Author Topic: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!  (Read 1978 times)

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Offline aytch

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Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« on: December 02, 2018, 11:35:28 AM »
A word of warning to anyone considering buying a second-hand 2 or 3. I purchased (just under 6k) a 2010 3 sportnav 2.0 MZR DiSI - 65k on the clock, 2 prev owners, exactly a year ago this week - all looked in A1 condition / running fine. All has been fine - not a mark on it / very reliable etc. until I came to get my 1st MOT and service this week.
Turns out all is still A1 bodywise and mechanically but.... the car has very bad rust underneath especially at the front - floor panels etc and both my mechanic and the MOT mech reckon it has at best 1 - 2 years before being a basket case. This car was intended to be a keeper and now I am in a position whereby I will have to hope I can get some kind of part exchange for it back at the garage I bought it. Fortunately for the next year it has a clean MOT cert with no advisories.
Yes I did take a cursory look under the car before I bought it but with the sportnav skirts, vision, when the car is on the ground, is limited.
The MOT mech reckons he sees this problem on nearly all older 2's and 3's so it's a point worth bearing in mind when purchasing. He also reckons the plastic shields under the car can help aggravate the situation by collecting leaves and junk etc.
Before purchase, money being tight, I researched much on the net about 3's and a susceptibility for underbody rust never reared it's ugly head in surveys I read at the time hence this posting. The body itself is perfect and free from the rusty wheel arches etc usually mentioned, although the alloy wheels suffer from the usual Mazda corrosion.
Moral of the story: Make sure you get any potential purchase well off the ground and check underneath before parting with any cash.
(I should add that I have only put 6k on the mileage since buying the car).

« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 12:59:37 PM by aytch »

Offline Ed-Led

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 12:56:22 PM »
Has the car previously spent time near the coast with a previous owner? Reason I ask is that I've had two Mazdas in the past, one that spent the first 4 years of it's life in Thurso right by the sea in Northern Scotland and the other which was owned by someone living in Saltburn By The Sea in the North East. Both cars prematurely rusted underneath and around the strut top mounts and were done for after 10 years. On the other hand I currently have a Sport the same age as yours and the underneath doesn't have the same issues yours has as it's lived all it's life inland.
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Offline aytch

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2018, 02:20:50 AM »
Hi. Nope -both owners were fairly local to me and living inland about 25 miles from the coast. My mechanic reckoned himself that the underneath of the car looks like what he usually calls a "seaside" car. He is also of the opinion that the severity of the rust wouldn't have got to the stage it's at during my 1 year of ownership which suggests that it was already quite bad when I bought it, so I'm off to the garage where I purchased it tomorrow to see what their attitude is - he reckons they should at least make some extra gesture towards the cost of part exchanging it. (I keep the car on a concrete hard standing and know at least one of the two previous owners kept it on a block paved driveway - cheers google streetview!!).
Think I'll steer clear of buying another Mazda saloon though!


Offline Willpower

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2018, 09:15:31 AM »
25 miles from the coastline in meteorological term is not really that far.  I live further inland (55 miles)  and my 2004 Gen 1 Saloon  is still in pretty good condition underneath. Yes there are the odd patches of rust, but nothing serious for a 14 year old car.  Certainly not enough to make me avoid the marque.

Re the advice of your mechanic and your supplier................ Good luck with that.

 
   
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Offline Ed-Led

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2018, 12:30:15 PM »
I've never heard of a Gen 2 having rust issues up to this point, I know some of the earliest Gen 1's were prone to the rear wheel arches going though. The Honest John website is usually good when it comes to common issues for a car but rust doesn't feature for the Gen 2...sounds like you've been unlucky with yours unfortunately, hope you can get some sort of discount back from the garage you bought it from.
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Offline StevenRB45

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2018, 08:32:22 PM »
Mines got a few bits underneath I'd like to unsee..

Rear arch inner liners are rough (and orange) and the tow hook bracket looks like it has spent it's life on the bottom of the ocean. It's all solid though just looks a bit naff.

However I live up on a hill in the north where they salt the roads 6 months a year some years so it's par for the course no matter what you own. Seen 10 year old VWs with patch welds..so it's par for the course.

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2018, 01:43:42 PM »
25 miles from the coastline in meteorological term is not really that far.  I live further inland (55 miles)  and my 2004 Gen 1 Saloon  is still in pretty good condition underneath. Yes there are the odd patches of rust, but nothing serious for a 14 year old car.  Certainly not enough to make me avoid the marque.

Re the advice of your mechanic and your supplier................ Good luck with that.
 

Similar to my experience with my late 2005 build gen-1 saloon, living about 30-35 miles inland on the edge of East Anglia (not a lot of snow either [salted roads]).  Admitedly I've only done 65k miles thus far from new.  I must admit not seeing any mk2s with rust issues - maybe I don't live in the right area.

Offline aytch

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2018, 05:03:37 PM »
Many thanks for the interest shown by you all. I think part of the problem stems from the fact that "they don't build 'em like they used to" - my previous car was a 25 y/o Volvo 940 estate and the underseal was still solid as a rock when I scrapped it! Prior to that a MkII Scirocco for eight years and before that, a s/h "real" Fiat 500 tiddler. Neither had this problem. I, like the two prev Maz 3 owners, am based in Suffolk but no-one I know locally has ever linked the area with excess under-body rust.

Update is that the sales garage (who have a long history and good reputation) are going to check the car out next week, as will I - the one oddity that sticks in my mind (and theirs) is the fact the new MOT has no advisory for the rust. They are prepared to part exchange (at the moment for a couple of hundred under an Evans Halshaw quote I have had) but that will be dependent on what we find underneath and before I try to turn the screw if necessary.
Will update you accordingly.

Offline speedy mazda

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2018, 07:02:46 PM »
hi Aytch  when I bought my mazda 3 sport 2010  I was shocked at the surface rust underneath at just 3 years old.My partner had a Nissan almera  which was 6 years older and like new underneath even with high miles on it.
The previous owner of my car was from Clacton near the sea hence why the rust I would say.Ive coated the underneath with black waxoil on the rusty bits so looks tidy for now,but then our old 323 rusted from inside out the sills.I would say its the salt in winter or in the air if living near the sea,my father inlaws mazda3  2008 model is like new underneath  but then garaged and only goes out in nice weather lol.

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 07:52:56 PM »
25 miles from the coastline in meteorological term is not really that far.  I live further inland (55 miles)  and my 2004 Gen 1 Saloon  is still in pretty good condition underneath. Yes there are the odd patches of rust, but nothing serious for a 14 year old car.  Certainly not enough to make me avoid the marque.

Re the advice of your mechanic and your supplier................ Good luck with that.
 

Similar to my experience with my late 2005 build gen-1 saloon, living about 30-35 miles inland on the edge of East Anglia (not a lot of snow either [salted roads]).  Admitedly I've only done 65k miles thus far from new.  I must admit not seeing any mk2s with rust issues - maybe I don't live in the right area.

The Gen 2 panels are well protected, mine seems to be the out of the way places it's starting to go. It still looks immaculate, and I've got no fears about the next M.O.T. or the one after but it would surprise me if it reached 12-15 years old without welding.

If I'm honest it's one of the reasons I'm car shopping I had planned to keep it longer but I need a car that can just be left to it's own devices not a rolling project so plan to move it on while it still looks good and has a clean MOT history.

Offline aytch

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2018, 03:42:01 PM »
The update:
Took the car back to the sales garage today and got it on a ramp. Bear in mind there were conflicting points at the start - the "excessive rust" comments of my service mechanic and the MOT tester, yet there was no MOT advisory mentioning problematic rust.
Also bear in mind I'm no car mechanic but do have some basic common sense experience of rust in the past.
Once under the car it is plain to see the back end (suspension arms?) are rusty and beginning to flake a small amount on their "trailing edges". To my untrained eye the rest of the underside of the car would appear to have no more rust than one might expect under a car now 8.75 years old, which was also todays opinion of the sales garage guy, so I am thinking of going for the cheapest solution at present - to have the underneath wire brushed etc and an underseal applied early in the new year by the sales garage.
If I sell the car I won't get more than 3.5K for it and, in the original words of my service mechanic and the MOT guy, as it currently stands, the car should be ok for at least 1 to 2 years anyway. If the underseal can then slow the rust progression further for an extra couple of years, that is all I can probably expect given the age of the car.
Allowing for the fact I can only afford to add a couple of thou max to any part-exchange price offered to me, it would seem the underseal route would be the cheapest option for the next 3-5 years motoring.
I don't know if others would come to the same decision....? Which type of underseal might be best? Please let me know!!
(My 14 y/o MX5 is rust free and currently has waxoyl applied...but then it only has "fair weather" use and is kept under cover the rest of the time)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 01:38:04 PM by aytch »

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2018, 09:52:19 AM »
The choice you make is obviously personal and in accordance with your foreseeable fortunes.

However I must point out that  wire brushing and covering with underseal is not going to stop the rust.  In fact it could make matters worse.  Covering rust with an impermeable coating (underseal) only gives the rust progression one way to go and that is inwards and deeper into the available metal.  This of course would then be unseen under the underseal and would eventually result in catastrophic failure later on.
 
As the rust has already taken hold, there are proprietary products that will chemically alter the rusted metal and help to prevent further contamination. 
So my advice would be a 3 step process.

1)  Wirebrush. Even to the extant of using a power tool with suitable attachments. However caution is required that you do no worse damage to the surrounding area.
2)  Use a proprietary product such as Kurust       https://www.hammerite.co.uk/product/kurust/     to coat the affected area.
3)  Cover the entire underbody with a suitable underseal product.   such as     https://www.halfords.com/motoring/paints-body-repair/rust-removal-treatment/hammerite-underbody-seal-500ml

Hope this helps
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Offline aytch

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2018, 01:37:35 PM »
Hi and I very much appreciate your reply / advice...thank you!!
As I won't be able to do the job myself would asking the garage to wire brush / tidy up and apply Waxoyl alone be a solution?
If so, how often should the process be repeated?

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2018, 05:37:44 PM »
Rust is an ongoing problem that never goes away.  Moisture & metal left to their own devices will create Iron Oxide- Rust. It is inevitable and one of the major reasons why cars end up in the breakers yards.
The only thing you can do is to try and keep on top of it.  However many car owners do not have the facilities or capability of checking the underside of their cars.  So the answer as you say is to go to some else to do it for you.

Your prime concern here should be - reliability.   Are they going to do a good job ?  After wire brushing or blasting whichever they do, are they going to treat the affected area with a rust inhibitor (as I suggested above)  before coating with underseal.  You would never be able to see and check for yourself.  So you have to rely on their reputation, that they did a proper job.

If you are acquainted with the garage and trust them, then fine. Otherwise ask around  locally see if anyone else has been in the same situation and what they did.

Regarding re application.  The product I linked above is widely known as the best option. How often you need to do it is a totally unknown factor.  Geographical area / road surfaces / meteorological conditions, are all unknown quantities.

My advice would be to check underneath every year to see if the integrity of the underseal coating has been broken and at that stage treat immediately.
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Offline aytch

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2018, 11:19:46 AM »
Again many thanks for your guidance.
Are there any owners in the Suffolk area who have had the correct undersealing work done professionally locally and how much did they charge?
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 03:29:00 PM by aytch »

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Re: Note to new buyers of old 2's and 3's....beware underbody rust!!
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2018, 11:19:46 AM »