ZX - Major hidden rust problem

Our most popular forum is for Citroën problems, discussions and chat.
Specialising in AX, BX, ZX, Xantia,C5, Xsara, Saxo and XM. CX, 2cv & Berlingo, all are welcome.NOT for selling cars/parts!

Moderator: RichardW

Posts: 13
Joined: 13 Aug 2001, 02:46
Location: United Kingdom
My Cars:

ZX - Major hidden rust problem

Post by alf » 19 Jul 2002, 05:54

I removed the carpet and interior side trim from the boot on my '92 apparently rust-free ZX 1.9 D Aura to find try to find the reason why the back windows were steaming up whenever I washed my car.
There was nothing immediately obvious until I noticed rust-coloured water marks around the wheel arches and that some of the factory applied bitumen sound proofing was de-laminating.
Further investigation with a screwdriver revealed that effectively the inner wheel arch was all but completely rusted away and being held in place by the soundproofing! Removing the rear wheel showed a clean rust-free exterior wheel arch. I can only assume that the inner skin has rusted due to it being made with faulty metal in the first place. (I thought that these ZX bodies were galvanised).
The same problem was present on the other wheel arch though slightly worse as the rust has gone right through to the outer wheel arch - I can just see the wheel!
There is no way an MOT tester or any inspection would highlight this problem, it is hidden by the carpet, the trim and the bitumen soundproofing. I suggest all ZX owners may want to check their cars to see if they suffer. If any of the following apply you need to check your car:
1) If your car steams up while washing it
2) If you are getting exhaust fumes in your car and have checked all the obvious things(exhaust,gaskets, tailgate seal
3) If you are getting dampness in the boot area around the base of the wheel arches. Note the dampness could not be felt through the boot carpet in my (severe) case. You will need to take out the boot carpet and check visually for rusty watermarks and run your finger along the wheel arch/boot floor junction to check for dampness and to check if any of the bitumen has lifted. This will be difficult to check if you are buying a used ZX but there is no way you will know if it is affected unless you do the above.
Anyone else had this problem?