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  #1  
Old 05-13-2009, 04:34 AM
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Rust resistance on newer cars

Swedish chemical-technical institute Swerea KIMAB (jointly owned by industry and government) has performed an extensive analysis of cut-off body parts from 30 different models sold 2002-2005 to see which models are prone to rust. This might be of interest to you even if not all of the models are sold in the US. I'm particularly surprised that higher-end models like Mercedes E-class, BMW 5-series and Saab 9-5 gets disappointing results and places on the bottom half of the list.

http://www.newsdesk.se/pressroom/KIMAB/pressrelease/view/new-investigation-of-the-corrosion-resistance-of-cars-293417

Quote:
Swerea KIMAB has performed an extensive investigation of the corrosion resistance on crevice surfaces of spot-welded joints and hem flanges of 30 of the most common car models in the Nordic countries. (....) The examined body parts come from approximately 1000 collision damaged cars collected at car dismantling plants in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway. The areas in which the investigated cars have been driven belong to one of the most corrosive road environment in the world due to frequent use of de-icing material during the winter period.
In a related article in the papers today rust warranties are discussed. Several automakers offer up to 12 years rust warranty but the warranties are often written full of loopholes that doesn't cover the most vulnerable spots. It is discussed that different automakers have different approaches to customers that complain about rust. Two examples are given; Ford takes full responsibility on the rust-prone Focus-models where hood and doors are heavily rusty in only 4-5 year old cars, while GM does not appear take any responsibility (owner of a Trans Sport 03 has his rear hatch complete rusted through "only the paint is holding it together", denied any help from GM)

Here's a picture of a 2003 Ford Mondeo door


And here's the lists

2002/2003 models, from best to worse:

Audi A4
Volvo 70-series
VW Golf
Mercedes C-class
Opel Astra
Renault Megane
Volvo 40-series
VW Passat
Mitsubishi Carisma
Skoda Octavia
Nissan Micra
Peugeot 307
CitroŽn C5
Saab 9-5
Fiat Punto
Saab 9-3
BMW 3-series
Toyota Corolla
Mercedes E-class
BMW 5-series
Ford Mondeo
Seat Ibiza
Ford Focus
Mazda 6
Chevrolet Trans Sport

2004/2005-models, best to worse:

BMW 5-serie
Nissan Micra
Renault Megane
Volvo 40-series
Ford Mondeo
Peugeot 307
Saab 9-3
Fiat Punto
Volvo 70-series
Opel Astra
Saab 9-5
Skoda Octavia
CitroŽn C5
VW Golf
Mercedes A-class
VW Passat
BMW 3-series
Toyota Corolla
Hyundai Tucson
Ford Focus
Kia Picanto
Hyundai Santa Fe
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1983 Mercedes Benz 300TD grey, OM617.912 and 5-speed manual
1983 Mercedes Benz 300TD blue 7-seater, OM617.912 and 5-speed manual

Last edited by tompaah7503; 05-13-2009 at 05:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-13-2009, 05:37 AM
ForcedInduction
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I thought modern cars were made of plastic?
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2009, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForcedInduction View Post
I thought modern cars were made of plastic?
You're probably thinking of the Trabant which by no means is a modern car
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1966 Mercedes Benz 230S with OM617.912, automatic. Disk brakes from W108
1983 Mercedes Benz 300TD grey, OM617.912 and 5-speed manual
1983 Mercedes Benz 300TD blue 7-seater, OM617.912 and 5-speed manual
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2009, 08:01 AM
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Bahh... no interest to me. My new car is the '83 SD!
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaydayMike View Post
Bahh... no interest to me. My new car is the '83 SD!
My '90 300E started winter with no rust....and it still has no rust. Apparently they did a better job on the older ones....further showing why I should never buy a newer car.
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2009, 10:16 AM
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They should have taken pictures of our '02 car! Not good. OTOH, my 1999 sedan is spotless in terms of "rust".
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2009, 01:44 PM
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What the study doesn't shoe is disturbing to me...where the majority of the steel comes from.

As a tool maker for almost 25 years, I have witnessed a degradation in the quality of the steel on the market in the last 15 years. Certain steels, alloys if you will, such as D2 and A2 (common tool steels) used to remain quite stable during the heat treating process (a process which hardens tool steels for different uses). When I started in this trade, you could guarantee that certain steels would expand or shrink a certain percentage during this process, therefore it was necessary to have additional stock left on before heat treating, but no more than .010". Not anymore...many times it changes between distrubitors...some will grow and others will shrink as much as .030", and we are talking about the same D2 which is supposed to be industry standard.

Cheaper steels have entered the market from China that are not made to the same stringent standards that it once was.

Want proof? Think of the original Toyotas versus the other cars from back in the 1970's and 1980's...they rusted away within a matter of a few years, where the other vehicles lasted much longer.

It all boils down to this question...Where did the steel come from?
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2009, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jplinville View Post

It all boils down to this question...Where did the steel come from?
Excellent point. I've always been worried about hearing the news of "The company has to close down because they can't compete with low priced steel"

Most of the time things are cheap for a reason....Sure there are cases of more efficient manufacturing processes but there are probably just as many cases of companys cutting corners....
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2009, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulcrum525 View Post
Excellent point. I've always been worried about hearing the news of "The company has to close down because they can't compete with low priced steel"

Most of the time things are cheap for a reason....Sure there are cases of more efficient manufacturing processes but there are probably just as many cases of companys cutting corners....
Cheap steel does nothing more than increase the cost of manufacturing and maintaining the end product.
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2009, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jplinville View Post
Want proof? Think of the original Toyotas versus the other cars from back in the 1970's and 1980's...they rusted away within a matter of a few years, where the other vehicles lasted much longer.

It all boils down to this question...Where did the steel come from?
With all respect for your profession and experience I don't think steel quality in carbodies has that much to do with the rust issues.

Want proof?

Take two sheets of steel, the kind used in automaking,
1) the highest-quality one (virgin German or whatever) you can find
2) the crappiest Chinese recycled bit you can find
and leave them exposed unprotected to the weather, rain, salts and acids.
Which of these do you think will be around in 20 years time?
The correct answer is: neither one. You'll have trouble finding either of the sheets after only two years.

So what it boils down is build quality. How the seals, joints and welds are protected. How good the body is at getting rid of trapped moisture. What protective coats, sealants, paints and other chemicals are used to protect the steel.

Toyota, Datsun and other Japanese makers have gotten an unfair reputation for being rustbuckets in the 70's. In the environment where I live in every brand rusts. Take any unrestored car from the 1900-1990 timeframe and they will all have serious rust-issues. Benzes, Volvos, American, German brands, all of them. The Japanese cars seemingly rusted quickers since they were much cheaper and people didn't take too much care of them. No regular rust-proofing and no rust repairs. (and probably a fair bit of poor engineering in the respect of bad joints and many moisture traps did what it could to aid the corrosion).
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1966 Mercedes Benz 230S with OM617.912, automatic. Disk brakes from W108
1983 Mercedes Benz 300TD grey, OM617.912 and 5-speed manual
1983 Mercedes Benz 300TD blue 7-seater, OM617.912 and 5-speed manual
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2009, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pawoSD View Post
My '90 300E started winter with no rust....and it still has no rust. Apparently they did a better job on the older ones....further showing why I should never buy a newer car.
You've never seen a W123 rust bucket? I've seen plenty on Ebay! Having said that, the panels on my W123 cars did seem to have better rust-proofing than those on my W210.
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2009, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselAddict View Post
You've never seen a W123 rust bucket? I've seen plenty on Ebay! Having said that, the panels on my W123 cars did seem to have better rust-proofing than those on my W210.
My brother's W123 has rust, as does my W126, but it doesn't seem to progress very quickly, just little patches and spots, and they are easily treated. The W124 has no rust at all.....
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-diesel is not just a fuel, its a way of life-
'15 GLK250 Bluetec 80k - mine - (OC-80,500)
'17 Metris(VITO!) - 11k - wifes (OC-17k)
'01 E320 Wagon - 159k - mine (OC-160,000)
'01 E320 - 172k - dad's (OC-171,500)
'07 E350 Wagon - 131k - dad's (OC-132,500)
'01 SL500 - 50k - dad's (OC-52,000)
'09 E350 4matic Sedan - 140k - Brothers (OC-141,500)
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2009, 07:45 PM
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240z in GP Texas

The current china repop steel what ever parts-Dynacore is 2/3 as thick as the origonal whatever part. the 47-54 chevy rear pickup fenders are already rusting thru-more than a few guys are reporting. 70's Japanese cars---Heads UP---- a SWEET 240z body is in Awsome auto salvage in Grand Praire Tx spotted yesterday, yellow-hardly any rust in rear wheel lips. snag it if you're an early z fan!
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompaah7503 View Post
With all respect for your profession and experience I don't think steel quality in carbodies has that much to do with the rust issues.

Want proof?

Take two sheets of steel, the kind used in automaking,
1) the highest-quality one (virgin German or whatever) you can find
2) the crappiest Chinese recycled bit you can find
and leave them exposed unprotected to the weather, rain, salts and acids.
Which of these do you think will be around in 20 years time?
The correct answer is: neither one. You'll have trouble finding either of the sheets after only two years.

So what it boils down is build quality. How the seals, joints and welds are protected. How good the body is at getting rid of trapped moisture. What protective coats, sealants, paints and other chemicals are used to protect the steel.

Toyota, Datsun and other Japanese makers have gotten an unfair reputation for being rustbuckets in the 70's. In the environment where I live in every brand rusts. Take any unrestored car from the 1900-1990 timeframe and they will all have serious rust-issues. Benzes, Volvos, American, German brands, all of them. The Japanese cars seemingly rusted quickers since they were much cheaper and people didn't take too much care of them. No regular rust-proofing and no rust repairs. (and probably a fair bit of poor engineering in the respect of bad joints and many moisture traps did what it could to aid the corrosion).
I will disagree with you...

From what we studied and were taught in Metallurgy class, Chinese steel isn't made to the same degree of quality and standards that American and German steels are...all too often, ingredients such as carbon are not properly measured during the smelting process.

I would lay money on German steel still being around after 20 years of rust.
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Meet on the level, leave on the square. Great words to live by

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  #15  
Old 05-13-2009, 09:30 PM
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Cheap Euro cars. My Chevy lived its first 4 years in Ohio and is clean.

Anyway quality has a lot to do with it. I remember reading that their are still some armor plates sitting in a shipyard in Germany from the Bismark and they are still clean. Now that is top quality steel.
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