Getting a Bit Rusty

When we bought our Honda Civic back in 2007, it was with the plan to drive it until it dropped. Civics are generally fantastic when it comes to longevity, and ours has been no exception to that rule. It’s served us well (knock on wood), with no need to pay for anything other than oil changes since we bought it. (A far cry from my first car, a Pontiac Grand Prix, that needed serious work almost perpetually.)

Except now we’re facing something we hadn’t necessarily planned on: rust. In the undercarriage of the car, rust spots have developed. We can get them fixed for around $800/piece, but I’m not really well versed in rust lore. I know it theoretically is fostered by the heavily salted roads we have out here in Maine. I know it eats away at metal. But I don’t really know how to deal with it.

That’s where you lovely people hopefully come in. There are far more of you than there are of me. What sort of experience have you had with rusty cars? If we could patch these two spots up and then know we’d be fine for the next several years, I’d much rather do that than buy a new car. However, if these rust spots are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, perhaps we’d be better off selling the car now before it gets too bad, and moving on to a newer car.

How do you avoid this over all? I’ve heard washing your car more frequently keeps it at bay, but then again, I’ve heard other people say it’s inevitable, and there’s nothing you can do. Yes, I’ve got Google, and I can research this some, but once you start delving into these sorts of questions, it can be difficult for a relatively inexperienced person like myself to really sift through it all and tell what’s worth listening to and what isn’t.

We’ve had the car for coming up on 12 years. It’s certainly served us well. But it’s still doing just dandy, and I see no reason to abandon it now if this is a problem we can get through with not too much trouble . . .

Any and all advice would be appreciated.

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