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Hi- I just noticed rust is starting to appear around the inner door sill beneath the PILOT badge (or name plate) that sits on top of the bottom sill, has anyone taken the badging off before? I wonder if I could just sand the rust away and repaint, or is this a tell tale sign there is more rust beneath, same thing around the fender skirts (just a tiny amount), I sanded and applied Honda touch up. Or, should I bring into a body shop? Just not sure if this is the start of a rust problem that could get out of hand, thanks for looking! I appreciate it (Car only has 111K and looks really good for its age)
 

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Post some pictures for better responses. Depending upon your location rust can be a big problem for vehicles driven in the rust belt areas that use plenty of salt and brine each winter. If you have rust in one area chances are there may be some lurking beneath so post those pics too.
 

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I wonder if I could just sand the rust away and repaint, or is this a tell tale sign there is more rust beneath, same thing around the fender skirts (just a tiny amount), I sanded and applied Honda touch up. Or, should I bring into a body shop?

Just not sure if this is the start of a rust problem that could get out of hand
Unless you have a ding or can see paint failure on the surface (cracking / crazing / flaking) in the area, what you describe is possibly the first visible sign of a rust problem. Having multiple outbreaks is not good news.

First thing to to is check your rear subframe mounts underneath. If they're getting ugly too, you might want to think about selling while it still looks good.

Sanding and touching up is easy, but unless the rust is superficial / surface only, it won't last. If you try it, use an etching primer after you sand, before you put on paint. Real paint from an automotive paint store will work much better than the little touch-up bottles. You'll get what you pay for.

If the vehicle is in great shape, it will be worth having a reputable body shop check it out. Don't expect to do more than slow it down, though, no matter how high-tech their solution might be. Rust never sleeps.
 

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I've had a bit there myself. I just popped off the trim, sanded, and repainted. It is a Sisyphean task, however, in that you have to repeat it constantly and you will never win. But them's the breaks in the Rust Belt. It's the price we pay for having cooler, more bearable summers. :)
 

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I feel a need to chime in on the rust issue. My 2003 has 215k Minnesota miles. It's a great vehicle, and we even used it to happily tow our R-pod camper. This spring, I discovered that the unit body area where the hitch was bolted up had suffered terminal rust cancer. Ther was no way that we could pull a trailer safely.

I cut the hitch out, and gave the Pilot to my son, with fair warning that he could never tow. He is delighted with the old Pilot. I now have a car payment again, on a 2018 EX-L.

Long story short, in the rust/salt belt, after 10 years, check it out regularly. And on the newer Pilots, seriously consider anti-rust protection. I am interested in a product called Fluid Film, applied yearly, which is supposed to give some protection from road brine.
 

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My 05 (and my other cars, too) here in the salt belt Maryland, I drive my cars to the next town (visit some friends) when it rains, especially after snow--even several days later. It just became a habit for me to look out for coming rain in the winter so I can "wash" my cars (drive them in the rain). This helps keep the underside free of rust from the salt. Of course, it is time consuming but so is taking the cars to carwash or washing them myself. I feel that driving them in the rain has a more thorough washing of the underside. And it's free and I get to visit friends, too!
 

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My 05 (and my other cars, too) here in the salt belt Maryland, I drive my cars to the next town (visit some friends) when it rains, especially after snow--even several days later. It just became a habit for me to look out for coming rain in the winter so I can "wash" my cars (drive them in the rain). This helps keep the underside free of rust from the salt. Of course, it is time consuming but so is taking the cars to carwash or washing them myself. I feel that driving them in the rain has a more thorough washing of the underside. And it's free and I get to visit friends, too!
Good idea to "wash out" the salty mix but my paranoia of these annual salt baths has me looking for my garden hose on slightly warmer days. Auto car wash sites have been known to recycle the water so it may not be the best choice either. Others have had success with fluid film type products to curb the rust and preserve these uni-body structures longer.
 
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