By on March 17, 2016

2016 Mazda6, Image: Mazda USA

H.E. writes:

Sajeev,

I recently bought a 2016 Mazda6 Touring. The salesman gave me a crazed look when I told him it absolutely had to have a six-speed manual transmission. But the dealer managed to find two manual Mazda6s within about 300 miles, one of which was 45 minutes away and painted in Deep Crystal Blue paint with the black interior I wanted. I’ve put about 400 miles on it and it’s a great looking, smooth shifting car; I’m very happy.

I expect to get flamed because it isn’t brown, diesel or a wagon, to which I respond in my best Sean Connery voice, “Suck it, Trebek!”

I was aware of Mazda’s not-so-super-recent rust history before I bought it, but I’m confident (or optimistic and naively hopeful) that they’ve solved the problem. We moved to Ohio this summer, so winter, snow and salt is now an issue I’ve been unconcerned for the last 10 years.

I avoided any dealer add-ons and rust protection, but I’m curious as to whether you have any advice on how to best protect the car in the winter. Wash the underside of the car after it snows? Any commercial products I could preemptively or reactively apply? Wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it in the garage until spring? Move to Arizona? Stick my nugget in the sand ostrich-style and hope for the best?

Sajeev answers:

Yes, I am quite ashamed you didn’t get a brown one, as that’d give you instant access to The Brown Car Appreciation Society. No matter, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that new Mazdas don’t rust out like earlier models from the current millennia.

Proactive treatments preventing premature rust are numerous, but (sometimes) of questionable utility. Underside washing is a great idea, provided the water isn’t from a recycled salt bath at a shady car wash. Since many car washes use water freshened every few days, ask before you spray.

My favorite (in theory) treatment is twofold: underside coatings (Ziebart, oil, etc.) and pouring water in the external seams/gaps in freezing weather to create a protective layer of ice (that must never visit a heated garage). Spray/pour water along the rear window gaps, taillights, headlights, trim panels and — if you can get underneath it — multiple applications of H20 in the wheel wheels, especially where the quarter panel welds, folds, bolts, etc. to the chassis.

Or do nothing. Especially if you don’t plan on keeping it longer than the corrosion warranty. Nobody’s gonna fault you for doing nothing for a decade except enjoying that manual transmission and the new 6’s respectable features.

[Image: Mazda USA]

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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111 Comments on “Piston Slap: A Rust-free Mazda for the Current Millenia?...”


  • avatar
    RedRocket

    The NVH, rattles, and general high maintenance needs will get to you long before the rust gets to the body.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      The NVH of the 2016 Mazda 6 is class competitive. Recent C&D mid size sedan comparison test had the noise level at 70mph in the 6 being lower than in the Accord.
      Maintenance is low – oil change very 10,000 miles or 1 year. No rattles in my 18 month old 6.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        yes, but they simply measure A-weighted SPL, which isn’t necessarily that useful. the frequency *content* of the sound is also important, which is why organizations are moving to rating noise/sound quality in sones instead.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sone

        • 0 avatar
          Zoom

          Doesn’t matter how it’s measured when comparing one vehicle to another, as long as they use the same measurement.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yes it does matter. 80 dBA with more of it in the higher frequencies is going to be more annoying and unpleasant than 80 dBA composed of mostly lower frequencies.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I agree with the do nothing approach this is 2016 after all Mazda should have this fixed, but maybe a quick trip to the zoom zoom forums will confirm that for piece of mind. Enjoy the car.

  • avatar
    S197GT

    i’ve owned four mazdas and didn’t have rust issues. two well over 100k miles.

    also didn’t have any maintenance issues. our cx-9 has only had $40 oil changes every 7500 miles for the last 40k miles. transfer case replaced under mazda provided extended goodwill warranty.

    cx-9 forums are fairly free of drama. (transfer cases for the awd models being one of the most common issues)

    very reliable and fun to drive cars. you just want to wash them fairly often.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      CX9 is not Mazda.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Weimer

        ?

        Well, what is it then?

        https://www.google.com/search?q=cx-9&oq=cx-9&aqs=chrome..69i57&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          The outgoing Mazda CX-9 is basically a Ford product. It’s on the CD3 platform, along with the previous-gen versions of the Ford Edge, Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKZ. I’m not sure what that means for rust protection.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            well, platform aside the CX-9 was still manufactured in Hiroshima, so it’s a stretch to call it a “Ford product.” the susceptibility to corrosion is dependent on the actual cause. The platform /could/ be a determining factor if the body design creates “traps” where water and salt can collect and sit.

            but I seem to remember reading (and can’t find where) that up until recently Mazda wasn’t doing the same pre-paint coatings as the rest of the industry. something along the lines of they were only doing a phosphate conversion dip prior to primer and paint, while nearly everyone else was doing a 2- or 3-stage dip with an e-coat in there. Which would line up with some of the complaints; if you do a GIS for “mazda 3 rust” you’ll find pics of some where the rear wheelwells and the bottoms of the doors are just gone.

          • 0 avatar
            Varezhka

            Isn’t calling CX9 a Ford product based on a shared platform a bit of a stretch, especially considering that Ford CD3 is a Mazda developed platform (a renamed Mazda G platform)?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Not much help without stating the year and model.

    • 0 avatar
      vb9594

      2011 CX9 here with 75,000 miles. Not a single problem other than the transfer case failed (but was part of a recall). As part of the failure it destroyed the transmission. A new tranny was also installed, also under warranty due to the recall. So now I have a rust free ’11 CX9 that received a new tranny and transfer case at 60,000 miles. The vehicle won’t give me any good reason to think I need to get rid of it- has been great.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      My 07 CX-9 rusted on the tailgate where the license plate light assembly met the body (both corners).
      The transfer case also broke around 100k, so no good will for me. Sent it packing after the remote starter (mazda installed) freaked out and left us stranded a variety of times.
      I wouldn’t count out the rust gremlins just yet.
      My 04 BMW has no rust, neither does my 05 Mercedes. My 92 Volvo didn’t rust, the 98 that replaced it had a touch in the doorsills. My 00 Maxima had a rusty mess in the rear wheel arches. All of these cars lived entirely in Pennsylvania/Ohio so rust is certainly still a concern. Wash it up good, and stick your head up behind the wheel arches and seams after you do so–see where the water likes to hide.
      Not sure what’s up with that wacky advice to spray water everywhere and hope it freezes there until spring as a rust prevention technique. Here in Ohio, it does occasionally thaw and after an hour drive, most of the car will warm up to the point where it will thaw the body out anyway. Keep in mind the frozen car advice came from a daggone Texan.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Enjoy the new car. The 6 is a nice un! Deep crystal blue sounds charming. My last Mazda got t-boned by a distracted cell running a red. WELL DONE not going for any dealer add-ons. My extended warranty evaporated with the accident.

    • 0 avatar
      ...m...

      …when i bought my last mazda, the dealer tinted and treated every car immediately upon delivery, disclosed as i was sitting down to sign: i got up, walked out, and took my business somewhere more reputable…thankfully, i’d had prior experience with another honest mazda dealer to fall back upon; i just had to wait for the car to ship from hiroshima…

      …i don’t understand why manufacturers aren’t more proactive about terminating shady franchises…

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Dealers can be ridiculous sometimes.

        Here’s a funny story: my friend bought a pre-owned 2013 Fusion Energi Titanium from the local Ford dealer last October. They wanted $23K for it. First, the salesman and his manager weren’t willing to budge on the price for the car because they claimed it came with an uprated 220 V charger in the trunk, which my friend’s house wouldn’t even support. So my friend said, “Fine, keep the charger; I’ll just take the OEM one that came with the car.” Then, they tried to say that the standard OEM charger wasn’t there and that it was just the uprated one. Turned out there *was* no uprated charger, and they were trying to charge him a premium for the standard OEM charger that came with the car.

        They argued that the one in the trunk was an optional charger until I went and got one of the brochure-booklets and showed them where it said the car came with a standard ~120 V charger. I didn’t know whether they were being dishonest or were genuinely ignorant, since it is an obscure car within the Ford lineup. But why would someone buy a plug-in hybrid and lug around hundreds of extra pounds’ worth of battery to not be able to plug the car in and use the EV-only range? Why not just get the normal hybrid at that point?

        Meanwhile, in between breaths, the salesman and his manager were bragging to us about the salesman’s Lamborghini Gallardo. Whatever, I can’t hate on someone for being successful and having a nice car—if it was true. But bragging doesn’t exactly endear you to the customer…especially at a Ford dealership, where lots of financially-secure and hard-working, but humble, people shop.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    I live in northern New Jersey – same conditions – lots of salt used and now they’ve started to brine the roads prior to a snowfall – can’t be good for cars. I’ve owned three Mazdas since 2000 – a 2000 MPV that rusted, a 2003 MPV that rusted and currently have a 2011 CX9 that HASN’T rusted at all. Based on my experience it seems like Mazda has fixed their rust problems. I’m just a sample of one – your mileage may vary.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Too new still to rust.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        5yo cars with visible rust are not remotely uncommon here in Maine. Mostly Mazdas and Hondas.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Is NJ as bad? I’ve never been to either place.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            We refer to cars from NJ as “clean Southern rides”… HUGE difference between here and NJ in terms of how cars rust. My ’02 Jeep GC from southern Joisey looked great, most of them from up here are rusty if not junked from failing inspection at this point. Rust is usually like an iceberg, what you don’t see is what sinks you.

            If you come here, you won’t really see a lot of rusty cars on the road. You also will see relatively few older cars on the road – our annual inspection removes them quite efficiently.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            So I’m assuming they fail inspection and then get sold/auctioned to the nearest non-inspection state.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Mazda always claims to have solved their rust problem. My friend shopped a 3 around ’09, ended-up buying a 2.5 Rabbit (Golf). The Mazda sales pitch was all about the stuff they’ve done to solve their rust issues.

    7 years later, her Rabbit has been absolutely problem-free and looks like new, and that generation of Mazda3 all show rust and suffer from head gasket issues. She totally dodged a bullet.

    Get your car rust-proofed, not undercoated, not “electronically protected.” Proper rust proofing uses oil that drips a little, so be wary of anything that claims to be dripless.

    I hope for your sake that the new Mazda Skyactive 4 isn’t as porous as the old 2.3.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      First I’ve heard of there being head gasket issues with that generation of 3. Mine is an ’09, dodged the rust issue so far.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Mazda has solved nothing. In comparison to my 98 Protege, 2011 ‘3 has worsened in hardware. For instance, those bolts that attach your door latches used to be ok after 16 years. Now, they rust almost immediately. Hose clamps used to be like new after 16 years, now they rusty after 3. Brake rotors rust into spindles much better now. All the exposed hardware is worse now.

      Don’t know the body. 98 developed rear wheel well rust-through at 13 years. I cut it out, riveted pieces of cans and rebuilt them using Bando. And it lasted for 3+ years until I sold it. Exhaust definitely remains rust-prone. To be fair, 98 exhaust had 4 parts and I had trouble with 2 and rust problem with one. Muffler was same for the duration of 16.5 years. Today, looking at 2011’s “long pipe”, I can tell, it is covered in rust. Same pipe in Highlander only looks brown but it is smooth -no rust buildup. ‘Lander is older and more miles

      Another issue that not visible to the eye. Hardware under the bumpers, etc. When my son had small bumper bump, and I removed bumper cover, I found that brackets that hold actual bumper bar were so rusted-through that one came off during this bump and second literally fell apart when I pulled on it.

      I’ve heard stories of people losing they sway bars, etc. My car had very rusty suspension but nothing fell off.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      I have a 2008 (2.0) that’s been through 8 midwestern winters and no rust. I don’t wash it, and it’s never been to a mechanic. I have seen some rusty Mazda3s but none were the later model years.

  • avatar
    MBella

    I agree with the frequent washing in a touch free car wash that keeps the water fresh. I have a good one near me. You’ll always notice that rust always starts in places the salt sticks the most.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, one word ‘Krown’.

    After 40+ years of car ownership and trying everything, it is the only application and/or way to prevent rust that I would recommend.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Ziebart seems to work as well.

    • 0 avatar
      nrcote

      I used Rust Check for my Versa 2008, since new, until this year. Last summer, the passenger airbag light started blinking, wouldn’t stop. Turned out a sensor, inside the fender (!), was full of that Rust Check grease. How much? About $250. Everything’s fine now. No more Rust Check for me. AFAIK, that Krown thing is similar. YMMV.

      • 0 avatar
        Jgwag1985

        Quick internet check show’s Nissan had a problem with airbag sensors on Versa’s built before 2010. So it was not the undercoating.

      • 0 avatar
        nrcote

        @Jgwag

        A quick internet check? LOL, you’re funny. You work for Krown or Rust Check?

        • 0 avatar
          Jgwag1985

          Nope. As a matter of fact had to deal with border agents to get car undercoated first time(Krown). Don’t you search internet first for issues you have with car? Found airbag sensor issues with Versa on Versa forum, and on carcomplaints. I take it you don’t look things up first or at all, just blindingly pay/accept what ever dealer tells you. I looked up tsb’s for Nissan Quest. I had a coolant leak. Apparently it was a known problem on Quest’s. I showed dealer tsb. They(dealer) refused to fix leak (Quest was still under warranty) even after reading the tsb. So go ahead believe whatever mechanic tells you without any research.

    • 0 avatar
      kryten

      I’ve done Krown for the past two years on my Tacoma. Seems to be working well so far. Fluid Film would be another good alternative.

      Had some rubberized undercoating on the frame rails from previous owner. After few years developed cracks and water was accumulating under the coating. Those spots were even worse than the spots that never got coated. Had to scrape it all off and re-coat bare frame with Rust Bullet. Did two annual Krown treatments since and did not notice any new rust appear so far.

      From personal experience, I would stay away from any undercoating that hardens and can develop cracks and trap moisture under. Krown, Fluid Film and similar products do have to be reapplied as they are oily, drip some and get washed off eventually.

  • avatar
    mikey

    “Heavy Handle” Has the best advice , so far. “if it doesn’t drip, it doesn’t work”

    Letting the drain holes plug with ice ???Unless you live somewhere that the temperature stays well below freezing ?Forget that idea. Spray washing underneath at a fresh water car wash ? Just try and get the sprsy directed to your sub frame, and your fuel/ brake lines. Believe me its not easy, if not impossible.

    The wax based products ? They do more harm than good. The electronic thing that the dealers will grab you $500 to $600 for ? Save your money, they don’t work.

    I lived in Sothern Ontario my whole life. With the possible exception of late model, high end German stuff, all cars and trucks will rust. Some worse than others. Mazda was, one of the worst. have they cured the problem ? Why wait until its too late.

    Just because the body has no visible rust, doesn’t mean that rust hasn’t creeped into brake/fuel lines, and the sub frame.

    47 years of driving experience, with more cars than I can count, has told me this , about rust. You have three choices . Do nothing, drive it for 4- 5 years and trade it in. Buy a winter beater, and park your car in a covered garage from Nov-April.

    Or.. a, annual, liberal, application of oil based, rust proofing. Yes you need to drill holes. Here in Ontario, Krown is my first choice, followed by Rust Check.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      “Unless you live somewhere that the temperature stays well below freezing” Thank you, mikey. I don’t know what percentage of the US and Canadian populations live in places where it’s consistently below freezing in the winter, but it’s pretty small. Places like Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, and Toronto all get plenty of above-freezing temps throughout the winter. This “keep everything frozen for three months straight” tactic, if it does work, is impossible to effect in most places.

      I’d also opine that corrosion protection has improved greatly over the past 40 years or so, particularly between the late ’70s and early ’90s. In the ’70s, only Mercedes and Volvo seemed to have decent rust resistance, with Japanese cars being worse than American ones. Since the late ’80s, the industry has been pretty good on the whole.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        it’s been two-fold. better design tools (CAD) mean automakers are better at making sure there aren’t any “traps” with no drainage in the body sheetmetal where salt/water can collect and sit there.

        going hand in hand with that, it also means they can make sure the corrosion-protection dip(s) can actually get into every little crevice in the body. Amusingly, GM made a lot of noise when they launched the Vega about how it went through a thorough anti-corrosion dip process. But the body design left traps in the fenders by the front wheel wells; so the body sealer couldn’t reach those areas. But road spray could, so within about a year the fenders started rusting through.

        • 0 avatar
          SP

          I read that the problem with the Vega was that the angle at which it was dipped created an air pocket inside the tops of the front fenders. So the trapped air blocked the liquid corrosion protectant from touching the metal.

          Just a slightly different explanation, that I found interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      Bimmer

      After some research and reading findings of Canadian military, I started using Corossion Free. They even give you a lifetime warranty against rust, if your vehicle is 3 model years or newer. Just try to find an independent dealer instead of Canadian Tire for the application. And you have to really it every 18 month, instead of 12. Full application cost is $100 when on special.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ Arthur D….I know its sounds like we work for Krown. However the stuff does work. I had to walk away as they were boring holes into my one week old Mustang last fall.

    I have neighbor with a 98 Mustang. He drives it everyday, no rust. That Mustang is a rolling advertisement for Krown.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Mikey, Yes, I had the same concern about the holes being drilled. But ‘knock wood’ it does seem to work.

      Glad to see that it has also worked on your ‘Stang’. Is it driven in the winter?

      I also keep a can of Rust Check in the garage and use it liberally to spray, areas of concern during the fall/winter/spring after washing or wiping them down.

      Now I have a concern that the B&B might address. Noticed that the winter steelies on one of our cars have developed a serious case of rust. Will steel wool, some Krown Rust Converter and some rust paint correct this? Or can either the rust or my proposed solution create a safety issue? Seems like they were put away last year (at least) without being cleaned off and probably stored horizontally in sealed tire bags.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        So I buy a ’99 Subaru new, and take it to Krown, where apes with large dull drills leave jagged holes everywhere, and the plastic caps that are supposed to snap in won’t stay level. Complained at the time – got grunts.

        Long story short, when rust lines were running from every drilled hole from when it rained, I called on the warranty. In early 2004, I got me a paint job. Free.

        No way I was having my new 2008 hacked about by those nincompoops.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Arthur…I’m down to one car, I drive my Mustang everyday. Circumstances, being what they are, I plan on driving it for a long time.

    I see a lot of the “steelies” rusting. Steel wool, a little elbow greese, and some Tremclad should do the job.

    I made it through this year with just the factory “3 season tires”. I’ll never do that again. I’m going to order the factory winter wheels from Ford and see what package they offer. Or I may buy a set of Michelin winter tires, and have them mounted on the Ford wheels. After that its back to Krown and have the whole car oil sprayed

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Mikey, Thanks and if any of the other members of the B&B want to chime in on my concern then I would also appreciate it. When should I be concerned about the rust? Is there anything that I should watch out for when applying the paint?

      As for winter tires. Canadian Tire often offers 12 months at zero interest if you pay in full prior to the expiry of the 12 months. Picked up a set of Michelin X-ice there with the road hazard warranty. Good at any CT in the country. Nice tires on cold asphalt, slush and ice, not the best on deep snow. When one suffered a puncture that could not be repaired they replaced it at no charge.

      Just be careful of the mounting/balancing/installation charges.

      Or if you are lucky you might be able to find a good used set. I check the bulletin boards at the supermarkets and the local scrap yard. Also have a local tire dealer who also buys and sells used ones. Just check the manufactured date and for cracking.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        While I am a Nokian guy, the X-Ice gets a thumbs up too.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          I put the Hakka 2s on my wagon. While they are awesome on snow/ice, their wet performance leaves a good bit to be desired. That and the extra cost would have me recommend the Michelins

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Fair enough. We havent had much slush, so I’ve been sticking with the Hakka 2. They wear well on dry pavement as well, which this winter has been quite a bit.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Are the rims from Crappy Tire? Aftermarket steel rims rust a lot faster than OEM.

        There are some excellent power tools for removing rust, but you can do the same with a steel brush to start and sand paper to finish. Be careful not to score the contact surface between the tire and rim. Any of the finer automotive or rust paints will work.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @heavyhandle. Thanks, I am worried about impacting the ability of the tire to hold a bead. Should I make sure not to get any paint on the edge of the rim? What about the bolt holes?

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Arthur,

            Use common sense. paint won’t impair the bead, as long as it’s put down lightly and evenly.
            Same thing with the bolt holes. Make sure there’s enough material there (obviously) and do a nice clean job.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I took a flyer on a set of Falken Eurowinters for my M235i and am quite pleased with them. Good in the dry, great in the wet, good enough in snow. If the snow is deep I don’t drive that car (not that we had any this year). A touch loud at 85-90mph, I turn the stereo up a notch. :-)

      Best part was <$400 delivered for a set of 225/40-18s w-speed rated.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    Mikey and Arthur Good advice, I consider you guys to be the experts on rust prevention. Thanks

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      I Krowned the Verano… once. After it displayed its true nature, I said to hell with future proofing a turd thats going back to the dealer the second the lease is up.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Dave…Ive been following you experience with the Verano. Man, it stinks, and I don’t blame you for being P.O d.

        I guess one could say. Your experience makes a real good case for leasing vs buying.

        One question though. Why would feel the need to rust proof, when the vehicle was leased ?

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    I have a ’16 6 Touring as well, also in Deep a Crystal Blue. I love it!

    Before that, I had an ’08 3 hatch and it didn’t have a speck of rust when I traded it in last October. It also didn’t have any major problems over the six years and 65,000 miles I owned it. My wife has a ’13 CX-5 Sport as well that has been problem free since we got it in November 2012. Needless to say, we are a Mazda family.

    They have had some trouble with rust in the past, but I seem to have gotten lucky. Hopefully it continues!

    • 0 avatar
      mazdaman007

      Your family sounds like ours. We’re currently running 5 Mazdas, just picked up a 2015 Mazda 3 GT 6MT and they had a program whereby the loan rate was reduced by 1% (making it 0%, yay !) if you currently owned a 2001 or newer Mazda. On delivery the salesman says I need the valid insurance slip for your current Mazda so I said which one of the four would you like :)

      They are not perfect cars, road noise always seems to be a problem although it does improve every generation but we like the way they drive and they have been very reliable for us. I am always concerned on cars about electrical issues as they can be a real PITA and hard to pin down but Mazda seems to have nailed their electrical systems.

      Oh and no visible rust on any of them (oldest being a 2009 Mazda 3) and we live in Ottawa which could be the salt capital of the world. None of them has been rustproofed although I keep a can of Rust Check (regular and coat & protect) and spray the doors, trunk, hood, wheel wells etc. spring and fall).

      I had a 2001 Protege which I sold after 8 years with no rust. The only rusty Mazda we have had was a 2001 MPV which despite rust proofing yearly was starting to rust fairly badly although when we got rid of it in 2011 it had 280,000KM on it and still drove great so we can’t complain about the use we got out of it.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Wow, I love how stereotypes die hard. I agree that they are based in truth often times, but seriously. Not every Audi runs away with uncontrolled acceleration, not every GM breaks down after you drive it off the dealer lot, not every Ford catches fire when rear ended or have tires with separating treads.

    I have had 3 Mazda’s, live in Detroit MI ….the land of salt and potholes. My 2001 Protege5 owned for 5 years had not a spec of rust (although I have seen plenty rusted out trunklids and fenders in the years following). I have owned a 2006 Mazdaspeed6, not a spec of rust in 5 years. I currently own a 2014 Mazda6 (same model as you), rust free. I generally do not keep cars long after 100k miles, so I am maybe not a great sample. But I don’t think current Mazda’s suffer from the woes of old.

    Have the 6MT Touring in grey. Fun car, enjoy.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      “owned for 5 years” – this is not long enough

      “not a spec of rust in 5 years” – it is there but it it is still under paint

      “I generally do not keep cars long after 100k miles” – try it one time, with Mazda. Have fun. I mean, if you will see rust and it doesn’t bother you – you may never need to fix anything, just don’t count on selling it.

      “I am maybe not a great sample” – now you talking truth

      “stereotypes die hard” – Mazda rust is NOT stereotype – this is reality. Although, body itself is not the biggest concern. But if you look under your car, under hood – I will show you hardware deterioration even before end of year 3.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        This runs along the line of people who come and say “My 2015 Jetta has been stone-dead reliable in the 3,000 miles I’ve driven it!”

        Wow, and I once wore a pair of socks twice!

      • 0 avatar
        thegamper

        3 Mazda’s, 5 years and 100k miles on the first two and still going on the third is a pretty decent sample time frame to make an observation. Probably better than all the observations on this thread of people who have never owned a Mazda (am I talking truth now?). Just sayin.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Baffles me that some makers still use brake and gas lines that CAN rust. But I suppose when you are selling cars by the pound, something has to give.

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        Back in 1992 (wow, I’m getting old) I purchased a new Mazda MX6 LS (with a 5MT!) and after a couple of years I remember getting a letter in the mail from Mazda explaining that there was a recall for rust perforation on the hood. Long story short, I never took the car in and I never had any rust issues. I kept that car for 10 years and drove it every day in the harsh and extremely salty New York winter roads. Just sayin’….

      • 0 avatar
        mazdaman007

        Do you have an agenda against Mazda ?

        “owned for 5 years – this is not long enough” – I have an 8 year old Mazda with no rust, is that long enough in your opinion or does it have to be 23 years old ?

        “it is there but it it (sic) is still under paint” – I’m impressed you can see under the paint on my cars from thousands of miles away. Do you have a crystal ball as well ?

        “I am maybe not a great sample – now you (sic) talking truth” – You’re just one sample as well so forgive me if I ignore your opinion

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I do imagine someone who chooses the name “mazdaman” to represent themselves on a car site is possibly -the- most impartial observer of faults with Mazda vehicles.

          • 0 avatar
            mazdaman007

            Who professed I was impartial (who is ?). At least my bias is on display for all to see. But feel free to dispute what I write with your facts.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          @mazdaman007,

          it is good you showed up. “Do you have an agenda against Mazda?”… How to say “NO” in English? Let me translate – purchased 98 Protege, and when time came, while retaining 98 Protege, purchased 2011 Mazda3. Then sold Protege and purchased another 2010 Mazda3. Do I have agenda against Mazda- no. I am may be even more than you Mazda man.

          But you can’t avoid rust in Mazda. For example, I had to replace A/C compressor because compressor clutch rusted out and rusted into compressor shaft. + it was only $70 less for clutch itself than whole assembly. I didn’t like to patch holes in rear wheel wells, changing exhaust pipes, horrendous front brake calipers… But I did like non-interference engine that I didn’t have to change timing belt, clutch, cv boots, ball joint, shocks and struts and all other components that went 195K / 16.5 years

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Id also like to point out that we are talking about a sub $30k car. If you are going to put more than 5 years and 100k miles on it without issue and lets just say that at 7 years and 150k miles noticeable rust appears, how much money are you really out at that point? Stop being so cheap and just enjoy the car you want. Rust or no rust, a 7 year old car with that many miles and which had a low price of entry to begin with isn’t going to fetch enough money to write home about, win or lose.

      • 0 avatar
        Jgwag1985

        You are involved in an accident. Which 7 year old car would you want to be in? A car with no rust or car with rust? Rust is going to compromise the strength/safety of the car. It’s not about the money.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        So cars <$30k are allowed to rust in 7 years. If I spend $50k, how many years does that buy me under your system?

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Where do you guys even get this money? I paid $18K in total for iTouring. iTouring back then had 2 options – sunroof and BOSE stereo for extra $1200. When I bought ’10, exactly same but with those 2 options, these people left their purchasing sheet in the car. According to it, these people paid north of $21K. 21-1.2 still >18. where did she get those extra $$$ to give to a dealer?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Well I buy used luxury cars, so I don’t spend that kind of money. But a lot of people in America overspend and have quite a lot of debt in their mortgage, car, education, and credit cards.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    OP, you want Krowned. How far are you located from Canada, eh?

  • avatar
    mikey

    Great idea 28…About a 132 Loonys= 103 Green backs. Pick up a two four, of brewskis , at duty free. Maybe catch the feature, at the peelers, eh

  • avatar
    nels0300

    I’ve had 4 Mazdas, 3 of them rusted prematurely, didn’t have the other one long enough.

    I had a Mazda Protege, Mazda3, and Mazda6, each time I told myself Mazda fixed it, but they all rusted prematurely, all in the rear fenders.

    I read all of the rave reviews on the new Mazda6; didn’t even look at them when the time came to buy another midsize sedan.

  • avatar
    cutchemist42

    I can never trust Mazda again after my Pro5 had to be legally taken off the road. They wasted my money….

  • avatar
    Jgwag1985

    No to Ziebart or anything else that hardens. POR15? Used it, prepped surface properly, flaked off after a year. Krown (Canadian company, locations in Ohio) rustproofing, have to do it annually. I like it, been doing it a couple years now. If you are a DIY type you can get Krown in aerosol cans, but my experience with their cans is more comes out top of can than nozzle. The American version of Krown is Carwell CP90. You can buy by the gallon and apply by a sprayer…..Don’t worry about Krown or Carwell getting on your driveway, it does not stain. Make take a couple days to dry but does not stain.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Great purchase! I have the GT version of that exact car in that exact colour. It is beautiful and glorious to drive. :)

  • avatar
    darex

    Ugh!!! Please fix the heading of this article. Don’t writers spell-check their work?

    Here’s a hint: in singular, it’s “millennium”, and it has two Ns.

    Oh, and in a twist of irony, that Mazda 929 that Mazda called “Millenia”, was also not spelled right.

  • avatar
    Zoom

    Just got rid of my 2004 Mazda3. Noticed rust coming through the rear fenders at about 10 years. Always had a garage to park in, and I ran it through a touch-less car wash at least once a month, weather permitting. It was black, and still looked pretty good, considering it’s age.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Cosmoline weathershed from eBay. ~$15/can. The smell isn’t nice but it is a wax dissolved in a petroleum based solvent. Apply it in light coats and do several applications to build up a nice waxy film.

    Spray anything and everything that looks like it can/will rust. That means stamped steel sheet metal control arms, subframes, any underbody sheet metal that is exposed and isn’t well painted/coated from the factory. Spray that cosmoline right over the black weaksauce paint the factory applies. Shoot the cosmoline inside tubular subframes too because you’re already making a horrible smell might as well make it worth your while.

    Fortunately the smell doesn’t stay in the car but cosmoline is not nice to clean up from a tile floor so get a large coardboard floor you can break dance on and then throw out after you are done with the cosmo coating.

  • avatar
    Von

    If you want to get real crazy about it, lift the car up, get a big brush, cover yourself up real good, especially the eyes, and spray brake cleaner in small areas and scrub clean with the brush. Then get some Eezox from Amazon or your local gun store, make sure it’s the spray can variety, and spray it liberally. Let it sit for a couple of hours and you should be good for the salt season. Do this again in the Spring.

    One note though, after you clean it off with brake cleaner, you are exposing any non-treated or coated metal, and it’s going to rust real easy, so make sure you don’t wait more than a few minutes between that and the Eezox. And avoid plastics or lubed areas with that brake cleaner.

    I would only do this for a car I plan to keep running for at least 15 years, and that didn’t start off with any rust or real bad gunk on the underside.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      I don’t know about Eezox, never heard of it before, but LPS (lpslabs.com) is available in the US. It’s used widely in aviation (smells like Cesna!). They’ve got a bunch of products, you would want one that acts as a penetrant and leaves a protective coating.

      The problem with only spraying from below is that you will miss a lot of rust-prone areas. That’s why places like Krown drill holes. You can probably get to most of those areas the hard way: remove door stoppers to get into B and C pillars, look for access holes in other areas, etc.

      Then again, I see that Krown.com shows a dealer in Salem Ohio. Problem solved.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Theres one thing thats been bugging me about Mazda rust issues

    Proteges are known to be a joke when it comes to rust, but yet their Ford Escort/Mercury siblings seem to fair better against salt?

    Did Ford rust-proof their stuff better? Or is it just more careful owners?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    There’s a thread like this about every three weeks, and about every three weeks I feel glad that I live somewhere with no snow, no salt, and no rust. A friend has a battered, beat-down ’00 Protege that has had no cosmetic attention whatsoever over its ~200,000 miles. No rust. Also no mechanical issues except for one very big one (failed automatic transmission at 90k).

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I own a 2004 Mazda3, purchased new, in the Canadian prairies. It is shocking how badly some of these have rusted, even the refreshed ones that are 2+ years newer than mine. The rear fenders have all but disappeared on some of them.

    No visible rust on mine so far. I use a straw brush to clean and then spray the inside of the rear fenders with the green Rust Check every spring and fall. I also spray inside the door drains with the thinner red stuff. The fact that it stays oily and collects dirt for months after seems like a good thing.

    http://s754.photobucket.com/user/rpn453/media/Mazda3at3Flags.jpg.html

    That’s not rust on the bottom of the doors, it’s dirt, stuck to the oil.

    I rarely even wash my car during the winter.

    Stay away from warm garages where the car stays wet. I just park on the driveway on those days. Dry and/or frozen cars don’t rust much.

  • avatar
    friedclams

    I try to run cars forever because I am a cheapskate. Rust on the body is one thing (you can patch or ignore rust holes), but when the brake lines and fuel lines rust out, that is a very expensive mandatory repair that usually sends an old car to the junkyard. Does Krown protect against line rust?

    Also, count me as another Mazda Protege owner whose car rusted to an astonishing degree (even the horn rusted solid!). That and the constant rattles, suspension groan, EGR valve clogging, brake noise, etc. led me to dump it at only 74K miles.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    @heavyhandle, thanks. Unfortunately my quality of care/work has decreased as I have aged. A bad attitude and weakening eyes are what I blame this on.

    For other commentators, recently had to replace a rusty fuel line on our one car that had not been Krowned. Checked the others and they are all fine. So it seems that Krown may also help these components.

    Both the red and the green Rust Check in aerosal cans have their own particular use and I do use both during the year. Generally prefer the green and often use it to lubricate hinges, etc. In my toolbox it has replaced white lithium grease for most applications.

    Ford had their own rust issues, the Rusty Ford class action lawsuits of the 1970’s. Ford’s propensity to fall prey to early and very severe rust is a major reason why you probably do not see any of these once very popular cars in northern climates. Ford had to correct this issue, as it seriously impacted their bottom line. Probably more so than ‘exploding Pintos’ and ‘rolling over Explorers’.

  • avatar
    bikephil

    Ahh, you poor northern suckers. Just move down South where the weather is warm, the people are friendly, and there are actually jobs available. The north died in 1972.

  • avatar

    Thank you for the e excellent advice. I’m going to make sure that I pass along some of this information to my friends and clients who are looking at Mazdas. To be honest, a lot of people don’t even think twice about what rust issues their car may have much less take steps to prevent it, so this is really helpful! Thanks!


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