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I took our 2020 Ascent to my regular mechanic for the 6000 mile oil change and tire rotation today. Normally this would be an uneventful trip and would be done. However, when he tells me "I want to show you something" it is never good. I have been using them for 30 years so I trust them. He raised the vehicle up on the lift and we walked under it. He pointed out numerous areas of oxidation and rust from front to back. Everywhere. The vehicle was built in December of 2019 and we bought it in February of this year. I was shocked at the rust and corrosion under there. They stated for a new car there should be nothing like that under the body. One of the guys thought it had been sitting in salt water. It was transported from a Pennsylvania dealer to my dealer here in Virginia but if one road trip on potential salty roads caused this, then there is a problem. My 10 year old Malibu that I traded in for this didn't have any rust under it. I know. I always crawled up under it to see once it had a few years on it.

I don't know what the dealer would do and am convinced that, had I taken it there this would not have been pointed out. At this point, I am ready to trade it on something else. I am very disappointed in the quality of the Ascent and don't plan to keep it and will look for a different brand.

My advice to all of you is to look under your vehicle and see if you see similar issues.
 

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Thanks for the heads up. Can you give some more info on where the rust or oxidation areas are...or post some pictures so we can see if we have some of the same issues on ours?
 

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Thanks for the heads up. Can you give some more info on where the rust or oxidation areas are...or post some pictures so we can see if we have some of the same issues on ours?
There was oxidation on the transmission housing and there was rust on numerous areas including the brake lining areas and many nuts and bolts in various place. Since I am not very well versed in the particular parts so I can't give you specifics and I didn't take pictures, which I should have done. I may be able to take it back to my garage, have them raise it and get a few but it will be next week.
 

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I know it is not a Subaru, but my 2017 Honda Ridgeline (4 years old) has significantly more rust underneath than my 2008 Honda Ridgeline did after 8 years. Not sure what manufacturers are doing differently.
 

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I got my 2019 in November of 2018. By the time the first snow fell, in December, you could see quite a bit of oxidation and tiny rust speckles all over the exhaust system in the rear. Not a good first impression that was, and if I ever get another, it will be undercoated.
 

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I noticed this on my 2010 Forester. So, when I purchased my 2019 Ascent, one of the first things I did was to undercoat it. It's not a pleasant job, but it only took about a couple of hours. The cost of the undercoating was around $100. It's imperative to use the right type of undercoating.

I was just under the car again recently installing some wiring for a winch. This gave me a chance to inspect it thoroughly now that it's been through two Northern New England winters. I could find no significant corrosion anywhere and the undercoating was holding up well.

It's not too late to undercoat any Ascent. However, it is better to do it sooner than later.

If you live in the salt belt and you want to keep the car for longer than 10 years, undercoating is a good idea. You can have it done professionally or do it yourself. However, if you're going to sell the car within 10 years, there is no need to bother. The rust, while unsightly, won't do too much damage until after 10 years or so.
 

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Living in NH, they use a lot of salt and sand on the roads and that has never happened to that degree and timeframe on any car I’ve owned..... it does seem that vehicle was In significant water for some amount of time. The worst I’ve seen is a little surface rust on some bolts....
 

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I noticed this on my 2010 Forester. So, when I purchased my 2019 Ascent, one of the first things I did was to undercoat it. It's not a pleasant job, but it only took about a couple of hours. The cost of the undercoating was around $100. It's imperative to use the right type of undercoating.

I was just under the car again recently installing some wiring for a winch. This gave me a chance to inspect it thoroughly now that it's been through two Northern New England winters. I could find no significant corrosion anywhere and the undercoating was holding up well.

It's not too late to undercoat any Ascent. However, it is better to do it sooner than later.

If you live in the salt belt and you want to keep the car for longer than 10 years, undercoating is a good idea. You can have it done professionally or do it yourself. However, if you're going to sell the car within 10 years, there is no need to bother. The rust, while unsightly, won't do too much damage until after 10 years or so.
how many cans did you use? Based on price I assume 9 cans.
 

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Yes, around nine cans will be enough. The product dries fast allowing you to easily do two coats within a single day.
I recall reading on the products website that it may be geared to a vehicle in storage. Is there anything about the product that would reduce its protection and life given that the vehicle is driven around? How long can an owner expect the protection to last. I also would want to know how an undercarriage wash at a touchless car wash might impact the protection?

Any thoughts?
 

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There’s a big difference between a stable oxidation layer and parts rusting out.
In many cases materials are designed to form a stable oxidation layer which then protects the bulk of the metal from further rust.
Without specifics it’s difficult to judge what OP is describing. Take a look at the threads on the fasteners of concern. If rust is expanding or eating away at the threads it’s a problem. If the threads are simply rust colored it’s normal.
 

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I recall reading on the products website that it may be geared to a vehicle in storage. Is there anything about the product that would reduce its protection and life given that the vehicle is driven around? How long can an owner expect the protection to last. I also would want to know how an undercarriage wash at a touchless car wash might impact the protection?

Any thoughts?
Which product/brand did you decide to use and why (such as previous use or a recommendation)? Thank you.
If you decide to undercoat your car, it's absolutely imperative that you select the right undercoating product. There are many types available but only a few work well enough to trust. Living in Northern New England all my life and having owned many vehicles, I've tried them all. No rust-proofing product is perfect, but some are much better than others.

There are a lot of rust-proofing products out there, but they all typically fall into certain categories. Check the ingredients to see what category they belong to. I've represented most below with an example of each.

Here is a brief synopsis of my opinion of these products:

Rubberized Undercoatings
: This type forms a think black rubberized coating when applied. It's kind of like paint but thicker and more flexible. At first, it seems to work very well, but after a few years, it tends to separate and flake off. Worse, when it separates it can leave pockets where dirt and salt can accumulate promoting rust rather than protecting against it. Not recommended.

Fluid Film: (and other products like it) A lot of people swear by these products, but I tried them and they didn't really last more than one season for me. They're about the consistency of axle grease, they go on wet and don't really dry. The spray versions are similar but not as thick. While it lasts, it forms an excellent barrier, but unfortunately, it doesn't last that long. You're supposed to inspect it each year and reapply if necessary. That's fine for some, but undercoating a car is so unpleasant that I want to do it no more than once or twice for the life of the car. Not recommended unless you're ok with frequent reapplications over the life of the car. It's highly effective, but it just requires too much maintenance in my opinion. Also, because it doesn't fully dry, it can accumulate a lot of road debris.

Used Motor Oil: People also swear that by simply using old motor oil or grease, you can have excellent rust protection. This is total nonsense in my opinion. It's incredibly messy to apply, remains incredibly messy, and accumulates road dirt. It lasts no more than a few months and then needs to be reapplied. It provides poor protection. Highly not recommended.

Rust Preventative Paints: Never use rust preventative paints for undercoating. Like rubberized undercoating, it will only last a year or two and then begin to flake off and form pockets where dirt and salt can accumulate.

Rust Converters: Do not use rust converters as undercoating. They are a great first treatment if you're undercarriage is already rusty, but they're not meant for use as a long-term undercoating.

Corrosion Blockers: Never use corrosion blockers like typical WD-40 or similar product as undercoating. These are great for other purposes but won't last a year as an undercoating. Yet many people still use them as such.

Flex Seal: A recent trend is to use Flex Seal as undercoating. While it forms a thick rubber-like coating great for other purposes, it fails as an undercoating. It doesn't last and can't take the punishment that occurs underneath a car. Not recommended. This also applies to Bedliner paint. Use a product only recommended as a true undercoating.

Cosmoline: Yes, cosmoline, the legendary product the military coats everything metal in. There are many products containing cosmoline, but they may use different formulations and concentrations. It's a wax-like petroleum-based corrosion inhibitor. Industrial strength cosmoline should meet the US Military Standard MIL-C-11796C Class 3 or MIL-PRF-16173, Grade 4, and MIL-C-83933 . When applied, it's quite viscous and flows nicely to form an even, level barrier that quickly dries to the touch but remains flexible. It's tough as nails and the only way I've found to remove it is via a strong solvent. Road water, pressure washings, detergents, abrasion from road dirt, all have very little effect on it. Because it dries solid to a non-sticky coating, it does not accumulate road dirt. It can last up to 10 years or more depending upon the severity of conditions, so it should only need to be applied once or twice over the life of a car. The only downside is that it appears a yellowish translucent film which is not great visually, but who really cares what the underside of a car looks like? If you do care, they've come out with a black version of it. This is the product I use and recommend. I believe that it's the best rust proofing product out there by far if you weigh all the pros and cons.

Project Farm performs some of the best-unbiased, effective product testing anywhere. He recently tested rust proofing. I've included the video below. Pay close attention to the CRC 6026 product he tested. It's Cosmoline based. However, I believe the cosmolinedirect product I listed is even better with a thicker, industrial/military based formula.


The bottom line is that you need something that is effective and will last. Cosmoline does both.
 

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There’s a big difference between a stable oxidation layer and parts rusting out.
In many cases materials are designed to form a stable oxidation layer which then protects the bulk of the metal from further rust.
Without specifics it’s difficult to judge what OP is describing. Take a look at the threads on the fasteners of concern. If rust is expanding or eating away at the threads it’s a problem. If the threads are simply rust colored it’s normal.
Yes, this is true. Manufacturers of modern vehicles know almost exactly how long every component they use on the underside of a vehicle will last. They don't use anything that will rust to the point of failure quickly. Surface rust may appear on many components, but rust itself can be a rust preventative (believe it or not) if a component is thick enough. On certain metals, once rust or oxidation penetrates to a certain thickness, it will form a protective barrier that will slow down to a significant degree further oxidation. This is used often in infrastructure that is impractical to paint such as bridges and road lighting poles. This won't prevent rust and subsequent failure forever, but it can be just as effective or better than other forms of protection.

As I mentioned earlier, it's unlikely that undercarriage rust will cause any significant failure on a modern car, even in a salt belt, for around 10 years or so. After that, all bets are off and rust will have its way causing multiple component failures over time. This is why rust proofing makes sense if you plan to keep your car for a long time. If not, and you don't care how much longer it'll last after you sell it, you really don't need to bother with rust proofing. I realize this sounds self-serving. If you're conscientious of what happens to your car after you're done with it, for humanitarian or ecological reasons, then rust-proofing would help to preserve it for considerably longer than it would last in a snow belt without it. So, the choice is always yours.
 

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I took our 2020 Ascent to my regular mechanic for the 6000 mile oil change and tire rotation today. Normally this would be an uneventful trip and would be done. However, when he tells me "I want to show you something" it is never good. I have been using them for 30 years so I trust them. He raised the vehicle up on the lift and we walked under it. He pointed out numerous areas of oxidation and rust from front to back. Everywhere. The vehicle was built in December of 2019 and we bought it in February of this year. I was shocked at the rust and corrosion under there. They stated for a new car there should be nothing like that under the body. One of the guys thought it had been sitting in salt water. It was transported from a Pennsylvania dealer to my dealer here in Virginia but if one road trip on potential salty roads caused this, then there is a problem. My 10 year old Malibu that I traded in for this didn't have any rust under it. I know. I always crawled up under it to see once it had a few years on it.

I don't know what the dealer would do and am convinced that, had I taken it there this would not have been pointed out. At this point, I am ready to trade it on something else. I am very disappointed in the quality of the Ascent and don't plan to keep it and will look for a different brand.

My advice to all of you is to look under your vehicle and see if you see similar issues.
Wow that is indeed horrible. With that little mileage most could argue it wouldn’t matter where or what its been in in that little time it should be pristine with no corrosion. I agree, run and dump it.
 

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Wow that is indeed horrible. With that little mileage most could argue it wouldn’t matter where or what its been in in that little time it should be pristine with no corrosion. I agree, run and dump it.
That's an overreaction, the corrosion is not going to do any actual harm until the car is a decade old. I own a 10-year-old Subaru, it had the same amount of corrosion when it was new. Only now is it becoming a problem. I recently cleaned it up and undercoated it. Now I expect it will last another 10 years even though I live in the salt belt.
 

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My first car was a Fiat 131 Super Brava. Fiat was well known for it's well earned reputation for rust! My fiat was no exception. Eventually the floorboard rusted through! Those were the years that "Ziebart" and other rust proofers were in their heyday in the rust belt. I think it took years to stop worrying about rust! It left a scar in my psyche. I'm glad that it is nowhere as bad of an issue as it used to be (my mom still has a 2005 Acura TSX that looks and runs fine - no serious rust problem even after all this time). I generally keep cars awhile. If I still lived in an area with long snowy winters and salted roads and highways, I would also look into rustproofing.
 
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