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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! I have a 2012 Mazda 3i skyactiv which is pretty fun to drive. I decided to change my own oil this time and when i got under it, I was pretty shocked to see so much rust under it. The car was purchased new in September of 2012 with 7 miles on it, 7 miles from the dealer going to get gas and coming back in the fall. We live in New York state where they use salt, but wash it much more frequently than our other cars since it's new. Tonight i discovered the underside has more rust on it on the exhaust system than my 2002 civic with 187K miles and my 2006 sienna with 110k miles. I took photos of the front brake rotors also and you can see the rust already on the frame and there are spots all over the frame with these rust spots. In the photos its hard to see, but the pipe itself is really rusty all the way back, I dont really care about the shield which is also rusty. I guess I'm feeling either Mazda should do something to help me or I'm going to do everything I can to get rid of this car. Does anyone know if there's a known problem or have any suggestions?
Thanks
Matt
 

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That's what I'm afraid of, if this is normal for a Mazda we are going to get rid of it. I traded an 03 protege which was rotted pretty bad and I'm glad the dealer didn't look under it before offering what he did for a trade in because the frame was pretty weak. I traded that car before my older 02 civic because as I've said the civic actually has no rust on it. I think i made a bad investment.
 

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Silver Surfer
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Well I'm not so sure.. My car is like 8 months old n there's no rust at all.. o_O I doubt u can call it normal


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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Well I'm not so sure.. My car is like 8 months old n there's no rust at all.. o_O I doubt u can call it normal
You're also in warm and dry socal. There better not be any rust!

Matt: On the Canadian forums, Mazdas are notorious for rust issues. Apparently the salt really eats them up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This winter we made a point of getting the car washed every week to include the underbody. Most washes dont include the underbody, but we've made a point of finding the ones that do because of salt. We've never bought a new car off the lot until now and I have really tried to take care of it, pay for premium oil changes. This time I did it myself so I could look under it. This is one winter and 7 months of ownership, what does 5 years and 5 winters look like of payments compared to now. I brought my 02 protege in and dealer 1 wouldn't even make an offer for a trade in due to rust, dealer 2 made an offer and I took it, but it made me think what the future holds for another Mazda I wanted to buy. I was hoping to find a recall or warranty that would address this, but i think it's just Mazda metal which is what i traded to get rid of. 6 months and it's rotting.
 

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Just curious by any chance did your Mazda sit in the flood waters from Super Storm Sandy? :stuart:

 

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My Car has been through 3 Ottawa winters and we use tons of salt here on the roads in winter. I get my car treated with Krown rustproof every year it is an oil based treatment. I have no rust on the undercarriage. The underside still looks like the day I bought the car.
BTW it is normal for an exhaust to look like that after a short time, as the exhaust cools off moisture forms on the outside causing rust. This is a natural process.

Pat.
 

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Zoom - Zoom
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i bought my car Mar of 2012 brand new. i live in Massachusetts which dumps tons of salt on our roads. i washed mine once every 2 weeks in the car wash with underbody wash ect. i recently was under there removing my speed exhaust and was shocked at how little rust i had. you must have a friday car. these things dont rust any faster then a honda. knuckles, control arms ect will always get a surface rust no matter what car company it is
 

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im in montreal... which is pretty bad with salts on the road in the winters.

i got mine rust-proof with the dealer and when i went to get my mags changed i have my car lifted up and no rust at all on the underbody
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the replies and feedback. It's not a super storm Sandy car, it was sitting for sale in Syracuse and not involved in the flooding or storm. I love the car, got a good deal on it and would hate to part with it. My Protege was an awesome car but the rust on the frame was so bad I think it's making me a little leary of Mazda metal, yet i traded it for a new one. I don't like all the plastic under it, it seems the road salt has found ways to get past it, so underbody washes really aren't that effective because of the plastic shields. I'm not worried about the thin metal shields, but the exhaust and rotors look terrible already which is really surprising. I'd hate to think what it would look like if I didn't have the underside washed every week. Anyhow, thanks again for the replies and information.
Matt
 

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brake parts (Discs and drums) are considered consumables and do NOT include a passivation process in their manufacturing. since they are generally made from ductile iron, arguably these should be the first things to rust on your car. the carbon in the iron will prevent the rust from weakening the iron structure but would allow for surface rust. you will have to replace your discs from wear before the rust will cause it to "fall apart" if it is a daily driver.

as far as the exhaust goes, not many manufactures use high grade SS for oem exhaust and would be willing to bet that mazda used 202 grade SS, for cost reduction. it will rust, at an very slow rate, although at slightly accelerated rate due to your local driving conditions, depending on care and ID wall thickness you should not have holes in it for at least 6-10 years with the 202 grade tubing. fact of life if you live in a salt road area and rust will happen.

the only areas that you should be truly keeping an eye on is motor, trans and suspension mounting locations, they should be powered coated, or coated in a rust preventive coating (like under body tar, butyl rubber )
 

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Another Mid-Western US/salt exposed owner here. The exhaust doesn't look any worse than I've seen normally on other cars. As was mentioned, a little surface pittig on things like the pipes, catalytic converter, and mufler are normal from my experience. The brakes don't look that bad either, but I can't tell from the picture.

During the winter months I typically hit a touchless wash with an under body cycle, or will hit a coin-op car wash place and hose down the underbody and the wheel wells any chance I get. Doing that has keep my 2010, and all other cars I've owned pretty rust free and running well for 10+ years.
 

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I don't see anything in your two photos that should cause concern. You said that you get the underside washed every week, but I assume you mean with an automated system from underneath. These systems are useless. Get under the car with a hose that has some real pressure to it, and really spray it all off. The fact that your Honda has less rust is most likely due to the content of the metal that each manufacturer uses; everything you're seeing is surface rust, which may not be attractive, but it won't hurt anything. If it bothers you that much, you need to get those parts painted or coated.
 

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I'll revive the thread. My 12 sky is 13 months old. After a good wax 2 weeks ago I noticed a small spec of rust on the plastic sil around the back window. I don't really know how to explain but it's the trim around the door/window. It's small but certainly noticeable once you know it's there. Will post a picture later and i'll see what the dealer does on my next oil change.
 
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