I'm looking into buying a used Fender Tele with Hot Rails in the bridge, but the pickups and a bit of the toggle switch has rust on it. I know this doesn't affect the sound, and IMO it looks cooler, but in the long run what are some damages that it can do without treating it? What would be a way to fix it? Help is much appreciated.
Really? Well, the salesman told me it was fine, but I just wanted to get a second opinion. Are you positive it's trouble, 'cause it's $225, and Fender Tele's start at $400 here in Canada, without a new pickup change. And, not to mention, the addition of a new pickups, including the price of the pickup itself, is around $200 dollars.
I'd like to know about this, also.
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I didn't write that article, it was posted here just a few days ago. Hmm, well the sales peeps at the store might not be as much help, see if you can talk to a luthier or the repair guy at a different store, or that one, they could tell you what that rust would lead to if anything at all.

I had some rusty screws on an acoustic's tunning peg plates and they just came out of the wood and the screw holes were just lose. the rust on the plate could be removed and then prolly not do anything, but i don't know bout the pick up, and if theres rust on top, there might be some inside? did you check how well the volume and tone knobs work? llike if there was a crackle or anything when you move them? then they could be dirty inside, or rusty.
To the core!
No actually. all parts worked fine when I tested it. BTW, I don't sweat while I play, so I'm just wondering if there's any problems with the unaffected, untreated rust.
Every pickup (except covered ones ofcourse) will start to rust, depending on how much you sweat or humidity. I don't know if it affects the tone much and if it does I doubt it will be noticable unless the whole magnet is red. I suppose you can just remove it with steel wool.
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It really depends on where the rust is. If it's just on the pole pieces or the cover of the pickup, you can easily get it off and it will be fine. Rust on the coil windings is bad news.
Pickups have a fairly long life though, I wouldn't worry too much unless it's a fairly old piece or got rusty sitting out in the rain.