincidence. i'd want to identify the root cause before doing any repair or replacement. body work is either expensive if you have a shop to do it or extremely time consuming to do on your own. i'd rather not waste either my time or money only to have the same problem later.

unfortunately i can't make out enough detail with those pics...see if the service manual makes it more clear now that i have a little time.
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i'm not finding much in the service manual that i can link up with the pics...last one looks suspicious but i can't say much with any confidence. however, there is a LOT of stuff under that fender. insulation and what not.

if it were me and i were NOT going to do this job myself, i'd have the dealer do the job and explain that you suspect the body shop screwed the job. have them document it. the body shop might be more willing to talk with the dealer backing you up. if insurance was involved with the initial repair, talk to them. next step would be small claims court if you're still getting nowhere.
I have a 2014 hatch which has formed two identical rust spots coming from the inside of both fenders, at ~2 o'clock looking at the driver side, 10 o'clock passenger. I'm convinced that this stems from a repair that a body shop performed in 2017, not assembling the drainage/ "gutters" off of the windshield properly. They are denying responsibility as they say they removed the two front doors but did not remove either fender.

Does anyone have experience (a) seeing similar rust spots develop on their car under different conditions or (b) taking the front doors off and needing to disassemble/ reassemble windshield drainage?

Thanks so much for your help. Pictures attached. View attachment 289540
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View attachment 289539
This rust looks like something corrosive has been dripping on it, like concrete lime or something. I don't think it's damaged from behind. Does it get parked in a public/private parking garage?
My Mazda6 has foam blocks close-to that area. I worry about them worsening issues like that. What area of the country do you live in?

What's worse, here, in my mind - is that the type of corrosion, there, tells me that the basic steel pressings comprising the fenders are very poor quality... Possibly impurities-laden steel-making. It's spalling-off in flakes. 馃檨. That bodes poorly for, potentially, other parts of the car. Luckily those are bolt-on, and replaceable. The rear quarters, not so much.

I thought Mazda had turned the corner on rust issues 馃檨.
I don't think those are OE fenders. There's evidence right there in the pics.
I don't think those are OE fenders. There's evidence right there in the pics.
Are you suggesting the fact they are rusting badly is the evidence, or is it something else I'm missing? OEM ones, at least on the Mazda6 3rd gen, are double-sided galvanized (though I can't say whether Mazda's galvanization practices are well-regarded).
Are you suggesting the fact they are rusting badly is the evidence, or is it something else I'm missing? OEM ones, at least on the Mazda6 3rd gen, are double-sided galvanized (though I can't say whether Mazda's galvanization practices are well-regarded).
There's nothing there behind the fenders to cause that corrosion. It's corrosion through the paint not through the fender. The car has been wacked, there's obvious evidence of that and the OP stated there had been a repair. No foam back there but shouldn't have any effect. Pull the inner fender plastic back and inspect the area. If the spot is there and bigger than the exterior spot it's from inside. If no spot or smaller it's from some other external influence.
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You can get spray paint that converts that rust into zinc to prevent further damage to the body.
You can get spray paint that converts that rust into zinc to prevent further damage to the body.
In my estimation that aggressive a corrosive activity cannot be quelled by a rust converter. The basic steel's metallurgy is beyond hope. Replace them with OEM sheet metal.
It's definitely suspicious that the rust spots show up in the same place. However, have you observed any evidence that the body shop did something wrong? Seems a strange spot to drain water from the windshield to me.
Its tough to see in pictures 2 & 4, there are a few loose plastic pieces under the panel. I think something may have been knocked loose and is causing water to sit somewhere it wouldn't normally be.
Are you suggesting the fact they are rusting badly is the evidence, or is it something else I'm missing? OEM ones, at least on the Mazda6 3rd gen, are double-sided galvanized (though I can't say whether Mazda's galvanization practices are well-regarded).
The fenders have never been off the car, dents on the right side were repaired in place. Left side had no damage but did have the doors removed and sprayed during that repair.
My Mazda6 has foam blocks close-to that area. I worry about them worsening issues like that. What area of the country do you live in?

What's worse, here, in my mind - is that the type of corrosion, there, tells me that the basic steel pressings comprising the fenders are very poor quality... Possibly impurities-laden steel-making. It's spalling-off in flakes. 馃檨. That bodes poorly for, potentially, other parts of the car. Luckily those are bolt-on, and replaceable. The rear quarters, not so much.

I thought Mazda had turned the corner on rust issues 馃檨.
If this were a manufacturing issue, I'd expect to find some other posts on this or similar boards, but nothing that I've found.
i'm not finding much in the service manual that i can link up with the pics...last one looks suspicious but i can't say much with any confidence. however, there is a LOT of stuff under that fender. insulation and what not.

if it were me and i were NOT going to do this job myself, i'd have the dealer do the job and explain that you suspect the body shop screwed the job. have them document it. the body shop might be more willing to talk with the dealer backing you up. if insurance was involved with the initial repair, talk to them. next step would be small claims court if you're still getting nowhere.
Insurance so far has left me to my own devices, which is a whole other annoyance as it's not exactly a cut-rate company. The nearest dealer's service dept doesn't perform body work apparently. My next step will be to get a "second opinion" from a rival reputable shop, and try to lean on the insurance company a little harder.
If this were a manufacturing issue, I'd expect to find some other posts on this or similar boards, but nothing that I've found.
If they're OEM, that really worries me. How's the rest of the car 'gonna perform, I ask rhetorically?
Its tough to see in pictures 2 & 4, there are a few loose plastic pieces under the panel. I think something may have been knocked loose and is causing water to sit somewhere it wouldn't normally be.
If that were the case I would think that there would be perforations, not just surface rust. Anyhow, any water would sit at the bottom, where the 90掳 fold is, not 2 or 3 inches above.
The fenders have never been off the car, dents on the right side were repaired in place. Left side had no damage but did have the doors removed and sprayed during that repair.
If the doors were painted they would need to be blended into the fenders, not painted separately, or they wouldn't match properly, especially with soul red. Those rust spots are just about where you'd need to blend to.....
Again, if those are. OEM fenders, and they've rusted in such an aggressive way, that's worrisome for the whole Mazda3 and (dare I say) rest of the SkyActiv- (era) bodied Mazda's 馃檨.
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