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Old 02-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #1
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Exclamation 2012 JKU - Rust spots under paint/clearcoat

Fellow 2012 JK drivers,

When washing and waxing the Jeep a few weeks back (I know, waxing is a sin for Jeeps) I noticed rust spots about the size of a point on a Sharpie marker (a little bigger than a pencil tip point). The rust spots are on both front doors, and the fender/body panel that runs under the doors. I've found at least 10 spots.

These rust spots are UNDER the clearcoat, meaning you can't physically feel them like you would a rusted out nick in the paint from a rock. They are smooth and have been painted/cleared over.

I went to my dealership and they snapped pictures, and said they never saw anything like it. We eliminated rail dust as a cause, or possible lack of care by me the owner.

It's just too much of a coincidence that there are so many spots. If there was one or two I'd say screw it, but the last thing I want is full blown rust orange doors on a Cosmos Blue Wrangler 5 years down the road.

**So please, do me (and yourself) a favor, go outside and analyze the hell out of your body panels. Differentiate between the tar spots and normal wear and tear. Again Chrysler has already approved the pictures taken and are going to repaint those body panels for me.**

Here are some pics I snapped off of my iPhone.

Note in this picture, the rust spot is on top. There is a speck of tar on the right to show the difference.



And two more pictures.




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Old 02-29-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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They better fix it! MAKE SURE they do it right! That is crazy!Did you get your Jeep at BEAR? Just curious with you bing from the Lehigh Valley. My buddy bought his there and had a hell of a time.? Wet floors, under carriage bolts all rusted, and not happy withthe service. After about 8 months of bickering back and forth, the dealership told him to come down and they got him in a new one for the same payment. One thing though, it has a soft top. I told him thats a 2500-3000 $ difference. The dealer told him they could get him one for 1500 (textured black) when he bought it and now the are saying they never said that. Wow!

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Old 02-29-2012, 12:06 PM   #3
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I had the dealer repaint spots on my Tj

The paint didn't match after. Looked worse
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:15 PM   #4
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Try claybar on it... I'm not convinced that it isn't rail dust or other airborne debris. In any case running over it with a claybar won't hurt anything.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:15 PM   #5
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I got mine at Rothrock. They were great in helping me get the pictures sent up to Chrysler. No problems with them, yet.
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:23 PM   #6
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I got mine at Rothrock. They were great in helping me get the pictures sent up to Chrysler. No problems with them, yet.
Im sorry, Thats where it was! Rothrock! Get everything in writing. They determined my buddy's jeep to have had water damage? A new jeep an the lot w/ water damage!
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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I would seek out the best paint shop in your area and consult them first before letting a dealer body shop dork up your jeep.

The looks like it can be wet sanded out.... take Inferno girls tip and try the clay bar.. Another product that I used to remove stains on my 2011 Saharas silver trim was Meguiars cleaner wax.
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Old 02-29-2012, 02:14 PM   #8
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If it's not a problem with the panel itself, and is maybe just rusting rail dust (I'm at work and can't see the actual pics) then you could try this stuff Iron X Iron Remover, CQuartz IronX, Paint Cleaner, paint decontamination Clay only takes the rail dust off the surface but can snap it off leaving the rest embedded in the paint to create rust spots. This stuff opens up the paint pores and dissolves the rail dust. Apparently it's great for getting brake dust off wheels too.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:03 PM   #9
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I just signed up to this site for this exact reason, I have a white 2012 Wrangler that we bought last August and paid the hundreds of dollars to have the rust proof from the dealer but on Saturday after washing it my husband notice tiny pin like rust spots from front to back. You can actually feel them, I am not looking forward to going to the dealer with this problem...
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MICHELLE MC View Post
I just signed up to this site for this exact reason, I have a white 2012 Wrangler that we bought last August and paid the hundreds of dollars to have the rust proof from the dealer but on Saturday after washing it my husband notice tiny pin like rust spots from front to back. You can actually feel them, I am not looking forward to going to the dealer with this problem...
See my post above yours. Try the Iron-X first and see if it gets rid of it. If it does, give your paint a good coating of some sealant or wax and keep in mind you might need to do the Iron-X thing once or twice a year as a maintenance item to get embedded rail dust out of the paint.
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Old 06-11-2012, 03:01 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by InfernoGirl
Try claybar on it... I'm not convinced that it isn't rail dust or other airborne debris. In any case running over it with a claybar won't hurt anything.
3m fine rubbing compound works wonders also.
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Old 06-12-2012, 05:55 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MICHELLE MC View Post
I just signed up to this site for this exact reason, I have a white 2012 Wrangler that we bought last August and paid the hundreds of dollars to have the rust proof from the dealer but on Saturday after washing it my husband notice tiny pin like rust spots from front to back. You can actually feel them, I am not looking forward to going to the dealer with this problem...
Your problem sounds like surface contamination and a White vehicle shows this very quickly. The first time I saw this was on a painted plastic white bumper on a Cavalier. Plastic doesn't rust but the speck of something was there.

A good claybar routine and good wax made it look like new. This is NOT a defect, it is pretty normal contamination.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:09 PM   #13
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I have a 2012 gecko green JKU. Had it for 6 months now. Live in Ohio, tons of salt on roads. Just washed mine yesterday and noticed tiny pinhead sized rust orange colored spots all over the body, everywhere except for the hood! And I waxed my jeep a dozen times before winter hit. Furious!! Going to dealer. They need to fix this crap. I shouldn't have to use a claybar or other treatment on a 6 month old vehicle!
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:00 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tallblondeygirl View Post
I have a 2012 gecko green JKU. Had it for 6 months now. Live in Ohio, tons of salt on roads. Just washed mine yesterday and noticed tiny pinhead sized rust orange colored spots all over the body, everywhere except for the hood! And I waxed my jeep a dozen times before winter hit. Furious!! Going to dealer. They need to fix this crap. I shouldn't have to use a claybar or other treatment on a 6 month old vehicle!
If you live in an area with industrial fallout (rail dust, etc.), 6 months is plenty of time for the paint to get contaminated and need to be clayed. It's common in detailing to clay twice a year actually (or more if you live in a really bad area).
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:25 AM   #15
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Dodge is bad about rail dust. My cummins is eat up with it. Let it go to long then my fender on my bed rustes to the ground
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:26 AM   #16
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I live in the Midwest and we get those little rust looking spots on all of our vehicles every winter. They do rub out with mild compound or a good solvent based wax. I've not tried a clay bar on them yet but will this spring. Don't bother the dealer with these spots unless you want to hire him to clean them off.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:49 AM   #17
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i suppose i won't notice on my black OlllllllO
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:01 PM   #18
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This stuff will get the rail dust and any contaminates out that are embedded in the paint and causing rust spots. Iron X Iron Remover, CQuartz IronX, Paint Cleaner, paint decontamination Clay might get most of it, but can actually shear it off at the paint level and you still have the rest embedded in the paint.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:10 PM   #19
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Not uncommon here in southern Ohio to get iron spots from well water or a car wash that doesn't take care of their water treatment system.People in this area that have well water and no softener or filter will have orange stained sinks and tubs.If I wash my Jeeps or truck with the well water I will have these same orange rust spots . Took me a while to figure it out but now I will only use city water to wash my vehicles and no more problem. I stripped my 06 Cummins with simple green and then a clay bar and the rust spots came off.Then washed with some gentle soap and fresh wax good as new.

What I found was I washed the truck and then waxed it. The iron spots were trapped under the wax so I had to strip off the wax to get the clay bar to take off the rust spots.A lot of work but it will take care of it. I would only use known good clean treated water to rinse off before waxing again.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:46 PM   #20
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Thanks for the help everyone. It is just frustrating having this happen to a brand new jeep. All my past jeeps were black so I suppose I wouldn't have noticed this on them. I do have city water and during this winter I've been using the spray booth to wash it, which I believe is city too. I guess I'll wait for some warm weather to strip the wax and use some iron remover you guys are talking about. Either that or I'll go mudding and leave it muddy so I can't see the rust spots!
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:03 PM   #21
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I don't know about rail dust, but for me, I paid $600 for the rubberized rust proofing on my 2012 JK's undercarriage 6 months ago and already have major rust growth. It's all over my shocks, coil springs, rear axel etc etc. I know it's winter and a fairly rough winter at that, but I never would've paid to have it done if I thought it wouldn't even last a year. Unless I'm mistaken about what rust proofing is. I opted out of having the rust proofing done on my 97 TJ when I bought it and didn't have issues for years with anything rusting. Is this something I should look into/ be concerned about? My friend just purchased a 2011 JK with 30,000 miles on it and hers looks new underneath!!!!
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:30 PM   #22
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Try claybar on it... I'm not convinced that it isn't rail dust or other airborne debris. In any case running over it with a claybar won't hurt anything.
Dittos to InfernoGirl if they can't be rubbed out with tar & bug remover. I've had similar stains over the years and I just rubbed them out, washed, waxed and good to go. If you let them stay in place a long time and get baked in by the sun, then it'll be clay bar time. I highly doubt that's rust.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:35 PM   #23
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I don't know about rail dust, but for me, I paid $600 for the rubberized rust proofing on my 2012 JK's undercarriage 6 months ago and already have major rust growth.
That stuff covers rather than penetrates. I used Amsoil heavy duty metal protectant and have no rust on treated areas over several winters on my GC, and Chicago uses more salt in a day than all the McDonald's combined in a year. It sprays on like WD40, penetrates, and leaves a dull wax-like water-repelling coating. Does not plug drain holes nor hurt the painted finish. AMSOIL MP Heavy-Duty Metal Protector

(I am not affiliated with Amsoil)
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:43 AM   #24
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I've been responding on another post about this as well with a 2012 JK. Did Chrysler/dealer do anything? I'm taking my white JKU with this problem to dealer on Saturday.

I am a bit taken aback that the solution is to clean it better when I have never had this problem with any other vehicle I've owned. Why is this normal? I have to specially clean my jeep to keep it nice vs the trucks and cars I've owned? I have never had to use a clay bar ever on any vehicle....

Hope the dealer can straighten it out but to me it sounds like an issue with the 2012's. I had a 2011 for the same amount of time and I did not have this issue at all.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:30 PM   #25
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I've been responding on another post about this as well with a 2012 JK. Did Chrysler/dealer do anything? I'm taking my white JKU with this problem to dealer on Saturday.

I am a bit taken aback that the solution is to clean it better when I have never had this problem with any other vehicle I've owned. Why is this normal? I have to specially clean my jeep to keep it nice vs the trucks and cars I've owned? I have never had to use a clay bar ever on any vehicle....

Hope the dealer can straighten it out but to me it sounds like an issue with the 2012's. I had a 2011 for the same amount of time and I did not have this issue at all.
It's pretty common to see these rust spots on a white vehicle. It's not strictly a Jeep thing. It's certainly not Chryslers job to keep your Jeep clean.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:07 PM   #26
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It's pretty common to see these rust spots on a white vehicle. It's not strictly a Jeep thing. It's certainly not Chryslers job to keep your Jeep clean.
I'm not asking them to keep it clean... I'm asking that when I spend a lot of money on a brand new vehicle that they give me a good paint job or clear coat or whatever the issue is. I keep my vehicles very clean and I have never had this issue with any of the 5+ vehicles I have owned including a 2011 Jeep Wrangler. I need to spend hours working to pay for the jeep... not doing any kind of special cleaning that I have never had to do before.

I give up...
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:17 PM   #27
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I'm not asking them to keep it clean... I'm asking that when I spend a lot of money on a brand new vehicle that they give me a good paint job or clear coat or whatever the issue is. I keep my vehicles very clean and I have never had this issue with any of the 5+ vehicles I have owned including a 2011 Jeep Wrangler. I need to spend hours working to pay for the jeep... not doing any kind of special cleaning that I have never had to do before.

I give up...
It's not the paint job that's causing it. It's contaminants that get stuck to the paint that are rusting. Very noticeable on a white vehicle after the winter.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:54 AM   #28
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I just noticed these spots on my 2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Commando Green color. I live in Massachusetts, and commute to NH every day, and it's been a tough winter. Even so, I had the same situation with my previous vehicle (Chevy Trailblazer) for 10 years, and I never had these spots on it. I, too, am disappointed that I'll have to do extra work to keep my Jeep from having these unsightly spots on it.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:19 PM   #29
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It's very normal especially on light (white, baby blue, yellow, orange etc.). What you are seeing is rail dust from the shipment of the vehicle which has sat on the surface of the car this dust is then stuck in the clear coat and rusts when it contacts water. The dealer then waxes the vehicle when it preps it for the customer which encapsulates it and makes the surface feel smooth. This is also why you'll see swirl marks in your paint in the sun after delivery from your dealer. The guy washing your car is dragging the contaminates across the paint in a swirl pattern which leaves microscopic scratches in the clear coat.

If you live in a area of the country with heavy industrial particulates or pollutants you'll notice it to be a continuing issue. This is not a Chrysler problem it happens with every make and model. The difference is whether the dealer clay bars the car before delivery. Most don't which is why most people get dealer installed swirls in the paint free of charge. I've had this issue on an 04 wrx, 01 montero sport, 10 camaro, and my 12 wrangler all were light colors.

To fix this "issue" go to any store and buy a clay bar kit and follow the instructions(make sure to never use clay you've dropped) break the bar into small pieces so if you drop one you don't waste the entire thing. Before you clay bar make sure the paint is extremely clean using the 2 bucket cleaning system(google it). Then after washing and clay bar apply a wax. If you want perfect paint buy a detail kit with a porter cable buffer and pads and polish the paint then wax.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:32 AM   #30
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Ok, Kiole, that all makes sense, but it doesn't fit with my situation:

1. "Very common, especially on light color vehicles." My JKU is a dark olive green.
2. Never had this on my other vehicle or my husband's vehicle - and still don't, just checked yesterday to see if I've missed something. Trailblazer is a silver green, and DH's Suburban is silver.
3. I've had my 2013 since October 2012, so it went through one NE winter already - why didn't it show up last year?

I'm not saying that it isn't rail dust - it probably is, but I am saying that, in my experience, it's not related to where I live or commute, and I'm saying that in my experience, it's only happened with my Jeep.

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