Since my Copen is a UK import, rust is always a worry. The Copen seems to be worse off than most other Japanese cars, as they didn’t really use enough rust protection for the UK market – instead it looks like they used the same amount of protection as for the Japanese market… Who don’t salt the roads.
Knowing that the Copen had a non-trivial amount of rust damage, I still ran her through the NCT to see what she would fail on. I already knew that there was a hole in the exhaust, and that the exhaust has a botch weld job done to her – but there is no harm in running her through the NCT and seeing what else needs to be done. She failed on the exhaust. The pads, rotors, and rear shoes were getting a bit close to the limit, so I replaced them as well. As you can see in the below photo, the hole in the exhaust is rather large, large enough to fit two fingers into.
Keeping on top of rust is a challenge, and I know I will be spending a lot of time – and money – in repairing the major rust, before moving onto the paintwork. Rust is like a cancer, it will eat you from the inside out. What looks like a small bit of rust rarely is. If you want my advice, never EVER buy a UK car, as I’ve seen cars of only 3 or 4 years old eaten from the core due to rust.