The corrosion characteristics of steel bar in concrete are decided by the corrosion current distribution along the circumference of the steel bar. It is a general assumption that carbonation lead to a general corrosion on the rebar. However, the destruction of a large number of specimens indicated that before corrosion cracking, the carbonation-induced corrosion mainly distributes on the surface of the steel bar facing the concrete cover. This paper examined the corrosion mechanism from fundamental electrochemical principles and experimental verification. It was illustrated that the macrocell corrosion must co-exist with microcell corrosion, both macrocell and microcell corrosion mechanisms could play significant roles, and the total corrosion could be underestimated if each of two is overlooked.