Rust Spots on the Trunk - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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2015 Xterra Pro-4X 6MT
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Canada
Posts: 40
Rust Spots on the Trunk

I was wondering if anyone is having similar issues and what I should do about it. I'm hoping for some simple steps/tips to fix the rust and stop it from spreading. I tried fixing some rock chips by cleaning up the rust (clr) and a paint pen but it looks like it's coming through. The attached picture is what I inherited from the previous owner and two more are showing up from this winter.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 08:15 AM
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2006 Xterra SE
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
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What year is yours? I have a bit of rust on the back door and around the rear fender. seems to be the most common spots from my observations. Winter and salt is hard on our cars. if you want to fix it yourself you have to get all of the rust off down to bare metal then prime and paint. A spot fix usually doesnt look great because it wont blend. A body shop would fix it and repaint the whole door. In my experience anyway it spreads like cancer and getting it professionally done is the longer term fix.

Last edited by IntellectualRedneck; 03-15-2019 at 08:17 AM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 09:03 AM
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I have some on my lift gate as well, a few spots near the window. I thought I read somewhere that there was a paint defect with certain models on the tailgate.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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Its a 2015 p4x. I've gone to the dealer and I get the canned response. Rock chips aren't covered, blah blah. The spots are small and I'm most concerned about the cancer taking over. I'm half inclined to touch it with a Dremel and use a paint pen. It won't look great, but if it's not too noticable and it'll work I'm all for it.

What is the general consensus on paint pens? Do they work to stop rust (after cleaning the rust) or do I still need primer, then a paint pen?
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 06:05 PM
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Location: Palm Coast, FL
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I had those issues when I first purchased my 2005 X in Rochester, NY. After driving it out on the roads for two years during the winters in harsh conditions plus the salt.. it did not respond well and was eating up my truck after I moved to the South East. I had rust forming on the rear hatch and inside the door jambs that it was unbelievable. I just decided to call it quits and traded it in for a newer X at the time that has never been up north. If I ever had to travel up north to NY or Canada again during the winter time.. I will not bring my X for sure. I rather rent a car and call it a day.

2005 Nissan Xterra S - Red Brawn (Sold)
2012 Nissan Xterra PRO 4X - Lava Red (Sold)
2011 Nissan Pathfinder LE - Super Black
2015 Nissan Xterra PRO 4X - Brilliant Silver
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2019, 03:32 PM
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I've done a variety of paint repairs to my 2011. Some have worked better than others, and none of the repairs are invisible.

1. On my rear bumper that was developing rust spots, I removed the plastic trim but left the bumper on because I couldn't free the rusty mounting bolts. I used a drill with a wire brush to remove all the paint and rust that I could, then used POR-15 Metal Prep and brushed on POR-15 paint followed by multiple coats of silver automotive spray paint color matched to the OEM silver paint by a local automotive paint supplier. I didn't apply clear coat. This repair still looks good after about three years in a salty winter environment and I'm very happy with it, but it wouldn't work as well on glossy paint or a small taped off area - better suited for a bumper.

2. On a deep scratch with no rust, I used Dr Colorchip with no sanding or paint prep beforehand. This worked OK, but you can see the repair. This is much easier to apply on a horizontal surface than a vertical one. The nice thing about Dr Colorchip is that you can keep wiping it off if you don't like the result and try again (as long as you do it within a few minutes).

3. On a very minor crumple to the front fender, I hand sanded a small area where the paint had cracked to bare metal and taped off the area. Then I sprayed primer from an auto parts store and used a brush to apply touch-up paint. This was a very crude repair that was only intended to stop rust from developing, but it has held up well for about a year. You can see the brush strokes and the line from the tape, but this could have looked better if I had used color matched spray paint as the top coat and had tried to buff out the line from the tape.

I think a combination of the above techniques might work OK for you. You could start by sanding very carefully with a Dremel or pointed tool to remove the rust without damaging the surrounding paint. Then tape off the smallest area possible and apply a rest preventative primer. Then apply Dr. Colorchip or a touch-up paint top coat and perhaps a clear coat. When you remove the tape there will be a visible paint line, but you may be able to buff it with detailing products to be less noticeable. Be careful not to use anything too abrasive because you don't want to damage the surrounding factory paint.

Even the professionals can't paint a small area without leaving visible tape lines, which is why they paint entire panels or apply tape at the edge of trim pieces. When I first started making paint repairs I wasn't very happy with the results, but as the car has gotten older and I care less about the appearance my goal is mainly to prevent rust. If you're a perfectionist, you should probably just take it to a decent body shop - not one that advertises cheap spray jobs on TV.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-21-2019, 11:38 AM
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Location: Louisville KY
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What is the warranty term for paint? I'm seeing some rust spot on my hitch door as well. For some crazy reason I have a 2015 Canadian X

2015 S model 4WD Glacier White
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replay 11ORX. This was exactly what I was thinking. Small spot repair that may be noticeable but to stop the rust. Trying to find a method and getting the technique that doesn't leave a disfiguring scar will be the challenge.

The Warranty is for rust that creates a hole (perforations) otherwise they wont cover it (from my experience)
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