Sort­ing these com­mon MOT fails.

Rot­ten rear sill edges and in­ner whee­larches are com­mon MOT fail­ures. Rob Mar­shall ex­plains how to ex­e­cute a qual­ity DIY re­pair.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

It’s no sur­prise that the in­ner rear whee­larch has be­come such a com­mon rust spot on ve­hi­cles. Even if plas­tic lin­ers are fit­ted to the whee­larches, mois­ture can be held against the metal. The point at which sev­eral pan­els are welded to­gether cre­ates a weak spot, which is bom­barded with stones, grit, mois­ture, mud and salt that are thrown up by the rear wheels. As so few mo­torists clear reg­u­larly the damp mud that ac­cu­mu­lates in the arch, the dam­age is hid­den from view.

Un­for­tu­nately, this dam­age tends not to be su­per­fi­cial. Once es­tab­lished, cor­ro­sion can spread quickly into the in­ner sill, un­til the de­cay is spot­ted, of­ten too late, at MOT time. By then, an ex­ten­sive and ex­pen­sive re­pair is likely to be re­quired.

As welded re­pairs have be­come ever more spe­cialised and reg­u­lated, many

garages do not have the nec­es­sary equip­ment and ex­per­tise to carry out the task for you. In any case, the labour rate alone may eclipse the worth of a low­value, but oth­er­wise im­mac­u­late, older car. How­ever, it can be cost ef­fec­tive to make your own re­pairs by rent­ing a weld­ing ma­chine and fol­low­ing the ad­vice from our weld­ing fea­ture in the Au­gust 2017 is­sue.

Ig­nor­ing the ap­palling paint­work and botched re­pair, cor­ro­sion spread from the whee­larch on this Nis­san into the rear end of the sill. The re­sult­ing MOT fail­ure caused this ex­am­ple to be scrapped.

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