W211 Rust issues

Chris ABZ

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W211 E270 CDI Avantgarde
Hello all,

I know the W210 was prone for rust but I am starting to find rust spots in a few places on my 2003 W211. I tried the search function but I cannot find what I am looking for and google just points to the USA or Germany. Is there any MB warranty for rust on these cars or will I have to spend £1500 repairing all the rust spots?

Ideally I would like to get them repaired and then Waxoyl the whole car. I have bought a brand new W213 E350 (caught the Benz bug!) and recieved delivery last week but I love my W211 and want to keep it forever if possible. Will MB warranty this or is it a waste of time?

Any help as always much appreciated.
 
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AMGeed

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Don't waste your time hoping MB will fix your rust under warranty. That will never happen on an 2003 car, even with a full MB service history.
 

Protocol

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E350cdi
Would do no harm to speak to the dealer where you just bought your new car from.
 

malcolm210

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As above don't waste your time with MB and do what I did if the car is worth it and invest in a respray. You should be able to get this done for circa £2k but assertain whether the problem is surface rust or rot coming from the inside out.

After 3 years mine now needs a couple of hundred spending on it to cure rust which has resurfaced but the car is worth it and I shall have it done next year.

Old mercs if they have been looked after tend to drive well and mine is no exception but the rust issue is ever present with them and won't go away and has to be managed but you can't have everything I guess:)
 

Taffy7hfa

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2004 ML350 Inspiration .2002 ML270 CDI .2016 Hyundai i30 1.6crdi.2014 Peugeot 308 1.6 HDI.
the rust issue is ever present with them and won't go away and has to be managed but you can't have everything I guess:)[/QUOTE]

That is the bottom line, you need to think of dealing with rust as a service item, like changing the oil.
 

stuggyduggy

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Herts
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E 350d Cabriolet 2016 (W207), E320cdi Estae 2004 (W211)
Hello all,

I know the W210 was prone for rust but I am starting to find rust spots in a few places on my 2003 W211. I tried the search function but I cannot find what I am looking for and google just points to the USA or Germany. Is there any MB warranty for rust on these cars or will I have to spend £1500 repairing all the rust spots?

Ideally I would like to get them repaired and then Waxoyl the whole car. I have bought a brand new W213 E350 (caught the Benz bug!) and recieved delivery last week but I love my W211 and want to keep it forever if possible. Will MB warranty this or is it a waste of time?

Any help as always much appreciated.

I have a 2004 W211 estate which appears to be pretty clear of rust. Your car should be covered by the 30 year MobiloLife warranty. According to the brochure this includes a lifetime (30years actually) warranty against bodywork corrosion which has started from inside. Definitely worth trying the dealer who'll obviously wriggle.
 

matthew k

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2005 320 cdi Sport 7 seat estate
I had a 2003 E55 that was showing signs on the rear wings, just a light staining coming through. When I looked undernieth however it was clear that the sills were also showing signs of rust, just staining at that point but with more in future to come. The brake and fuel lines were also corroded.

I have since decided there's no point in buying a Mercedes prior to the start of full body galvernizing, my 2005 w211 has none of these problems, just a couple of stone chips on the rear arch rims that had light surface rust because it had taken the coating too. I cleaned them out and applied Dinatrol, it's been fine since.

I think trying to keep a pre late 2003 Merc looking good and rust free is a bit like playing Whack A Mole. Even if you sort the bodywork you're gonna be fighing cavity rust in future. The W210 was an absolute disgrace, rusting from year two onwards, at least the early W211's weren't that bad, although why they didn't galvernize from the start of production is anyone's guess.

However , there's nothing to be lost trying your luck with Mobilo, with such good history they may pay out, didn't somebody take them to small claims over a similar case, winning by default as they didn't bother defending it?
 
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kotecki

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2021 213 E300e estate 216Cdi Sprinter (stretched limo)
I am re-opening this thread as I personally believe we MIGHT be offering inaccurate advice regarding Mobilo and this 2003 reg car.

Chris purchased that 211 car with a full Mercedes-Benz service history but I cannot see anywhere if this history remains unbroken..

Mobilio terms state the vehicle has to have that full, main dealer service history and then goes on to explain in detail what is covered. The corrosion I believe has to come from the inside of the bodywork, out to the exterior. When Mobilio first started, from memory the warranty was for the life of the vehicle. I believe that lawyers wanted a better way of describing 'life of the vehicle' and thirty years was the outcome, but I stand to be corrected.

PROVIDED Chris's car fulfils the criteria, I.would NOT be a happy bunny if the claim was refused.. If anyone is unsure if there car is still covered by Mobilio, a quick phone call will soon let them know

Just a quick addendum
ANY bodywork repairs carried out to the car MUST have been carried out by a Mercedes-Benz approved body shop and from experience, the location of these shops would be supplied by your local main dealer.
 

charlysays

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Mercedes C250 Turbodiesel Sport Auto Estate
As someone who has just basically restored and resprayed a W202 (really not worth it I know in market terms but tis a great car which runs great on chip fat and I love em) My advice is to start tackling the rust yourself on a spot by spot basis. Yes the car will look crap for a while until you've dealt with it all and can take it to the bodyshop. You can and will do a far better job at completely eradicating it than any bodyshop will who is doing the whole job for £2k. 2k will get you a coat of paint on the outer sides of the panel in the same colour with a tickle at the rust spots. The only people who will be able to sort Merc style surface corrosion are painters who do classic cars as their mainstay and who keep themselves up to date with the best products. Even then time is a critical factor for them and you still may not get total rust removal unless they're doing clever stuff like using a spot sand blaster.

Invest in some basic tools like a mini DA sander with a variety of sanding discs from 80g upwards, a grinder with a flap disc and various scraper and pick tools to hook out seam sealer etc if needed. You could try a spot sand blaster too although they are far more expensive than other abrasive methods. Buy some bilt hamber deox Gel and apply and re apply until all traces of the corrosion are gone- you'll be left with clean grey steel with a network of honeycomb craters where the rust was. You can also use phosphoric acid 45% to do this, use some paper towl over the rust spot and wet that with the acid and leave it an hour or so then rinse thoroughly whilst scrubbing with wire brush and dry quick with paper towels and a heat gun to stop any flash rust forming. Once you're happy all the rust is gone you can use the DA to feather the edges of the OE paint. I would sand a little around the repair with 400 grit too for good measure. Then apply a couple of coats of lechler 29107 but brush or roller. It sands easily so it shouldn't cause the painter any hassle. Bilt hamber electrox primer will also be good here although it's not as tough... but it dries fairly hard and has ridiculous amounts of zinc in it and can be overcoated with 2k without any issue.

Bodyshops just tend to DA off the worst of the corrosion then slap a converter on. Mileage varies with this approach but in general the rust will return sooner or later. If the rust has made it to any seams you need to hook out the seam sealer and clean that up as best as poss. I find a wire wheel on a drill is good for this as the straight bristles get into crevices etc. Then paint as above. Sometimes I separate the seam a bit with a small flat screwdriver so I can fill it up with electrox primer. You can reseal the seams when you're done with something like sikaflex EBT.
It might take you a few weekends to get at all or most of the rust but you can be sure that it will not ever come back in that area if you do it properly and there is a satisfaction in that for sure.

It's possible the bodyshop won't warranty against corrosion if you've done the repairs, which is fair enough but at the end of the day most of them wouldn't warranty against surface corrosion repairs anyway.
 

charlysays

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Mercedes C250 Turbodiesel Sport Auto Estate
I am re-opening this thread as I personally believe we MIGHT be offering inaccurate advice regarding Mobilo and this 2003 reg car.

Chris purchased that 211 car with a full Mercedes-Benz service history but I cannot see anywhere if this history remains unbroken..

Mobilio terms state the vehicle has to have that full, main dealer service history and then goes on to explain in detail what is covered. The corrosion I believe has to come from the inside of the bodywork, out to the exterior. When Mobilio first started, from memory the warranty was for the life of the vehicle. I believe that lawyers wanted a better way of describing 'life of the vehicle' and thirty years was the outcome, but I stand to be corrected.

PROVIDED Chris's car fulfils the criteria, I.would NOT be a happy bunny if the claim was refused.. If anyone is unsure if there car is still covered by Mobilio, a quick phone call will soon let them know

Just a quick addendum
ANY bodywork repairs carried out to the car MUST have been carried out by a Mercedes-Benz approved body shop and from experience, the location of these shops would be supplied by your local main dealer.
I've yet to see any Merc rot which started from the inside out. Amazing get out of jail clause for mercedes there. I hope the OP manages to get something out of them though. It almost always starts from poorly undersealed or finished panels (sharp edges, areas left in bare primer are all things I've seen on W202s) but most commonly it starts from stone chips, which Merc paint seems extremely vulnerable to. once chipped, and the chips are often so small they're hard to see, corrosion progresses at an alarming rate sending tendrils out under sound paint which results in a tiny stone chip needing a repair the size of a 50p coin. Most are metallics then which makes spot repairs very tricky.... then you may as well paint all or part of the panel... then you might end up needing to blend into other panels. Absolute PITA and a big reason why I painted my W202 in direct gloss.

Meanwhile a PSA group car can have a chip right down to the E coat left indefinitely without any corrosion starting really and certainly not spreading like the above... you have like 8 years to leisurely blob on some touch up paint and call it good.
 
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kotecki

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2021 213 E300e estate 216Cdi Sprinter (stretched limo)
I've yet to see any Merc rot which started from the inside out. Amazing get out of jail clause for mercedes there. I hope the OP manages to get something out of them though. It almost always starts from poorly undersealed or finished panels (sharp edges, areas left in bare primer are all things I've seen on W202s) but most commonly it starts from stone chips, which Merc paint seems extremely vulnerable to. once chipped, and the chips are often so small they're hard to see, corrosion progresses at an alarming rate sending tendrils out under sound paint which results in a tiny stone chip needing a repair the size of a 50p coin. Most are metallics then which makes spot repairs very tricky.... then you may as well paint all or part of the panel... then you might end up needing to blend into other panels. Absolute PITA and a big reason why I painted my W202 in direct gloss.

Meanwhile a PSA group car can have a chip right down to the E coat left indefinitely without any corrosion starting really and certainly not spreading like the above... you have like 8 years to leisurely blob on some touch up paint and call it good.
I agree about rust coming from the inside out but not so sure about your statement regarding stone chips.. Our S210 suffered from stone chips, our S211 was one of the first to get that nano-paint technology.. No idea what that paint is but in 17yrs of ownership, I could count the chips on one hand!! Were we lucky?? Possibly or even probably but the very instance we found a chip, I treated it. Yes we looked after our car but I would challenge anyone to find rust on the bodywork, be that from the outside in, or the inside out. I just hope our new S213 bodywork fairs as well. Oh and our 9yr old Sprinter has a huge frontal area, but so far, no chips. No 'f' in fish either
 

charlysays

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I agree about rust coming from the inside out but not so sure about your statement regarding stone chips.. Our S210 suffered from stone chips, our S211 was one of the first to get that nano-paint technology.. No idea what that paint is but in 17yrs of ownership, I could count the chips on one hand!! Were we lucky?? Possibly or even probably but the very instance we found a chip, I treated it. Yes we looked after our car but I would challenge anyone to find rust on the bodywork, be that from the outside in, or the inside out. I just hope our new S213 bodywork fairs as well. Oh and our 9yr old Sprinter has a huge frontal area, but so far, no chips. No 'f' in fish either
They probably sorted it out in the early 00s I reckon. Cars around 1999-2001 seem to be the worst for falling apart but all 90s mercs seem to have wafer thin fragile paint and very porous primer without any anticorrosive properties. I must have dealt with atleast 100 spot repairs on all the panels on my W202. Some were so tiny that I only found them when I started flatting a whole panel with a DA sander. First thing which would appear would be a tiny brown spec, as I sanded down it was like removing the top of a volcano it would get bigger, then I'd end up with perhaps another 10 spot repairs the size of a 5p coin which was really convenient when I'd put away all the spot repair stuff lol. I have very good eyes and went over all the panels in bright light and used a marker pen to find all the spots... but would always, always find a number more once I started prepping. Took ages :(
 

joderest

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I have a 2003 W163, and it is just starting "to go", there are now about four places where rust is starting to bubble.
I am quite handy sorting it out, but have to use rattle cans for top coat and overcoat, so i just except that its an old car, and it will happen.
 

kotecki

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Hi Charly
I TOTALLY agree with your wise words and I would hate to think that folks might think I am talking rubbish. We sold our S211 on Autotrader in June of this year (sold within five minutes)

I took some pictures of the car to place in the advert and I have now simply cropped the area where we would expect to see stone chip marks.

I was surprised when I read about someone wanting to replace a rusting tailgate on a car they had just purchased... I would simply say to anyone.. Be very selective when looking to buy a car. NEVER, never be taken in by sales talk, use your eyes and your brain, put ear-plugs into your ears and be thorough in your examination. Regarding the tailgate, our February 2004 car was spotless!

Spot the chip

211 front.jpg
 

Blobcat

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Hi Charly
I TOTALLY agree with your wise words and I would hate to think that folks might think I am talking rubbish. We sold our S211 on Autotrader in June of this year (sold within five minutes)

I took some pictures of the car to place in the advert and I have now simply cropped the area where we would expect to see stone chip marks.

I was surprised when I read about someone wanting to replace a rusting tailgate on a car they had just purchased... I would simply say to anyone.. Be very selective when looking to buy a car. NEVER, never be taken in by sales talk, use your eyes and your brain, put ear-plugs into your ears and be thorough in your examination. Regarding the tailgate, our February 2004 car was spotless!

Spot the chip

View attachment 71883
My '07 W211 also had the nano-paint and it held up really well to the 100K miles - the previous W210 had many hundreds of stone chips over similar miles and roads
 

kotecki

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My '07 W211 also had the nano-paint and it held up really well to the 100K miles - the previous W210 had many hundreds of stone chips over similar miles and roads
I confess that to this day I feel so lucky selling the 210 as quickly as we did as to me the bodywork issues with the 210 are an embarrassment to the marque
 

Blobcat

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I confess that to this day I feel so lucky selling the 210 as quickly as we did as to me the bodywork issues with the 210 are an embarrassment to the marque
Great pity as I feel the W210 was a better car than the W211 - I never had any rust issues with mine and it was 7 years old when I traded it
 

kotecki

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Great pity as I feel the W210 was a better car than the W211 - I never had any rust issues with mine and it was 7 years old when I traded it
I think the longest we ever owned a car was approximately three years. The 210 was fully loaded with the options we wanted, but as soon as the estate version of the 211 came out. The 210's days were numbered. We kept the 211 for seventeen years, which for us was some achievement but the boss really liked it, so it stayed. Absolutely nothing wrong with the 210 and do you feel lucky you had no corrosion issues or did this horrible rust only materialise on cars older than that?
 

Blobcat

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I think the longest we ever owned a car was approximately three years. The 210 was fully loaded with the options we wanted, but as soon as the estate version of the 211 came out. The 210's days were numbered. We kept the 211 for seventeen years, which for us was some achievement but the boss really liked it, so it stayed. Absolutely nothing wrong with the 210 and do you feel lucky you had no corrosion issues or did this horrible rust only materialise on cars older than that?
I was lucky - it was a Year 2000 and it was only a matter of time unfortunately :(
 

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