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#1 2013-08-28 07:50:28

BeachZone
Member
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2013-08-23
User Number: 10233
Posts: 118

Rust Issues!

Hey guys and gals,

I am interested in purchasing an Aero for my gf to replace her current car. The problem I am having is that all the ones I find are in humid climates and the engine bays all look like crap with bolts/nuts rusted. This worries me to death being that I live in the desert and have never encountered vehicles like this. But it's a trade off. Every Aero I come across in a dry climate has tons of Sun damage like clearcoat failure, oxidized paint and headlights, trim is all dry and faded etc etc, and every Aero I come across in a wet climate looks nice cosmetically but looks terrible mechanically. I am not New to Subaru's as this will be my 5th "Impreza" but I don't know much mechanically.
So my question is:

What type of issues do I risk running into down the road by purchasing a 92x that comes from a wet climate? Anything I can do to reassure myself that everything will be ok?

I am real picky about cosmetics (I own a detail/vinyl wrap company) because if someone cared to maintain it's "looks" then they most likely cared to maintain the car mechanically, but I know that mother nature is out of everyone's hands. I am not willing to sacrifice mechanical reliability over cosmetics but rather have a car that shares both.

I plan on getting the car checked out by a local Subaru dealership before I purchase one and either have it shipped or fly out for it, but I would like to hear from any knowledgeable Subaru/92x folk about what to look for specifically.

I appreciate any/all input and I thank you in advance.


-Beach


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#2 2013-08-28 08:17:23

krazykarguy
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Re: Rust Issues!

Beyond a slight mist of zinc on the bolts, Subaru hardware typically rusts very quickly, especially when exposed to salt. The bodies also rust in the typical 'jap car' spots (i.e. rear fenders, rockers, etc.). Some corrosion is to be expected, and should not be of concern, especially when it comes to fasteners and hardware.

However, you're talking about acquiring an economy/performance car that is nearly 8-9 years old at this point - you need to reset your standards.


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#3 2013-08-28 10:02:04

BeachZone
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From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2013-08-23
User Number: 10233
Posts: 118

Re: Rust Issues!

Thanks for the response, Krazy.
So I shouldn't be all that worried about a little rust here and there is what you're saying? I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything and that the rust won't be affecting any areas that'll be a costly repair in the near future.

I understand the vehicles i'm looking at are nothing close to New and realize their age has plenty to do with it. But I don't believe it's impossible to find a few that have been very well cared for. You'd be surprised to see how many old vehicles that are around my area @ 10+ yrs old and look better than the majority of vehicles half their age or newer. There are some people out there that understand the importance of car care. That's who I want to buy from because that's how I am.

I'm not looking for a showroom condition Aero. I would just like to find one that has had an owner that had regularly waxed/sealed it and performed it's maintenance on time without cutting corners. Is it going to be easy? Probably not. But am I in a hurry? Absolutely not. When the right one comes by I'll be ready to jump!


-Beach


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#4 2013-08-28 10:42:41

krazykarguy
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Re: Rust Issues!

Even huge amounts of rust on fasteners shouldn't be a problem. The part that you can't see (threads) is what matters. Body rust is an entirely different animal - once it has started, it will not stop.

My Aero has almost 128k on it, and has spent it's entire life in the northeast (CT for 31k, then VT). I drive it all winter and take exceptional mechanical care of it. I gave up long ago on keeping it perfect on the exterior, because frankly the Subaru paint sucks, it's black, and I live on a dirt road. With a 3 year old and a newborn at home, just finding time to wash the car is a struggle.

Honestly, the 50k mile car in the other thread looks like the one you want. Your criteria for the car is tight enough that you WILL have to travel to get the 9-2x Aero that you want. If you really want the 2.5L and an '06, pull the trigger or you'll miss it.


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#5 2013-08-28 11:13:59

kornfeld
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Re: Rust Issues!

BeachZone wrote:

There are some people out there that understand the importance of car care. That's who I want to buy from because that's how I am.

I used to live in a dry climate as well, and I never realized how quickly something can rust in a humid and salty environment.  It really doesn't have anything to do with not understanding car care. 

I moved from New Mexico to the midwest in the middle of winter.  Shortly thereafter was the first time I parked my car after work in the evening, woke up to drive it in the morning, and the rotors had rusted so much that it almost felt like the parking brake was engaged until I made a few stops.


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#6 2013-08-28 11:32:36

Augie
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Registered: 2009-01-02
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Re: Rust Issues!

kornfeld wrote:

BeachZone wrote:

There are some people out there that understand the importance of car care. That's who I want to buy from because that's how I am.

I used to live in a dry climate as well, and I never realized how quickly something can rust in a humid and salty environment.  It really doesn't have anything to do with not understanding car care. 

I moved from New Mexico to the midwest in the middle of winter.  Shortly thereafter was the first time I parked my car after work in the evening, woke up to drive it in the morning, and the rotors had rusted so much that it almost felt like the parking brake was engaged until I made a few stops.

Mine is parked in a garage, even in the summer if I dont drive it for a few days the rotors have some surface rust that I can feel/hear unil I have stopped a few times.

I have some bubbling on the rear fenders that I am in the process of taking care of, removing paint applying anti-rust/rust encapsulation primer sanding smooth and then repainting the rear quarter panels. As long as you catch it early enough you can fix rust issues. The thing it catching them.


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#7 2013-08-28 13:11:57

BeachZone
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From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2013-08-23
User Number: 10233
Posts: 118

Re: Rust Issues!

krazykarguy wrote:

Even huge amounts of rust on fasteners shouldn't be a problem. The part that you can't see (threads) is what matters. Body rust is an entirely different animal - once it has started, it will not stop.

My Aero has almost 128k on it, and has spent it's entire life in the northeast (CT for 31k, then VT). I drive it all winter and take exceptional mechanical care of it. I gave up long ago on keeping it perfect on the exterior, because frankly the Subaru paint sucks, it's black, and I live on a dirt road. With a 3 year old and a newborn at home, just finding time to wash the car is a struggle.

Honestly, the 50k mile car in the other thread looks like the one you want. Your criteria for the car is tight enough that you WILL have to travel to get the 9-2x Aero that you want. If you really want the 2.5L and an '06, pull the trigger or you'll miss it.

Ah, ok, gotcha wink

I am more than familiar with the less than satisfactory Subaru paint, trust me!
After hearing a bit about your situation, being that I detail/vinyl wrap cars for a living, I'd highly suggest you find a reputable detailer around your area to have either CQuartz Finest or Opti-Coat Pro installed to not only protect but preserve the remaining paint you have! Just because it's black, you live on a dirt road, and don't have much free-time, doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the beauty side of things. I owned two black Subarus and I live in the desert smile
If you're not familiar with either of those Nano-Coatings, definitely look into them. I'd also be willing to help as best I can with any questions you may have or if you need any recommendations related to car care.

I used to live in a dry climate as well, and I never realized how quickly something can rust in a humid and salty environment.  It really doesn't have anything to do with not understanding car care. 

I moved from New Mexico to the midwest in the middle of winter.  Shortly thereafter was the first time I parked my car after work in the evening, woke up to drive it in the morning, and the rotors had rusted so much that it almost felt like the parking brake was engaged until I made a few stops.

My comment regarding people's misunderstanding of the importance of car care wasn't related to rust in a humid environment as I know that is unavoidable.

Your experience from the move is crazy nonetheless. I'm not sure I could've done that myself!

Mine is parked in a garage, even in the summer if I dont drive it for a few days the rotors have some surface rust that I can feel/hear unil I have stopped a few times.

I have some bubbling on the rear fenders that I am in the process of taking care of, removing paint applying anti-rust/rust encapsulation primer sanding smooth and then repainting the rear quarter panels. As long as you catch it early enough you can fix rust issues. The thing it catching them.

You should look into Opti-Coat as well!


-Beach


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#8 2013-08-28 13:42:27

Augie
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Registered: 2009-01-02
User Number: 3426
Posts: 1695

Re: Rust Issues!

BeachZone wrote:

You should look into Opti-Coat as well!


-Beach

More than likely I will be respraying the car this coming year, I have done a few cars and had great luck with the Corvair that I am going to try my had at the 92x I think.

Will keep it the Subaru Obsidian Black Pearl, but use a better brand of clear. I have a quart of OBP to start playing with seeing which clear coat works best this winter, Ill prep and spray a dozen small 12x12 squares with OBP then try different clears to see which lays down the best.


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#9 2013-08-28 13:46:04

BeachZone
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From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2013-08-23
User Number: 10233
Posts: 118

Re: Rust Issues!

But you should look into Opti-Coat for protecting the finish once all your repainting is complete wink


-Beach


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#10 2013-08-28 14:56:19

krazykarguy
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Re: Rust Issues!

My paint is fucked. Nothing left to save.  sad


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#11 2013-08-28 15:32:11

BlkSaabaru4Me
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From: Arlington, VA
Registered: 2011-04-14
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Re: Rust Issues!

krazykarguy wrote:

My paint is fucked. Nothing left to save.  sad

I could have my car re-painted once a week. By Friday and after at least 15 trips around the beltway (i495) it'll still look exactly the same. Full of rock chips from stones being thrown at 70+ mph. No offense but I don't think "Opti-Coat" is going to save our paint from that. I daily drive my car. She's not a garage queen. Dumping tons of money (relatively speaking) into trying to keep the stock paint on our cars looking minty-fresh is about the equivalent of throwing your spare change into a wishing well. Do it if it makes you feel good and you get some kind of personal satisfaction from it but don't think all your dreams will come true because you did.

I'm with Krazy on this one. I detail my interior often but know better then to waste my money on expensive washes/waxes on a car who's paint just can't stand up to daily use.

As far as your previous statement

because if someone cared to maintain it's "looks" then they most likely cared to maintain the car mechanically,

I don't believe this at all. The gentlemen that I bought my car from had a great example of a lightly used and never abused but always maintained Aero. No modifications at all. But as far as cosmetics, yikes! Broken fog lights, paint chips, dents, dog hair, etc. Another member recently posted that he purchased a car that was owned by someone that was anal about detailing but came to find out he didn't do any of the major maintenance and the current owner is now paying for it. So I wouldn't necessarily rely on a cars cleanliness as a matter of fact that it was also mechanically sound.


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#12 2013-08-28 18:07:48

BeachZone
Member
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2013-08-23
User Number: 10233
Posts: 118

Re: Rust Issues!

BlkSaabaru4Me wrote:

krazykarguy wrote:

My paint is fucked. Nothing left to save.  sad

I could have my car re-painted once a week. By Friday and after at least 15 trips around the beltway (i495) it'll still look exactly the same. Full of rock chips from stones being thrown at 70+ mph. No offense but I don't think "Opti-Coat" is going to save our paint from that. I daily drive my car. She's not a garage queen. Dumping tons of money (relatively speaking) into trying to keep the stock paint on our cars looking minty-fresh is about the equivalent of throwing your spare change into a wishing well. Do it if it makes you feel good and you get some kind of personal satisfaction from it but don't think all your dreams will come true because you did.

I'm with Krazy on this one. I detail my interior often but know better then to waste my money on expensive washes/waxes on a car who's paint just can't stand up to daily use.

As far as your previous statement

because if someone cared to maintain it's "looks" then they most likely cared to maintain the car mechanically,

I don't believe this at all. The gentlemen that I bought my car from had a great example of a lightly used and never abused but always maintained Aero. No modifications at all. But as far as cosmetics, yikes! Broken fog lights, paint chips, dents, dog hair, etc. Another member recently posted that he purchased a car that was owned by someone that was anal about detailing but came to find out he didn't do any of the major maintenance and the current owner is now paying for it. So I wouldn't necessarily rely on a cars cleanliness as a matter of fact that it was also mechanically sound.

I don't believe I said "Opti-Coat" would save our paint from rock chips. Opti-Coat is not an 8mil thick paint protection film that will protect your paint from rocks on the highway, nor is it advertised as such. Even my vinyl wrapped Sti wasn't fully protected against those little devils.

My '06 Impreza was OBP and daily'd 40 highway miles round trip to a farm 5-7 days a week and was stunning. Far from a garage queen. I couldn't go a couple weeks without having someone comment on how well kept it was for it's age and the fact it was shinier than brand new black cars that haven't left the lot. Exactly the reason I was able to get what I paid for it nearly 4 years later. Did it have it's fair share of rock chips? Of course it did, but I didn't care. Before I ended up giving it to the wife I daily'd a 1986 GL-10 XT for almost two years, same story.

You, my friend, have misunderstood me completely.

because if someone cared to maintain it's "looks" then they most likely cared to maintain the car mechanically,

Read bold^^..... It's not 100% true, but lets be real. If someone really cared for their car, enough to wax it regularly and keep it looking nice, then they more than likely maintained it mechanically so that their pride and joy will last them a good while. You know what i'm saying.
Am I referring to the hippies with 5 dogs that could give a shit how their car looks but still want it to last them? No. I'm saying this because that is what i'm looking for.

Btw, I'm here to tell you that 90% of so-called "detailers" don't know what "detailing" is, so I don't have a hard time believing that at all. But trust me buddy, I'm not basing everything on looks and certainly won't make my decision on that alone. 2 weeks ago I was interested in an Impreza up in Denver. Looked very nice, spent $160 for a pre purchase inspection at the local dealer, and it ended up being junk. I'm not that stupid. I'm not offended by your assumption, just saying.


-Beach


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#13 2013-08-29 09:28:54

krazykarguy
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Re: Rust Issues!

My car's paint is in terrible shape. My front bumper cover is cracked. I transport a Siberian Husky in the car regularly. There is rust starting to form on several body panels. Hell, the entire right side was re-sprayed with the wrong blue/green pearl mix in the black paint. To a common observer, my car is not in good shape.

However, as I said above, it's in tip-top mechanical shape. hammyt made a comment in another thread that rang particularly true for me:

hammyt wrote:

The exterior of my car has one purpose, protect the actual parts of my car that matter.

I find this to be truer by the day. I was a detailer for 2 years at a small dealership, and I can still make a car look new again. With two kids, a full-time job, and taking on the burden of doing all of my own car maintenance for two cars and a motorcycle, keeping my car pretty has fallen near the bottom of the list.

Eventually, if funds permit, I may re-spray the car (as ANY body shop's paint has to be 1000x better than FHI's paint). When I had my Civic re-sprayed back in '02, the paint was so much better than the OE paint ever was.


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#14 2013-08-29 09:44:10

BeachZone
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From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2013-08-23
User Number: 10233
Posts: 118

Re: Rust Issues!

phillipj wrote:

Just to echo krazy and BlkSaabaru, yes of course the OBP paint job on our cars is terrible-- so it's easy to get the feeling that if it is a daily it is almost not worth paying attention to. I don't think it necessarily translates into how well you mechanically upkeep your car.

Expectations on exterior cosmetics will have a lot to do with locality... If my car lived it's life in Pasedena I feel it could (and should) be a perfect 10/10 on the exterior, but being a daily parked mostly outside on the streets in the city of Chicago you kind of aspire to be a 6 or a 7. But that doesnt mean the engine and the mechanicals and the interior arent a 10.

Just because some may have an OBP daily doesn't mean that it isn't worth paying attention to.

http://i1208.photobucket.com/albums/cc368/BeachZone1/2011-11-27_17-10-28_868-1.jpg

^^^That was my '06 a few weeks before I sold it. I did the 60k service myself, all oil changes, tire rotations etc., and paid for a $350 set of tires. I love all my cars. Whether they're beat on like the '06 or '86, or not like my Sti, they get taken care of inside and out. Black, thin, and soft Subaru paint don't matter. After almost 4 years I sure did appreciate the little I put into it to basically borrow the car. I'd say it's worth it wink

Get a qualified "detailer" to go over the entire finish with a paint thickness gauge to make sure there is enough paint to work with, have him compound/polish it, and then have them apply Opti-Coat or a similar Nano-Coating. Done and done. Forget about wasting time waxing/sealing and your car will look better than 75%+ vehicles on the road for years to come. Simple. Or just let the elements beat on your car, let it turn to crap (cosmetically), becauseyoudon'tcare and it isn't a "garage queen" lambo. To each his own.



-Beach


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#15 2013-08-29 09:56:37

kornfeld
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Re: Rust Issues!

No denying, that car looks great.  Out of curiosity, where all have you lived for more than a year or so?

BeachZone wrote:

I did the 60k service myself, all oil changes, tire rotations etc., and paid for a $350 set of tires.

I have to admit, this sentence made me laugh. biggrin


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#16 2013-08-29 10:09:24

BeachZone
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From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2013-08-23
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Posts: 118

Re: Rust Issues!

kornfeld wrote:

No denying, that car looks great.  Out of curiosity, where all have you lived for more than a year or so?

BeachZone wrote:

I did the 60k service myself, all oil changes, tire rotations etc., and paid for a $350 set of tires.

I have to admit, this sentence made me laugh. biggrin

big_smile

Born and raised in New Mexico.


-Beach


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#17 2013-08-29 10:30:11

kornfeld
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Re: Rust Issues!

Me too.   embeer

When I moved away, I couldn't believe how differently cars aged when they were put in areas with tons of heat, cold, and salt. Add to it that in NM, it's easy to have big parking spaces and parking lots almost everywhere you would go, whereas in bigger cities, you're constantly parking inches away from other cars. Then tack on a winter that lasts effectively for 6+ months, and all of a sudden it becomes very easy to lose interest in caring about the finish on your car.


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#18 2013-08-29 11:04:35

kornfeld
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Re: Rust Issues!

BeachZone wrote:

<snip>I don't know much mechanically.

So my question is:

What type of issues do I risk running into down the road by purchasing a 92x that comes from a wet climate? Anything I can do to reassure myself that everything will be ok?

To answer your original question, I can't think of any issues that come up as a result of rust, aside from it being a pain in the ass to do some work on them because things can be seized.  In other words, I'm having a hard time remembering if there are any specific problems that come up from things rusting.  So if you aren't doing the work yourself, I don't think you'll really face any issues.  The only thing I can think of that might be a problem is that the rear hatch unlock mechanism can get get gummed up and you have to do a little trick to get it to open back up, but that's a trivial problem, and it completely went away once I left the midwest.  I could be forgetting some other issues though, so hopefully someone else will chime in.

The work that you've described you do (changing fluids, rotating tires, etc.) won't really be much different on a rusted car vs. a non-rusted car.  If you end up doing anything more substantial (suspension work, major mechanical stuff), then you'll end up seeing a difference, but if you're paying someone else, then that's their problem.


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#19 2013-08-29 11:07:22

krazykarguy
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Re: Rust Issues!

kornfeld wrote:

... tack on a winter that lasts effectively for 6+ months, and all of a sudden it becomes very easy to lose interest in caring about the finish on your car.

Exactly. Come to Vermont some time and suddenly my car looks great against some of the rusted-out beaters plying the streets:
http://i663.photobucket.com/albums/uu358/civicturbo79/civic%20vt%20i%20project/2011-10-18124347.jpg
http://images.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/mgbgt.jpg

It starts snowing here in mid-November, and usually doesn't stop until mid-April.

Last edited by krazykarguy (2013-08-29 11:10:22)


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#20 2013-08-29 15:55:44

BeachZone
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From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2013-08-23
User Number: 10233
Posts: 118

Re: Rust Issues!

kornfeld wrote:

Me too.   embeer

When I moved away, I couldn't believe how differently cars aged when they were put in areas with tons of heat, cold, and salt. Add to it that in NM, it's easy to have big parking spaces and parking lots almost everywhere you would go, whereas in bigger cities, you're constantly parking inches away from other cars. Then tack on a winter that lasts effectively for 6+ months, and all of a sudden it becomes very easy to lose interest in caring about the finish on your car.

I know what you're saying.

To answer your original question, I can't think of any issues that come up as a result of rust, aside from it being a pain in the ass to do some work on them because things can be seized.  In other words, I'm having a hard time remembering if there are any specific problems that come up from things rusting.  So if you aren't doing the work yourself, I don't think you'll really face any issues.  The only thing I can think of that might be a problem is that the rear hatch unlock mechanism can get get gummed up and you have to do a little trick to get it to open back up, but that's a trivial problem, and it completely went away once I left the midwest.  I could be forgetting some other issues though, so hopefully someone else will chime in.

The work that you've described you do (changing fluids, rotating tires, etc.) won't really be much different on a rusted car vs. a non-rusted car.  If you end up doing anything more substantial (suspension work, major mechanical stuff), then you'll end up seeing a difference, but if you're paying someone else, then that's their problem.

Sounds good. Thank you my distant NM brother. Why the hell did you move if you don't mind me asking?

Exactly. Come to Vermont some time and suddenly my car looks great against some of the rusted-out beaters plying the streets:

It starts snowing here in mid-November, and usually doesn't stop until mid-April.

Sounds like fun over there lol


-Beach


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#21 2013-08-29 16:23:44

kornfeld
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Re: Rust Issues!

BeachZone wrote:

Why the hell did you move if you don't mind me asking?

Initially, because I wanted to move to a big city as soon as I was done with college, so I went to the midwest.  Chicago winters felt like they lasted forever.  Those winters broke me of the desire to stay in the midwest, or to move east.

I still like NM, but everything I like about NM, I have in California now, plus a whole list of other awesome things.  It's awesome out here.  heart


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#22 2013-08-30 11:48:29

BeachZone
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From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2013-08-23
User Number: 10233
Posts: 118

Re: Rust Issues!

kornfeld wrote:

BeachZone wrote:

Why the hell did you move if you don't mind me asking?

Initially, because I wanted to move to a big city as soon as I was done with college, so I went to the midwest.  Chicago winters felt like they lasted forever.  Those winters broke me of the desire to stay in the midwest, or to move east.

I still like NM, but everything I like about NM, I have in California now, plus a whole list of other awesome things.  It's awesome out here.  heart

Ahh I hear you man. CA is a beautiful place no doubt. I have family in Modesto and Sac. Went out there a few years ago for Thanksgiving to visit them.
Funny story... I went to stay with a cousin for two nights (who was attending college in Stockton) before heading to Modesto for the holiday, and I got jumped by 5 guys and spent the night San Joaquin County(?) jail my second night there.  facepalm Tons of fun I had spending the rest of the 9 day vacation limping around with one eye swollen shut LOL

Anyway, I love my guns, low taxes, climate, open space, low cost of living etc etc etc (the list goes on & on) too much to leave this place. You'l be back. Someday wink



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#23 2013-08-30 12:07:27

kornfeld
Member
Supporter
From: San Francisco
Registered: 2008-01-22
User Number: 2503
Posts: 11477

Re: Rust Issues!

BeachZone wrote:

kornfeld wrote:

BeachZone wrote:

Why the hell did you move if you don't mind me asking?

Initially, because I wanted to move to a big city as soon as I was done with college, so I went to the midwest.  Chicago winters felt like they lasted forever.  Those winters broke me of the desire to stay in the midwest, or to move east.

I still like NM, but everything I like about NM, I have in California now, plus a whole list of other awesome things.  It's awesome out here.  heart

Ahh I hear you man. CA is a beautiful place no doubt. I have family in Modesto and Sac. Went out there a few years ago for Thanksgiving to visit them.
Funny story... I went to stay with a cousin for two nights (who was attending college in Stockton) before heading to Modesto for the holiday, and I got jumped by 5 guys and spent the night San Joaquin County(?) jail my second night there.  facepalm Tons of fun I had spending the rest of the 9 day vacation limping around with one eye swollen shut LOL

Anyway, I love my guns, low taxes, climate, open space, low cost of living etc etc etc (the list goes on & on) too much to leave this place. You'l be back. Someday wink



Beach

Yech, Modesto and Sacramento and Stockton?  There's your problem.  That'd be like if somebody visited Farmington or Grants or something. 

I visited NM this Summer.  I won't be moving back, I can guarantee you that.  biggrin  There's a reason taxes and cost of living are low there.


Der Schuh
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#24 2013-08-31 15:28:02

BeachZone
Member
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2013-08-23
User Number: 10233
Posts: 118

Re: Rust Issues!

Never say never!  cool


-Beach


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