July 25, 2003

Debugging rusty cars

It just occurred to me that debugging is a bit like fixing rust on a car. From a distance, it looks alright, but when you get up close there are a lot of little imperfections here and there. So, you know what to do, you take each one in turn and sand it back to the bare metal, then treat it properly, prime it, and apply a nice new paint finish so it looks like it's supposed to.

Then, every now and then, you stick your screwdriver clean through the panel. What looked like a little blemish is actually a major rust-fest that you couldn't see until you started to deal with it. And then you've got to decide how to deal with it, as the job is suddenly a lot bigger than you first thought. You might be able to get away with chasing it all out and then filling the gap with a load of filler and wire mesh, and hope that noone pokes the new work too hard, but that's never a long term solution, and is just storing trouble up for the future.

What you really need to do is get rid of every last bit of rust, and replace the stricken area with new metal. At the very least it'll mean welding in a chunk of new metal, and it could mean that you start ripping panels off and replacing them completely, so you know they're right.

I guess what I'm saying is that there's only a certain amount of surface rust to fix, and if the underlying panels are going rotten, you have to rip them out completely and start again.

I'm worried that I'm going to have to start ripping panels soon. Things might get ugly before they get any better.

Posted by Adrian at July 25, 2003 12:55 AM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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