Well, I finally picked up my "new" 2008 Tribeca (i.e. it's new to me).
Sorry, long posting to follow. :)
Now, I'm debating between various forms of rust-protection. Subaru
Canada is heavily promoting electronic rust protection, where they put
anodes/cathodes around the car body, and draw some battery power to keep
the body powered up constantly. I think it's a gimmick. They claim this
is the method that's been used to keep ocean-going ships from rusting.
I'm sure it is, but who cares? I'm not floating my car in the ocean.
Also the idea that this device draws power from the battery constantly
gives me worries that it'll drain the battery out in the coldest days.
It's already hard enough to start a car on those days, without having
this drain around too. Also why is it necessary to keep the body powered
up all of the time? Rust only occurs as you drive around in the salty
roads, when you're parked it's not absorbing any salty water. They say
it's good for 7-10 years. They are promoting this because it costs
Then there's the traditional chemical protection. Subaru offers the
traditional underbody coating. They don't even call this rust-protection
anymore, they call it "sound absorbent spray, which has some
rust-protection benefits". That doesn't sound good to me. Also, because
my car is 4 years old, they won't give any additional warranty with it,
they said the cut-off value for warranty extension is 3 years old. A
couple of different dealerships are offering this between $400-$700. I
suppose if they aren't offering any warranty with it, then I might as
well also shop around for similar work at independent body shops.
Then there's the other option of going with nothing. My previous 2000
Outback, had no additional rust protection. About a couple of years ago
(2010), I got a chance to look at its underbody after getting its clutch
repaired. The mechanic was showing me around underneath it, and I
noticed that there's little to no rust on it, even the mechanic noted
that. That was just 2 years ago. Starting last year, all of a sudden,
rust just began all over it: lower body, upper body, even on the roof!
I.e. in the space of 1 year, all of the rust began! I guess the Subarus
are guaranteed against rust for 10 years, and they really know how to
time that perfectly right, the rust began on the 11th year. :)
This time, before I bought the Tribeca, I took it to a mechanic and he
showed me underneath it. This one showed a lot of rust underneath it,
especially on the exhaust system. My assumption was that original
equipment exhaust systems are supposed to be stainless steel, so why
should they rust? So I called a Subaru dealer and asked them if this was
normal. They explained that it was, saying that rust is only "surface
rust" and assuring me that it doesn't go all of the way inside. They
said, this rust occurs as a result of driving short distances where
condensation forms on the exhaust but due to the short distances, the
heat from the exhaust doesn't have enough time to boil away the
condensation. This seemed reasonable to me as an explanation, but still
it concerns me. My Outback's original stainless-steel exhaust lasted 9
years before I had to fix it. The replacement mufflers are not
stainless-steel, they are aluminum, and they corrode much more easily
than the original ones. Once the original exhausts are gone, replacement
is a much more frequent thing afterwards. So I'd like to make sure this
one's original exhaust system lasts much longer. However, they said that
no-one coats the exhaust pipes with the anti-rust chemicals as they
would start to burn on the hot pipes. My main concern is the exhaust
rust. Any way of protecting the exhaust without chemicals?