By on June 10, 2014

redflagdeals

I have a 10 year old Mazda Protege which I have loved ever since new.

There is just one small problem.

Rust. This car rusts like Dolly Parton sings. There is rust on the frame. Rust on the rear wheel wells which I have steadfastly removed ever single year. Rust on various parts of the powertrain. All the wheel bearings have been replaced, twice, and after yet another near dire prediction of expensive rust related maintenance, I’ve decided to sell the Protege.

I put it only at around $5000 and it finally managed to sell at the $4100. Right around where you said it would when I emailed you a few weeks ago.

Except now, I have a bit of a problem. I promised the car, but the guy I promised it to had a bit of a problem getting his finances in order. A little over a week ago we agreed to put off the final sale of the Protege until Friday.

So I decided to just do some detailed inspection of the rear of the vehicle a couple of days ago and I found my decade old nightmare. A huge swash of rust on the rear of the frame that has been untreated since new.

I decided to get that entire area treated and rustproofed. Total cost was around $400.

I then let the fellow know about the treatment and asked if he would split the bill with me. He gave me a firm and unfriendly no as the answer. I was a bit pissed off because, yeah, I didn’t have a green light from him. But at the same time, he hasn’t given me the green light either now for quite a while.

Part of me (a big one) wants to drive it to Asheville, give it a last go on Tale of the Dragon, then sell it down there.

What do you think?

Steve Says:

This is why all of my holding of vehicles come with non-refundable deposits.

You want a car? Great! Two weeks. $500 deposit. No exceptions.

This is what you should have done in the first place because it discourages future window shopping and keeps the buyer focused on his obligations in the deal. Nickelshiters stop nickel and dimeing you when they have enough skin in the game for there to be a major downside to their flakiness.

As for the repair work, stuff like that you don’t do as a favor until the buyer is on board with it. Life is short. If you were afraid that this guy was going to bite the big one if he got in a rear impact, then you were obligated by a higher authority to do the right thing.

You did half the right thing, and the funny thing is you did the tougher half. You paid for a somewhat expensive repair that you were under no obligation to do. That fellow though owes you nothing but gratitude. You should have put him in the loop. Even if that meant eventually losing the deal on the car.

What I would do is honor the trade. The financial hit sucks, but you know what? You are a person with integrity and honor, and that is something that money can never bestow upon you.

So honor the deal and if he doesn’t have the money by Friday do the second most honorable thing and offer to split the repair costs on Saturday. If he doesn’t bite, take it to Asheville but don’t sell it. I’m begging you. I already see enough rolling rustbuckets at the auctions from you damn Yankees.

Author’s Note: Steve has a short memory that comes and goes with his once thick New Jersey accent. You can always reach him directly at steve.lang@thetruthaboutcars.com.

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

74 Comments on “New Or Used? : A Mitzvah For The Mazda...”


  • avatar
    mikey

    Here in Ontario, A rusty frame means, no safety certificate. No safety means no ownership transfer. The Mazda is scrap, or maybe a parts car. The right buyer may give you 700 bucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      There aren’t safety inspections here in Oklahoma, so a lot of people purchase rusted, over-polluting, or otherwise unfit cars from northern states and bring them here. I have a friend that went to Colorado and bought a ’96 Ranger from his sister, because it wouldn’t pass an inspection.

      On one hand, I think our state is a little too lenient on roadworthiness. Some of these cars are outright dangerous. On the other hand, sometimes perfectly good cars are scrapped for seemingly arbitrary reasons, and I don’t think that’s fair either.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      mikey, that’s exactly what I was thinking when I first saw that pic. Up here, that would be a prohibitively expensively repair that would relegate that car to scrap/parts status and maybe $500.

      If the frame has rusted like that, what are the floors like?

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    The salting of roads is a travesty on the environment and a bane to vehicles. This needs to be dramatically curtailed or ended unilaterally.

    Salt has to be a big reason that the average life of a car in the US, is only eleven years. Cars last longer, but when you figure all of the vehicles lost to salt(and other degradations), you get a skewed number.

    And Steve, all good advice from a principled, considerate, philosophy… Kudos!

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Or you can just buy cars that don’t rust. I have a ’94 Volvo 945 that is now my kid brother’s car – 255K on it, spent its entire life in the New England salt bath, and it has no rust on the body shell at all. Just some surface rust on the suspension parts. I don’t understand why the Japanese can’t figure out rust protection. The Europeans mostly sorted it out a long time ago, and American cars are pretty good too these days, but I still see tons of rusty 10yo Japanese cars. Or is it an owner thing? Dunno.

      Personally, I prefer not to drive on glare ice, which is what we would have here much of the winter without salt.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “Or you can just buy cars that don’t rust.”

        That’s what I do. I find a good comparo and make sure to only consider the cars without “Rusts Like A Garden Tool” checked.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        We in the NW have our issues with ice, too, but we don’t salt.

        Today’s quality all weather tires do a very good job on ice when used by competent drivers who pay attention to conditions and developing road situations, and who leave plenty of time to get to their destination.

        Another situation that has to end, is the use of studded tires, but that is another issue.

        As for rust issues on Japanese cars, we don’t see that here in the NW, either. I ran my wife’s Mazda MPV on the Salt Flats for some ten years and we never had an issue with rust. True, it wasn’t but a week or two a year, but the salt really got packed up under the car and was very hard to impossible to get off.

        My 85′ Nissan 720 Pick-up has never been garaged, and shows no sign of rust. The clear coat is degraded, but I see that on all vehicles from any source.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          Deuce, we don’t salt, but what we do (sanding and deicing) works better anyway. Habits are hard enough to break if you’re an adult, now imagine being an old state government…
          http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION1/news/odotwinterpreparationsoperations112006.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Yes, we do sand road surfaces in some areas, the de-icing is mostly in the Portland metro area when the East winds come out of the Gorge.

            Down here in the Rogue Valley and SW Oregon, the counties and cities don’t even have snow removal, or sanding, deicing equipment. We get ice and a little snow, though, it is usually gone by noon.

            All motorcyclists hate sanded roads.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          You don’t salt in the NW because you don’t have to. If you had snow wîth extended below freezing temperatures like we do in MN, trust me you’d salt or your cities would literally shut down due to grid lock.

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            Reg; “You don’t salt in the NW because you don’t have to”

            Wrong! We don’t salt because of concern for our environment.

            You are apparently unaware of the weather regimes in the NW.

            Regarding Oregon: The coastal areas are quite benign, unless a high pressure pushes Arctic air through the Gorge or down from the North out of Washington, then it will snow and ice, sometimes for days on.

            The Portland/Willamette Valley area is generally benignly wet in the Winter, unless, again, the Arctic air displaces the low pressure rain systems and then when they collide we get freezing rain, usually followed by snow.

            Then we have the 10,000- 14,000+ ft. Cascade range and their Western foothills, plenty of ice and snow. The Eastern side of the Cascades and Central Oregon, have snow and ice all Winter as does Eastern Oregon.

            I grew up in North Central Washington, we usually had four to six feet of snow most Winters and drifts that would cover our house, so we had an attic door in the gable to get out. I have a pic of my cabin in the Gorge and the only thing you can see is the chimney.

            And by the way, the Okanogan Valley held the contiguous states lowest recorded temperature from 1956 until North Dakota(?) took it back a couple of years ago. The nations highest record winds were on the Oregon coast.

            The NW has a lot of high altitude land masses and the central and Eastern parts of Washington and Oregon are high desert averaging 2,500 ft or more.

            So disabuse yourself of the notion that we don’t get serious weather here in the NW.

            And yes, when those extreme weather events hit the metro areas, the yahoos clog the highway, and stall everything. A couple of years ago, it took me 4 hours to get out of Seattle in my Miata with Summer tires on it. I had no trouble, but the freeway and on and off ramps were impassable. Once I cleared Seattle it was 450 miles at 60mph on ice and snow all the way to Southern Oregon without a hitch, but I sure saw a lot of 4×4’s and awd in the ditch.

          • 0 avatar
            Carlson Fan

            My sister, a native Minnesotan lives south of Tacoma. Lived in Portland before that. She would laugh that you would compare a NW winter to one in MN and even suggest that they are worse. And I’ve visited her plenty of times in the winter to know myself that NW winters are so mild temperature wise that snow melts right off the roads all by itself after being plowed. Of course usually the snow melts within a day or two so I’m not sure you even have to plow it. And if I look at what they use to heat their home that alone tells me know it doesn’t get real cold there.

            So again you don’t salt because you don’t have to due to your mild winter temps. That would never fly in a MN winter.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          “Another situation that has to end, is the use of studded tires, but that is another issue.”

          Are the roads in Scandinavian countries, where about half of drivers use the sort of modern studded tires that are practically unavailable in North America, really that bad? I could see banning the especially damaging fifties-era studs that are typically used in North America, banning studs on heavier vehicles, and strictly limiting them to seasonal usage, but I consider studded tires to be a key component in a move toward salt-free roads. You only need something like 25% of the vehicles to be using studded tires to scuff up the ice enough to make the roads safer for everyone.

          On studded winter tires, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a winter driving situation where I couldn’t safely drive and corner at the same speeds that most traffic normally moves at during summer conditions.

          I drive on icy roads every single day for about four months straight every year, so maybe my perspective is different. Our Saskatchewan roads are so terrible as the result of freeze-thaw cycles, and probably even salt damage, that studded tire damage appears to be irrelevant. I’ve never seen any road wear that could possibly be attributed to the tires of passenger vehicles, despite studded tires unfortunately being legal year-round.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        There’s no money to be made building completely salt-proof cars.

        They only need to last long enough for salt attack to be blamed on car age, geography, or lax ownership, all of which are real variables.

        I’d say the Japanese have this formula pretty-well figured out!

      • 0 avatar
        skloon

        My 91 760 seemed the same but the undercoat had cracked and rusted out a subframe the body was mint though

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Again, I don’t live in “road salt” territory, but while I understand that certain cars are especially rust prone, aren’t there steps that people can take to ensure that their cars don’t turn into rolling rust-buckets during a hard winter?

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        Some people swear by spraying used motor oil on the undercarriage prior to winter and salted roads. Some people swear by frequent washes and underspray. Then again, some people are afraid to underspray their cars because they think the spray will drive corrosive-laden water further into places which it will cause rust.

        My opinion on salting roads is that if more drivers paid attention to their tires and even kept a set of winter or snow tires, most places in the rust belt wouldn’t need to salt roads or could diminish salting and we would all benefit from less rust on our vehicles. But, I’m not going to kid myself into thinking this will ever happen. In fact, the wide availability of AWD vehicles is probably shifting the trend further away. In other words, the responsibility for adequate traction in winter conditions has been shifted from the individual to the taxpayers. Taxes pay for the road maintenance, the road crews, the chemicals, the vehicles that apply the chemicals, and everyone pays a price in terms of accelerated corrosion of personal vehicles. Is this situation worse than the alternative I envisioned above? Which one is more costly, and to whom? Which one provides more jobs?

        I dunno. Kudos to the seller for listening to his conscience.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          I underspray my cars after every salt exposure, if possible. Road conditions already do a great job driving salt into remote areas of the vehicle; my spraying can’t make it worse.

          Agreed on tires. But today’s drivers feel entitled to receiving summer road conditions during winter, so I think you’re right – things won’t change.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Oil based rust proofing yearly, and stay out of heated garages ..

      • 0 avatar

        “Aren’t there steps that people can take to ensure that their cars don’t turn into rolling rust-buckets during a hard winter?”
        No, not really.

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        Kyree,
        There are steps you can take to ward off rust,but look at the Protege frame rail. That took a few years to get to that point. Did no one, for example, see that rail begin to corrode while it was on a lift for an oil change, and couldn’t they grind it down a little, earlier and coat it with undercoat so that it never reached the point that we see in the photo?

        My experience with Protege’s is that they were screwed together as well as Hondas, but bodies were very prone to corrosion, like others, when owners put off taking care of rust spots when they first noticed them. Again, that rail was ignored for years. Why?

  • avatar
    mikey

    Rust has no loyalties . Rust is an equal opportunity killer of all vehicles. Domestic , foreign , union made or non union made. If rust can get a grip on your vehicle, it will , in spite of your valiant efforts , eventually send it to a premature date with the crusher. No visible rust on the body? Have a peek at the brake ,and fuel lines. Now price the repair costs..

    For 45 years I’ve dealt with the heartbreak, of. rust and the ravaged hulks, it’s left behind. I hate rust.

    • 0 avatar

      There use to be some cars made of galvanized steel, Porsche, Audi, the first generation of Chrysler Mini Vans come to mind, that were truly rust proof from the factory. But for some reason if any manufacturer is still using galvanized steel they are not advertising it, or I’ve not seen it.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        You don’t hear about it because they all use it now. I think AMC was one of the first to use it in the 60’s/70’s.

        • 0 avatar

          They all use it now? Galvanized steel, I don’t think so, please Poncho, tell me where you found this out?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            crazycarlarry…ok sir, what do they use? I know there are some “e-coats” used, but I’m almost 100% positive that there are some panels in almost every car sold that use galvanized steel for corrosion protection.

            Do you have a better answer?

            Here is a link for your files.
            http://machinedesign.com/metals/steel-automotive-challenge

          • 0 avatar

            Thanks for the Machine Design link Poncho.
            I read the article and I still question, and the article didn’t address, the corrosion protection measures properties of the new advanced high-strength steels.

        • 0 avatar
          SpinnyD

          Toyota uses it for sure. I see plenty of it.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Rusty brake and fuel lines scare me even more than rusty frames.

      My 85 Lebaron GTS had a clean body but the fuel lines under the driver’s seat rusted through. I gingerly fixed it, then traded it.

      Rusty brake lines are an accident waiting to happen. I’d rather see a bad head gasket than this.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The first line of defense is to pick a car that is designed not to rust. I see mention of corroded brake and fuel lines here – the Germans and Swedes have generally not used steel for these parts in 40 years. They use copper-nickel alloy, which is immune to rust. The only vehicle I have EVER had to replace a line on due to rust is the 2002 Jeep I had for a couple years. For the most part, European cars have been the most rust resistant in my climate for a long, long time.

      There were definitely some exceptions – Mercedes had a serious rust issue around the turn of the century when they went to more environmentally friendly coatings and paints, and I think MKIII VWs were less rust resistant than the MKIIs for much the same reason. But all that seems to be sorted now. I certainly don’t expect to have any real rust issues for a very long time with my BMW. And for those you who are warranty fetishists, BMW’s rust coverage is something like 12 years/150K miles.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        What cars are designed to rust?

        The coast of Maine is only about an hour from me, and I’d have to say the European cars typically look like cars from any other country that are driving around Maine year long.

        BMW only covers rust through, which isn’t typically a problem on any car in less than 12 years. Plus they know what the original owner will never keep a BMW for 12 years (who keeps the past the lease these days) and they can deny anything from the environment that causes it anyway.

        They rust just like everything else, they just rust under the giant plastic rocker panel moldings and around the rear suspension attachment points so you generally don’t see it.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          My various 15-25yo German and Swedish cars that I have owned would disagree with you. Absolutely minimal rust. You barely SEE 15-25yo Japanese and American cars here, because they have all been junked, many due to rust. No shortage of old BMWs, Saabs, MBs, Volvos here because they simply didn’t rust nearly as fast as the others. So they are the cars that got a reputation for longevity, not Toyotas and Hondas.

          And enough of the “nobody keeps BMWs” BS already. Even if the first owner doesn’t keep the car, they don’t go straight to a junkyard at that point. They go to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th owners. All manufacturers only cover rust through technically, but that doesn’t stop most companies from only warrantying for it a fraction of what BMW does.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Someone is pretty sensitive about their BMW ownership and doesn’t like it stereo typed :)

            The coast is where the money is. Money doesn’t buy anything but the “high end” cars from europe, and lets face it, old Volvos and Saabs were THE New England yuppie car for years. Then the became mainstream and no one bought them. Similar to the Grand Wagoneer’s you still see in the area.

            I see rusty Mercedes and BMW’s around my area all the time. I agree, Saabs and Volvos seem a little better. Probably on the same level as Cadillacs, Lincolns and Some of the Lexus bore jobs.

  • avatar
    MK

    Yeah the “buyer” (VERY interested to know if he actually buys it) is having second thoughts or still shopping since he has no skin in the game.

    the “seller” was not wise to expect to spend $250 of someone elses money without asking them first.

    I never understand why people do things like this and expect a different outcome. I still cant believe he “sold” a rusty 10 yr old Mazda for $4100!

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “I still cant believe he “sold” a rusty 10 yr old Mazda for $4100!”

      Indeed. I have a pristine Protege5 that is undoubtedly in better condition in every way, and I’d be lucky to get $5k for it.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Buyer will not show up; he’ll figure if you fixed something AFTER he agreed to the price, there must be something horrifically wrong with the Mazda.
    If he should show up, he will still try to chisel you down, because now he knows something is amiss….never mind that it’s fixed. The you two have no agreement, so bye, bye.
    Even if he came with cash in hand, you would have been happy with a split of the $400, so $200 is worth peace of mind.
    With used cars, AS IS means AS IS….for both sides. Tell that to whatever part of you made you do “final inspection” after you agreed to sell it. A conscience costs $, but it’s worth it.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Don’t know that you’ll have much success selling a rusty car in the South. We’re used to seeing rust free cars and I suspect yours will suffer by comparison.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I remember my first trip to Florida, in the early 70’s. I was just in awe seeing rust free cars from the early 60’s. At that time most of the 10 year old cars from around here were rusty Junkers.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    mikey is exactly right with his sentiments about rust. Here in the Pittsburgh area, they salt the roads heavily from December through mid-February, then complain that they might run out of salt for the balance of the season.

    All cars rust, and don’t think that aluminum is exempt from it. The easiest way to tell if a 6+ year old car has been cared for is to look at its aluminum wheels.

    I recently calculated that rust can depreciate a large vehicle (like my minivan) by about $6/day of exposure, and a smaller car by about $3/day of exposure. That’s right – per day. What I mean is that a clean car will fetch that much more when sold than a rusty one will. So after 10 years, a large vehicle could trade for $3000 less since it’s heavily rusted.

    This is why I’ve begun rinsing off my garaged cars after every salt exposure, but alas, I can’t garage all my cars. As the saying goes, “rust never sleeps”, so that warm garage is destroying your salt-laden car overnight while you sleep. Surface rust isn’t the concern; it’s the undercarriage that gets pounded by the road debris, and it’s the undercarriage which is so expensive to fix.

    Rust is almost always the reason I’ve parted with a car, except for chronic unreliability – never a drivetrain issue. I hate rust.

    As for that Protégé, I can’t believe that car is worth $4100 – take the money and run. Around here, it wouldn’t get $2000, and mikey’s estimate of $700 may be more like it.

    The last repair I did to my 01 Elantra (just this April) was to weld patches to the frame (in the driveway). I had poked holes clear through it with my hand, and it needed to be modestly safe to drive for a bit longer. The dealer gave me $200 on trade (basically scrap value), and I didn’t argue since it had 201k miles and was 13 years old. Sadly, everything on it worked, and it still ran well. But the rust eventually outpaced my abilities to fix it. Not only the frame, but the fuel lines and brake lines were heavily corroded. “Drive it into the ground” philosophy might have meant a car crash after a failed brake line, and I wasn’t willing to risk my family members using it anymore as a daily driver.

    I’d like to see salt outlawed as a road treatment. It destroys vehicles, but also bridges, and road surfaces by contributing to the freeze-thaw cycle. It kills roadside vegetation, slowing the spring recovery. Although I think AWD is WAY oversold to fearful consumers, its prevalence would support reduced use of road salt.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “All cars rust, and don’t think that aluminum is exempt from it.”

      Yes, yes it is.

      Rust is by definition iron oxide. Aluminum will corrode, but it cannot rust.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        You took the bait. You’re technically correct, but corroded aluminum is no better-looking than rusty steel, and no more safe either.

        Aluminum will eventually disappear when exposed to salt.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      If you are already doing driveway frame welds, why not just replace the brake and fuel lines?

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Here, the easiest way to tell if a used vehicle was imported from the rust belt (Ontario or Quebec, for Canadian vehicles) is to look at the radiator and other aluminum surfaces under the hood. Run away if you see evidence of corrosion on those parts.

  • avatar
    mikey

    That’s the sad part.. The engine , and running gear may be perfect. A rotten sub frame, and or,corroded brake lines,makes for a very unsafe vehicle.

  • avatar
    ant

    I’ve got a 2003. Live in Wisconsin.

    When I looked up the KBB value on it about a year ago, it came up at $1600.

    Under the car is a sea of brown. Everything has rusted.

    Mine is currently leaking gas when its running, and the speedo/odometer dosent work. I assume the cable rusted off.

    I will probably drive it to the junk yard.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Well if he wants to drive it down to Asheville I’ll meet him there and give him $3,500 and the cell phone number of a really good hooker I know in the area. Looks like a very anal owner! I like that.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    I think someone has already said it.

    Don’t garage your car in the winter if you are driving through slush/snow/salt. It’s basically like starting the pilot light on your boiler and then dumping gasoline on it because the flame isn’t big enough for you.

    • 0 avatar
      mikehgl

      I never realized this. Parking your salt laden car in the garage all winter is what contributes to severe oxidation issues.That leaves me with the dilemma of two poor choices:
      Park outdoors and deal with the winter weather encasing your car on a daily basis or use your garage as intended and allow the oxidation to destroy your buggy.
      Or move to a warmer climate.
      And on the issue of salting roads: It is absolutely a necessity here in Michigan, although it is overused on occasion. Not salting roads in poor winter conditions would cause sheer chaos and drive the already ridiculous no fault insurance rates even higher.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        It’s one of those catch 22 situations.

        You have a garage so it makes sense to use it, keep the car relatively warm overnight. You don’t have to scrape windows every morning. Generally you’d think the car would be happier.

        In reality, any ice/slush/salt buildup gets to melt and then you get the worst of the worst for what actually causes the corrosion. Salt/Water/Dampness just eating away all night until you drive it back outside for everything to freeze again.

        Obviously you could rinse the car off in the garage every time you put it away, but lets be realistic. That isn’t going to get everything off, and how often are you going to keep up with this doing this religiously.

        I like your idea of moving to a warmer climate the best! Now if I could just talk my wife into it life would be wonderful.

        • 0 avatar
          mikehgl

          It flies in the face of what seems logical: park your car in a sheltered space and preserve it longer. Park outdoors and your vehicle degrades like a head of lettuce in the sun.
          My daughter owns a 94 Ranger that has been in my extended family. My Mother bought it new and kept it in her driveway until 2011.The truck has never been garaged. It is in above average condition, with minimal rust. Only a little on the wheel wells. Perhaps for this very reason?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            I’d say that’s probably part of the reason why it is still fairly rust free.

            I’ve never garaged a daily driver (I’m lucky enough to have some toys that don’t even come out in the rain) and as long as I’ve gotten a coat of wax on it every season or so I can’t say I’ve ever had paint or soft part problems. Have never even had any rush issues.

            My parents on the other hand have had cars that got the best care imaginable or possible but have always garaged their daily drivers. Unfortunately they’ve lost a few really great cars to cancer because of the garage issue. I’ve even had the same car as them at one time. Theirs was rusting, mine was rust free. The only different is theirs lived full time in the garage, mine never saw a garage.

    • 0 avatar

      I would amend your comment, Don’t park your car in a heated garage.
      If your garage is below freezing, factoring in the salt, then no rust will develop, its the freeze-thaw cycle that causes the most rust.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      In Maine it doesn’t matter. It generally goes above freezing most days in the winter anyway. So the car gets covered in salt slush which melts and gets everywhere whether you put it in the garage or not. I can see not garaging being useful if you live where it actually stays below freezing for much of the winter, but the coast of Maine is not that place.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Install an exhaust fan and leave the main garage door open a crack.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    I sold low end used cars for decades and I would have never sold one with frame rust like that ~ it’s patently UN SAFE and should be summarily scrapped .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Salting is not necessary.

    Here in southern Ontario we have this debate annually.

    In much colder areas, that receive far more snow, they do not use salt. They use sand/grit.

    Salt stops working below certain temperatures. It degrades the environment, leaching into the watershed. It causes billions (yes billions) of dollars worth of damage to vehicles, roads, bridges, other infrastructure and even our clothes (check out what it does to a niece pair of leather shoes). In Toronto it corroded the elevated highway (the Gardner Expressway), resulting in chunks of concrete falling off onto the cars below. The result is tens of millions of dollars are being spent to repair it and traffic chaos while it is being repaired.

    Some regions/highways (such as I believe the 407) also use a liquid saline spray on the roads. I wonder what impact that has on our cars as we follow behind the sprayer and it deflects/sprays up into our undercarriage?

    The use of sand/grit is far more cost effective and works at least as well. This winter, I stopped using salt and ‘artificial’ salt on my walkway (all the stores ran out in southern Ontario) and switched to kitty litter which worked just fine. Our local hardware store sold fertilizer, which melts ice and then washes into your lawn in the spring, helping it rather than killing it like salt does. They had great success with this but it is more expensive.

    And I have been told, in cities such as Calgary Alberta, the government does not even plow/clear the roads, yet there is no commuter havoc. Can anyone confirm what sort of road work/plowing/sanding does occur in Calgary in the winter?

    • 0 avatar
      Ugli

      “And I have been told, in cities such as Calgary Alberta, the government does not even plow/clear the roads”

      That would be what I like to call “total baloney.” They plow the roads here as necessary, often in reasonable time considering the physical size of the city.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/calgary/first+time+citywide+crews+will+remove+snow+just+plow+aside/9355203/story.html

        So until the early part of this decade it was true but has now changed.

        • 0 avatar
          dtremit

          Read your own article:

          “In a break with its much-criticized normal practices, Calgary has contracted trucks to remove snow from many residential streets this January — rather than just plow it to the side”

          They have always plowed it, they just haven’t trucked it away.

  • avatar
    DougD

    Good heavens, I hope that photo is generic and not the actual car in question.
    If it is, take anything you can get more than scrap value.

    I hate selling vehicles, but rule 1 for me is it ain’t sold unless I have a cash deposit in hand. First person at my house who puts cash in my hand bought the car. Don’t like the car later, no deposit back.

    Also, how many times do I have to say it? Krown rustproofing for vehicles in rustbelt Canada. $120 per year seems expensive until you are looking at major rust repairs.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    Has anyone here used Fluid-Film or anodes with any success?

    My company makes/sells anodes to the Navy for use on submarines to take care of the rust issues they have. I have always wondered if it would be worth trying it on cars. JCWhitney used to advertise an electronic rust guard system too that was always interesting to think about.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Anodes are a scam when used on cars. There is never a good ground.

      I fully endorse fluid film and or Krown/Ziebart. I took the time to spray down my 4runner this past fall. 1 gallon pump garden sprayer, heated and stirred the fluid film on a stove until it thinned out. Sprayed the backsides of my steel bumpers, outside and inside of the frame, underside of the unibody, on the spare tire, fuel and brake lines. It worked awesome, once it’s on it cools and forms a waxy film. Water beads up on it, and over the winter it stayed on great. It does pick up dirt however which is a minus.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        The so called impressed current systems sold for cars are most definitely a scam. I’ve tested such systems in controlled environment myself.

        Those types of systems work on oil pipelines and platforms because there is an electrolyte that is able to exchange electrons from the anode to wide areas on the platform. On a car, no such electrolyte exists.

        Car bodies do use cathodic protection however, the zinc coating that is usually applied to the panels at the factory. As far as CP goes on cars, that’s basically as good as it gets. The fluid film undercoating and rust inhibitor works very well and should be used where extra protection is needed over what the factory provides.

        I have seen numerous studies paid for by the manufacturers of the electronic devices that allegedly show that they work, but I don’t buy it as our own testing couldn’t replicate the results.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Damn, that’s some nasty rust.

    Reminds me of a friend’s Alero that had been through a flood. The entire floorpan of the car was seriously rotted and a good solid bump would put the rear suspension in the trunk. Not to mention the rotting brake and fuel lines.

    Thank goodness he dumped that heap.

    Right now, the only rust I have to worry about on my Thunderbird is the front fenders and a decent sized (eh, roughly the size of a tennis ball) patch of rot on each rear quarter, right behind the rear wheel. But the surrounding metal is clean so all that would take is some grinding and welding in little patch panels.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    @ ‘Carlson Fan’

    Apparently your comprehension is limited. Reread my comment, on second thought, never mind. Your too invested in your staked out position.

    The NW is comprised of more areas then the big metro areas West of the Cascade Range.

    You also probably believe it rains here all the time, us North Westerns love that, keeps people from moving here.

    A good deal(60%) of Washington and Oregon is desert with very little rainfall.

    I will grant you that the Great Lakes area and other areas in the Northeast do get severe Winters, but that is an urban human problem of your own making. Don’t like it… get the hell out. Just don’t come here, we already have our share of numskulls.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    Years ago i spend 1-2 months in Norway every year calling on customers that imported from the USA. My counter part in Norway always went with me on sales calls and we used a small Toyota corolla forget the year. Every morning we would have 2 inches of frozen water on top of the floor mats. My first week there on Friday we stopped in a gas station for gas and they put the car on a lift and sprayed it with used motor oil. Backed in out of the bay and let it drip dry. They told me that the station charged about $5.00 for that service and they did it every Friday during the winter. I think that car lasted them for about 6 years. They also had a 1974 Ford station wagon that was 10 years old used by a sales man that was 6’5″ tall that could not use the Toyota. I will never forget the feeling of cold feet every morning and a heater blowing cold air. Good times!


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States