I felt it was the right thing to do, to wash my cars.

And so I got out the bucket, hose, sponge and carwash liquid and set about the task of giving my 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 1988 Pontiac Firebird their annual clean.

The Pontiac is easy to wash. Its smooth shape and low height make for a quick job.

The Jeep is an entirely different matter.

It is so high I need a step ladder to clean the roof.

No wonder so many people take their car to the car wash these days.

Anyway, after ascending to the top of the three step-ladder I saw it.


Yep, RUST.

I could not believe it.

Here, on a four and a half year old car, the heads of the screws which hold the factory installed roof rack to the roof are rusting.

All of them are a nice burnished brown, trying to hide their shame against the bright chrome of the rack support bars.

My 30-year old Firebird has no rust. In fact I’ve never had a new car that rusted at all.

My next step will be to get in contact with Jeep’s customer service folk – again.

I say again because the car is just back from the local Jeep dealer after the air conditioning condenser split and spewed refrigerant – which is dyed a bright green – over the underside of the front end.

That took four weeks to negotiate with Jeep and the dealer as to who would pay for what. I had to pay for half the cost of the new condenser and labour.

And I will not bore you with all the other issues with this vehicle that have been fixed during my period of ownership.

Stay tuned.






David Burrell is founder and editor of Retroautos.com.au, a free online classic cars magazine. Dave has a passion for cars and car design. He's also into speedway, which he's been writing about since 1981. His first car was a rusted-out 1961 Vauxhall Velox. His daily driver is a Pontiac Firebird. Prior to starting Retroautos, David was an executive in a Fortune 500 company, working and living in Australia, NZ, Asia, Latin America and the UK.