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Rust-issues in northern USA?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by GTV6, Aug 5, 2017.

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  1. GTV6

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    There has been quite a bit of discussion in other threads about exterior coatings and wraps. The more of these you use the more problematic are auto car washes including the chemicals in touch less washes.
    For those of us driving salt covered roads what would seem to be the vulnerable components? I know Trev had his magnet on the aluminum body. What about the undercarriage. Anyone know about suspension and battery under plate? Thanks.
     
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    • Rich M

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      This is a very good question. It would be great to hear from an early Model S owner who daily drives in the Northeast. I really don't think anyone outside the area can comprehend the sheer amounts of salt that cover everything all winter long.
       
    • reagle

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      Good point- how many winters will it take to chew through the battery belly...
       
    • Spinball

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      I plan to keep my 3 for many years, so I am very happy the body panels are aluminum. Every car I've kept long term has ended up with ugly corrosion of various amounts. None escaped completely.
       
    • GTV6

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      My impression is that rust-proofing of body panels has improved in general. I have not heard of any models that predictably rust in spots like the fenders on early Honda's and Subarus, the welded seams on VW Vanagons and the entire bodies on Fiats (when they were built with recycled Russian steel.) However, suspension and engine components still corrode. I had a fitting on the backside of my Honda Element engine corrode to failure resulting in a blown head gasket on a carefully maintained 6 year old 100k mile engine. I'm hoping my M3 will last as long as I need it even when it becomes an extra car.
       
    • Mike

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      Great topic. I'm in eastern Ontario and have to stay on top of the winter salt situation as well.

      I hope the rear wheel wells are finished in the style of Audi's (et. al.) where the leading edge of the rear wheel well (a.k.a. the 'dogleg') is sealed from the elements like the aft portion of the front wheel wheels are in pretty well every car on the road.

      My cars sit in a (radiant floor) heated garage with a heat recovery ventilation system (makes hand washing cars in the middle of winter a dream).

      I have always spent about 100 bucks on cans of Rust Check (or Krown or any reputable rust spray) when I first get a car and spray inside all the drip holes (base of doors, rear hatch, etc) plus the whole chassis (I have a 4 post hobby hoist), repeating this every spring. Has worked so far on all steel cars. I hope the TM3 aluminium skin to steel substructure contact points are sorted out to minimize galvanic effects.
       
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      • GTV6

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        Good advice on the spray. Heated garage sounds simply marvelous. Is the old advice to keep a 'salted' car outside at night valid on the basis that increased temperature activates the corrosive process?
         
      • Mike

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        Yes, the increased temperature will activate the corrosive process.

        I slow the corrosive processes down (above and beyond the rust spray protocols) by running the HRV system 24/7 plus power spraying the wheel wells after any drive that causes any accumulation of frozen precipitation within the wheel wells.

        I do wash, dry and light wax the cars once a week in the winter. I hate getting salt on any of my clothes or the car interior.

        As a side note, I use 3D rubber "floor liners" inside the car to trap the slop, but with one modification.

        The drivers footwell floor liner (when fresh from the factory ) does not go high enough behind the gas peddle or on top of the dead peddle to catch all the melting snow from my boots, so I add essentially another 6 inches of height to the whole mat where it rests against the firewall under the steering wheel. I use thin black rubber that is contact cemented to the top face of the front of the floor mat.

        My car is going to begin it's 10th winter and the carpet under the floor mat is still pristine.
         
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