: Rust ...is this still the a major problem it once was in parts of the U.S.



orconn
09-01-10, 09:02 PM
Having spent most of my life in California, I realize I am very ignorant as to the problem of rust in the colder climates of the U.S., especially where salt is used for de-icing. Living in Central Virginia where salt is used to dissolve ice on the roads, but where snow only falls a few tiems during the year and then not so that it accumulates to any real depths, cars don not seem to show a lot of rust damage. I had assume that new techniques of rust proofing had curtailed a lot of the rust damage that one used to see on cars a few years old.

drewsdeville
09-01-10, 09:20 PM
http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-forums-lounge-member-introductions/209459-used-car-questions-opinions-3.html

hueterm
09-01-10, 09:25 PM
The underbody of pretty much any northern car that hasn't been specifically undercoated, yes, can get pretty scaly.... I have 2 RMWs that lived to tell the tale (one Chicago, one Indy).

My friends '03 ESV is pretty scaly from what he tells me.

Jesda
09-01-10, 09:28 PM
Late model Dodge Neons are prone to frame corrosion, and of course so are Toyota compact and midsize pickups of almost any generation.

I dont really worry about it though. On most cars you just get bits of rust on door edges and bubbling on fender arches.

drewsdeville
09-01-10, 09:35 PM
The older cars seem spotty for no apparent reason. On my own, my '90 Eldo at 20 years old and 175k miles is actually quite clean underneath and it was a Wisconsin car it's whole life. All of the black paint is still on the subframe. I did replace the brake lines recently though...

On the other hand, my '88 Olds Delta 88 was a complete rustbucket by 2001 and 140k miles. Brake lines, gas lines and gas tank were all replaced repaired near the end due to corrosion issues. The subframe had no black paint left and was all rust. Stabilizer links rusted right off.

As I continue to repair other vehicles, I personally notice the rusty cars disappearing. Underbody paint is A LOT better than it used to be and manufacturers started using galvanized nuts and bolts to put everything together. Out of all of the vehicles that I see, I'd have to say Ford is the only one who really hasn't made any improvement in this area, especially their trucks. Within 5 years the rust is starting and by 10 it's usually in full swing.

I have a 2001 f-150 with 60k in the driveway right now in need of ball joints. I don't plan to replace them until Friday when I'm off of school. Maybe I'll snap a picture tomorrow to show you what I mean...or even better, I'll take two photos, one of my '90 and one of this '01 for comparison. The amount of rust underneath the '01 is incredible.

Ranger
09-01-10, 10:27 PM
Right you are Orconn. You could expect to start seeing rust on any car after about 5 years in Chicago. Undercoating delayed it a bit, but I also think it just provided places to trap and hold the salt. Manufacturers have been getting better about prevention though. If I am not mistaken, the unibodies are dipped in a massive tank of some rust prevention solution, maybe even galvanized or electroplated or some such thing. All I know for sure is that rocker, and lower fender panels last a lot longer than they used to. The rest of the underside steel still takes a beating though. I have never seen or worked on the underside of a car without rust. Do they really exist?

hueterm
09-01-10, 10:29 PM
Right you are Orconn. You could expect to start seeing rust on any car after about 5 years in Chicago. Undercoating delayed it a bit, but I also think it just provided places to trap and hold the salt. Manufacturers have been getting better about prevention though. If I am not mistaken, the unibodies are dipped in a massive tank of some rust prevention solution, maybe even galvanized or electroplated or some such thing. All I know for sure is that rocker, and lower fender panels last a lot longer than they used to. The rest of the underside steel still takes a beating though. I have never seen or worked on the underside of a car without rust. Do they really exist?

In Arizona, Nevada, and West Texas.....

orconn
09-02-10, 12:34 AM
Include Southern California among the "rust free" zones. When I sold my '64 Jaguar E-type coupe a couple of years ago, these cars are notorious, self destructing, rust buckets, it was totally rust free after 47 years of life in L.A. and a few years of garaged, no Winter driving, in Virginia.

Having gone to college in the upper Mid-West I remember seeing cars that were consumed by rust after only a few Winters of salted roads. I am glad to hear that contemprorary rust-proofing efforts on the part of the manufacturers is having a good impact on the situation.

Jesda
09-02-10, 04:11 AM
My 1990 Q45 spent its entire 17 year life in California. The underside of that car was amazingly clean. Unfortunately, the tradeoff was that the fuel system was pretty trashed from exposure to MTBE and other bullshit additives. I got tired of replacing injectors and sold it.

Aron9000
09-02-10, 06:40 AM
There is a tradeoff on southern cars. Sun damage. My first car, a maroon/maroon velour Nashville car was pretty damn faded at 10 years old. Not a speck of rust on that car, but the top of the bumpers were faded, front dash was cracked, some of the velour interior was a little faded, rear parcel shelf was really faded, just made the car look old. The clearcoat on the hood and roof failed within a year of me driving the vehicle and it sitting outside 24/7. Before that it was garage kept, except my mom had to park it outside at work all day, which just beat up the paint and interior.

Night Wolf
09-02-10, 07:33 AM
My BMW was a TN car its' whole life and has no sun damage. My Lincoln was a Tampa Bay car its' whole life, none either.

Maybe since they were premium cars and most likely taken care of when new it wasn't apparent, but I don't see too many sun damaged cars. Fading clearcoat.... that'll happen anywhere. I saw just as much faded clearcoat cars in NY as I did here. The only thing that the sun seems to effect here is dashboards warping/cracking as the vehicle ages... but this is also mostly due to the particular vehicle as some are just bad for warping dashes (90's Cadillac's come to mind), others that were not treated over the years will dry out and crack - such as e30's.

I will take anything the sun can throw at a car over salted roads. Serisouly, if the chassis of a car is rust/rot free and solid, then there is no limit to what can be done. Engines can be rebuilt, seats can be recovered, bodies can be repainted.

But rust... cancer rust. Short of a complete and total resteration where the body/frame is seperated and the car is going through the process of being new again, there is just no stopping it.

In the linked thread above about used cars I put alot of information in about my '89 Oldsmobile that had cancer rust. In the last picture after it was repainted it looks pretty good for an older car. Write "COLD A/C" on the windsheild and it'd get atleast a grand in FL. But just a quick inspection shows major structural areas of the car rotting out.

Trying to fix up a car with major rust/rot issues is wasting time. It's like trying to remodel a house completely invested with termites. No matter what you do it's going to be there and keep coming back.

When I moved first to FL then to GA, I couldn't be more happy to see rust-free cars. Not talking about wrecks and such, in NY a cars' life was determined by rust (such as my Oldsmobile). Here, a cars' life is determined by how well it is mechanically maintained. Cars will last 20 years with no problem - people get tired of them and sell them before they need to be replaced. It's not uncommon to see many 20-30year old vehicles around here driving around. Not restored or well-kept originals, just old beaters that are still driving.

When I looked under my 1990 BMW in Nashville and saw a clean, accident free chassis - at that point nothing else really mattered. It was the exact color/options I wanted and it drove me home 7hrs. A lot of stuff on the car was broken or worn out, but the chassis was solid. I could justify putting time/effort/money into it because the very heart of the car will go on for many more years.

ben.gators
09-02-10, 04:29 PM
My 11 year old STS is totally rust free. I have been under the car dozen of times and have not seen any sign of rust! Even an small spot.... And yes, the car is an Arizona car! :D

caddydaddy
09-06-10, 01:23 AM
In Maine, there were piles of salt accumulated on the roads because they used so much! My '94 Deville was getting eaten alive from underneath by all the salt!
When I bought it 6 years ago, it looked great underneath, but years of driving through Maine winters have taken it's toll. I had to replace the brake lines, fuel filler pipe and brake rotor backing plates because of the rust!
I've seen quite a few SUV's and pickup trucks that are only a few years old with quite a bit of rust scale on the rear differential and under carriage. So, it's not an old car thing.