Rust on our minivan

So, my wife pointed out that our minivan (2001ish Ford Windstar) has a sizeable rust spot (~6 x ~2 inches) near the back right wheel well.

The vehicle is dark green so a dark rust spot isn’t as glaring as it would be if it were white. Still, it ain’t pretty.

Ideally, I’d like to keep this minivan for another couple years, but the rust spot will increase pressure from my wife for a new minivan.

I only did a brief inspection today, but the metal appears to be rusted through at parts of the spot.

What would be the best kind of place to get this addressed, and about how much would it cost? I suspect a Ford dealer would charge an arm and a leg. Would Maaco or someplace like that be able to address this? We also have a small dent repair shop close by. I don’t need a 100% perfect repair - an 80% improvement would probably be ok. Spraying on some paint and having the rust come back in 3 months would not be a good solution for me…

Alternatively, is this rust spot a sign that we’re likely to get a bunch of other rust spots in other places in the next year or two?

Any autoshop should be able to help you with this. You sand it down, slap on some rust primer (I hope that’s the correct term, English isn’t my first language and google was not much help. It’s basically a paste that you apply, let dry and the sand/polish) and give it a fresh coat of paint. If you’re handy you can do this yourself.

If it has rusted through, the patch needs to get cut out, and a patch of new metal must be welded in. Anything else is shit.

Either way, though, it’ll be cheaper then buying a new minivan.

I’d say €100-150 for the welding. Another €150 for painting over it. That’s German prices, though.

Alternatively, is this rust spot a sign that we’re likely to get a bunch of other rust spots in other places in the next year or two?

Not necessarily. It may rust a bit in the surrounding area of that repair, because rust can (and probably is) still be inside the metal. But if you have rust in the fender, that doesn’t mean your doors are rotting too. The soldered/suspected rusty area can be treated with something that is like a plastic primer that doesn’t let any air through, which will basically stop the rust from spreading. No oxygen=no rust.

If the rust occurred because of damage to the paint at the site of the rust (rust started on the outside), then no. If it’s rusting from the inside out, indicating a problem with the metal itself or the quality of the paint, then yes, it’s likely that other areas would be affected.

An eight year old car should not be rusting anywhere except perhaps in physically damaged areas (deep scratches, etc). Check to see if there’s any bubbled paint or other signs of impending rust elsewhere on the vehicle.