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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After always washing my Cruze by hand and giving it an underbody spray down during each wash the car is still rusting, and a particular spot is in an area that isn't completely accessible unless parts are disassembled. Now rust on the black painted suspension parts I guess is just unavoidable and less of a concern considering how heavy duty the metal is for these parts, however is the beginning of surface rust that concerns me on thin sheet metal parts.

maybe I'm over reacting or maybe it's just a fact of life in the north with cars. I was literally under the car all winter long keeping it cleaned. Well the temps have finally broke and it's been
in the 60s and 70s and suddenly
the whole underbody looks different as if the rust occurred over night. From research I've learned that the chemical reaction of rust occurs more rapidly at higher temps. Even though I made sure the salt was off of the car before the temps rose, this still happened. I'm guess the surfaces were weakened by the salt and the rising temp was the final catalyst to cause this visible rust in literally a few days? Because as mentioned I've been inspecting the car weekly all winter and didn't notice these surface rust areas until today.






As you can see one of the pics is of the rocker panel pinch weld area and it appears the paint is pealing of in a thin clear sheet almost like peeling clearcoat. So would anyone consider all that I'm experiencing as normal wear? Mine is a 2011.
 

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You live in the rust belt , so any and all rust on a 3 year old cruzen would be expected !
 
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I live in MN, very little hope for cars here, lol. On my other car (07 Cobalt), I didn't have anything done and in the 7 years I've owned it, very little rust has occurred (daily driven). Now on the Cruze, I had a protection package added...interior, exterior, underbody.
 

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That is not normal on my last two cars, especially after 2 or 3 years. One was 16 years old when I traded it in and the other one is 11 years old and still being driven daily, and neither one had anything like you show in the pictures. I'm a fan of Permatex RustStop on cars. I go under when the car is new and coat all exposed bolts and fasteners. I also look for any broken protection areas underneath when I change oil. Haven't had to do much on these last two. The new car has a full length and width under body aero panel system, so I'm still not sure what that might be hiding.
 

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In my area we have a few dealers that sell a product called rust terminator. I'ts an electronic rust inhibitor. While I have read on several different units and forums saying they are the greatest thing since sliced bread or not worth half a penny this one comes with a warranty. its 270 dollars and if installed within the first 3k miles and 12 months it has a lifetime unlimited rust warranty. If the car rusts they pay to have it fixed. have to get yearly inspections but its worth it to me. and if it doesn't work they still pay in the end.
 

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and I just saw your from akron so you should be able to find a dealer for one around you. They are made in ohio somewhere. I got mine from auto details in elyria
 

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The Cruze will be stripped, cleaned, and applied with some POR 15 this summer or next.

Sent from AutoGuide.com App
IMO a better alternative is Rust bullet. A little bit more money but its a polyurethane based where POR-15 is porcelain based so its prone to chipping more. I used rust bullet on one of my truck frames in the past and it held up awesome for years.
 

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Yeah man I will get right on that Idea for ya . Oh wait I undercoated !
 

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One thing to keep in mind is the moisture. If the surface is wet or moist it will be rusting. So, ventilation of the car storage is also very important in addition to the use of rust proofing agents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The only reason why I didn't use any rust proofing/undercoating because I was told by GM not to do that on this car. Why does GM have in the manual not to rustproof or undercoat and that it will void the warranty? This makes no sense.
 

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I paid the dealership $600 for undercoating that is warrantied for 10 years against rust, just have to pay $40/yr to get it touched up and looked at. I wouldn't drive it off the lot until the undercoating was done.
 

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Looks like surface rust bro but I real can't make out what's happening in the picture of your wheel arc where the lacquer has pealed of that's very strange , probably the best option would be to do what money man did and see if it can still be done seeing as you live in a bad area for corrosion luckily I live in a hot dry climate underneath of my car looks new apart from a bit of dust
 

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The only reason why I didn't use any rust proofing/undercoating because I was told by GM not to do that on this car. Why does GM have in the manual not to rustproof or undercoat and that it will void the warranty? This makes no sense.
Manufacturers recommend against rustproofing because the applicators often apply too much material and end up plugging the various water drains in enclosed panels such as the doors and rocker panels.
They begin to hold water and the rust prevention ends up being a rust enhancer.
The other concern is as the rustproofing product ages, it begins to delaminate from the panel it is applied to.
These delamination areas become moisture (and salty water) traps, also creating the corrosion it was supposed to stop.

All manufacturers aim for ten years of seasonal salt exposure without 'Rusr Through' and, for the most part, salt belt cars built in the last 15/20 years seem to make the cut.

Regarding the rust in the photos......ugly as it is, it is surface rust and you can arrest its progress using some of the chemicals and paints mentioned.
You'll notice, all the start points are edges where hard debris is thrown by the wheels.
Rust always starts at an edge or weld point......that is shown by the rear axle photo.....the rust is at a spot joint where the metal was red hot for a moment.

Touch up as needed.....this is a annual event for us snowbelt operators.....part of the springtime ritual.

And to answer the thread starter......sadly, yes, rust is inevitable and unbeatable if you operate in a environment that requires chemicals be applied to the roads for safe travel.........sucks to be us.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Could you or someone please populate a list along with the procedure for touching up the various underbody surfaces? For example the black suspension components, the pinch weld area, and the part of the underbody that is the same color as the car but is more of a flat type less shinny version of the paint on the rest of the body. What is the complete list of paints, primers, etc use for these areas. I'd touch it up every spring if I simply knew the paints. I do know that you apply the same body paint on the pinch weld you would on the rest of the car but beyond that point, what exactly is that paint that it used? Again, this paint is the same color as the car but is duller And flat. Thank you.
 
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