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Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > Do It Yourself Links & Resources > Bodywork - Repair, Paint, Tools, Tips & Tricks

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Old 02-11-2016, 07:02 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 129
Rust Prevention

Just bought my first Mercedes, an 86 300sdl in really nice shape. The trouble is that I live in NY where they pave the roads with salt in the winter. I try not to drive the car when the roads are wet in the winter, but sometimes I get caught in it, but I do try to wash the car once a week. I don't want my car to rust and would like to keep it as nice as it is now for as long as possible. What can I do to protect the car besides washing and waxing it? I applied some of the factory MB anti corrosion wax to the engine area, and the undercoating is still in very good shape. The weatherstripping and water drains are all clear and in good shape, there are no water leaks anywhere. Also being an 86, was this before or after they started galvanizing the panels? I'm used to classic American cars which would rust apart after a few years of road salt, I know the MB's are built much better but I am still worried about salt doing damage, especially where I cant see it.
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:55 PM
jmk jmk is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 346
There are a lot of comments on rust prevention on the site. I know I've written my fair share of them.

For rust prevention: keeping it out of the salt is the most important thing. Your car is old enough that it is not galvanized, so rust will be more of a problem. But your car is new enough that it was electrocoated, which is the most important coating for rust prevention (see my previous posts for explanations).

Since you have driven it in the winter, you will need to throughly clean the underside with a pressure washer with warm soapy water. Make sure you get all of the nooks and crannies throughout the car. Have the water run clean before you stop cleaning the specific area. Cars get catalyst application in the winter. Most of the rusting occurs in the summer when it gets warm.

You will need to clean all of the door jams, trunk and bonnet and anywhere dirt and salt can accumulate. If you look at the service manual for the car, you will see drainage holes throughout the car that need to be cleaned regularly.

I know someone who had a '56 Olds that his family owned until the '80's. It was driven in the winter, but meticulously cleaned in the spring. The car passed PA inspection with minimal body work until it was sold. Someone wanted to restore it.

The 126 body is a very well made car. It is probably the best built car I had ever owned. Enjoy it.
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