Question about 2003 Ford Focus

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Focus - rusted rocker panels

I have a 2003 Focus SE, and have a problem with the rocker panels rusting- there are blistered areas on both . I'm just 5 months over the warranty and they will not consider fixing it. I have been told that this is a big problem with the Focus vehicles.

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This is a very costly repair. I would get estimates for repair before the area gets to bad. After repair have the car undercoated and the panels sealed on the inside.

Posted on Jun 04, 2008

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We have a Lincoln which rusted on the trunklid and drivers' door bottom. The Dealer replaced the door and trunklid and painted about 80% of the car including surface (one-sided) rust on the rocker panels. Everything blended in and the car was almost 7 years old. All Warranty coverage.

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Rust on door bottoms and rocker panels below that is common on those. You can do the repair yourself using fiberglass resin and cloth. it's not difficult but takes time and it's very messy.
You can replace the doors using doors from a wreck (scrapyard) problem there is that it's a bit expensive and since rust there is common, it may be hard to find ones without rust...even harder if you want to match the color. Rockers need to be removed and welded in (also expensive) if you decide to replace rather than using glass.
There are many on-line instructions dealing with fiberglass repairs. Definitely watch them before working with it.
If the rust has not gone through the metal, sand it down and use "rust killer" on it, prime and paint.
I generally use bed liner spray on lower parts of doors as it makes a tough durable finish that can either be painted to match or left black (actually looks classy on certain vehicles, especially if you extend it from bumper to bumper)

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I have a rust spot on the rocker panel between the door and bed on passenger side, do they make replacement panels and how are they applied


There are panels available from several manufacturers, no matter who makes it, it will require welding to install. Ford will definately make the part you need but it will be relatively expensive, if you want an aftermarket part just google "rust repair panels"

When we fix small rust spots we usually fabricate replacement parts out of 22 ga steel.

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If someone could solve this problem forever they would become instant millionaires!!! (it is an ongoing problem with just about every vehicle forever (road salt and pitting from stuff that gets kicked up by tires, does not care what kind of vehicle it is) I generally use a product called rust killer. Just follow instructions on container. I have a Jeep (noted for rust there) I use rust killer, then cover the entire rocker with fiberglass, then spray the entire thing with bedliner coating. (if you need to match paint on car, just re-spray over it with correct colour)
The biggest problem is that the rust you see is not all the rust that's there...it actually begins inside the panel where you can't get to ...that's why it bleeds rust stain through the paint before holes appear.
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