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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK the first cruzes are getting to be 7-ish years old now. I have a '13. Since I live in the salt belt I was wondering where the cruzes start rusting? I had mine rust proofed when I bought it for $400ish bucks and so far no rust but this has been the first winter where I drove it on a regular basis all winter.
 

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Epic Beard Man
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I didn't rust proof mine. When I sold it, the only things rusty underneath were those few unpainted steel parts, axle shafts and the like. There was a little rust starting on the (painted) rear axle and Z link, but it was minor. The body itself looked really good, no rust starting at any seams or anything. I had it on my dad's lift a few times and could pretty thoroughly inspect.

The worst of it was actually on the trailer hitch. If it wasn't such a pain, I should have really taken it off every winter. The thick black powder coating was starting to loosen in spots on the frame of it, indicating rust underneath. I jacked the car up and almost took it off before selling, but between it being rusty and the bolts being rusty, I decided it wasn't worth my time to try to sell it separately and just left it on the car.

On the other hand, my MKZ had some rust starting on some of the sheet metal seams underneath, in addition to the kind of stuff the Cruze had going on. It had the same mileage but probably harsher use in the previous winters. I'll see how it's progressed this spring and probably treat it accordingly.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sunline how old were your vehicles? The cruze has some "plastic" parts rear bumper and perhaps the front bumper?
I would think the rocker panels are steel, though I haven't checked. Winter is almost over and we're getting a good deal of rain today washing the salt off the roads ect. That's what brought this to mind.
 

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Epic Beard Man
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Sunline how old were your vehicles? The cruze has some "plastic" parts rear bumper and perhaps the front bumper?
I would think the rocker panels are steel, though I haven't checked. Winter is almost over and we're getting a good deal of rain today washing the salt off the roads ect. That's what brought this to mind.
My Cruze was a 2012, and had about 60k on it when I sold it. Bought it new. It spent the first three years in an unheated, attached garage, and the last two in a heated garage. I know there are different theories on it, but I think the heated garage helps when it's warm enough to dry up all the moisture on the car.

MKZ is a 2014, in an unheated garage since new, except for the last year.

My Cruze had plastic side skirts covering the rockers, but if older GMs (especially Pontiacs) around here are any prediction for the future, the rockers will rust behind them until they eventually fall off. Whenever I washed the Cruze, I tried to hose out really well between the skirt and rocker, for whatever good that did.
 
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BU54......since we operate in essentially the same environment.....other than the unpainted steel parts mentioned I haven't seen too many corrosion points, yet.
Keep an eye on the inner lower trailing edge of the rear trunk lid......the salt gets vacuumed up there and I have seen surface corrosion on several cars at that point. Wax the inner edge whenever you can.
Regardless of manufacture, inner door bottom seams should be wiped and waxed frequently as well......always have been moisture traps.
One area of the Cruze body does concern me though....this is at the bottoms of the front fenders behind the wheels. The rocker panel extends forward and is covered by the trailing ends of the fenders. This is a mud and debris trap and if that stuff is packed between the panels it stays wet for many days......rust will result.
I'd recommend at least pulling the inner fender liners and give everything a good rinse followed by a compressed air blowout.

As mentioned, the RS versions with the tupperware rocker covers can be a problem so a lot of rinsing is recommended to flush things out.
The obvious undercar rinsing goes without saying......get on a creeper and flush/flush/flush.....you will get wet and grimy.

The other area I look at as a possible problem is where the rear bumper cover extensions meet the body sides.......these corners pack with mud fairly rapidly so flush from underneath between the liner and the actual wheel well.

Few realize the major cause of corrosion in the salt belt is not the snow and slush.
It is actually the dry salt dust you see boiling out from under the car(s) around you as well as your own. That dust gets into every crevice outside and inside the car. Salt dust will absorb moisture out of the air and, once it has it comes back to life to chew on the car some more.

Ever notice midwest cars have corrosion on their unpainted seat frames and dash board supports? That is from the salt dust migrating into the car and adhering to everything......every time something makes the inside damp (floormats come to mind) the salt sucks up the moisture....you see the results.

To anyone reading this....Stay out of Automatic Car Washes! Although it looks nasty, salt and dirt on the outside of the car causes no harm.
You think you are doing the car a favor by getting it washed.
In addition to putting millions of micro scratches on the car (from the ten million other filthy cars that loaded the wiping flaps and brushes that preceded you) you are washing it with salted water sprayed under pressure. It is forced into places that weren't designed to get wet.
Automatic car washes reclaim the majority of the water used, it is filtered (for debris) and the level is maintained (since some of it leaves with each car) in a underground tank. The only fresh water in that tank is that which is added to maintain the level.

So, you just spent a bunch of money to assure your car body has a shorter lifespan.
To clarify, this is specific to car washes that 'machine wash' the car. The car washes where you do it yourself use fresh water, however, unless the outside temperature is above freezing and will remain so for a few hours, you are doing damage as well.

Similar situation, pressurized water in places not designed for it and any water, once trapped in a seam (such as door skin to door frame) will freeze and split the seam, exposing raw, unpainted metal that will now corrode. From that point forward the cycle continues since the seam is now open further.....each time it freezes, the seam opens more. Ever notice a door bottom seam split open 45 degrees or more?
That is from water freezing in the 'you made it' channel.

ENOUGH!

My fingers are sore.....can you tell I hate rust?

Rob

Forgot to mention.....rust is a time thing.....has nothing to do with miles traveled.....rust never sleeps.
 

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I have been going to the same car wash for forty years, bought many new cars, I live near Indianapolis and I have never had a rusty car I purchased new. I have had some rusty cars I bought used. I like a clean car and many days I work 10-12 hours a day, when I was younger I would on occasion hand wash, the hand wash does provide a better wash and you know your car better.

I go thru the auto car wash and then spend 10 min wiping down door seems and everything on the car I can, it probably scratches the car but I won’t be washing a car when it’s 10 degrees outside.

I hear what your saying Robby, but yikes I can’t worry about everything. Smiles

I have had a Camaro SS convertible, I hand washed that car a lot, don’t like taking a convertible thru any car wash. But I didn’t drive it often, so hand washing once every couple weeks no big deal, never drove that car in winter so never saw salt.

I hate this new salt solution they spray on streets, it does turn to dust and makes a royal mess.
 

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My cruze was 5 when I took of off salt driving duty, the rear watts linkage, and motor craddle were getting pretty rusty

A friend of mine had a 2011 aswell and said when he was sawwping the head lights, behind the bumper was getting surface rust too

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BU54......since we operate in essentially the same environment.....other than the unpainted steel parts mentioned I haven't seen too many corrosion points, yet.
Keep an eye on the inner lower trailing edge of the rear trunk lid......the salt gets vacuumed up there and I have seen surface corrosion on several cars at that point. Wax the inner edge whenever you can.
The tailgate on my 2003 S-10 is the same way. It rusted through where I couldn't see it before I knew what was going on. Now it's migrating up the tailgate rapidly because there's a long hole/slot for the salt to go up inside the tailgate now. I want to take care of the cruze so this doesn't happen to it too. So knowing where the rust is most prone to start helps.
 
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