Rust protection: electronic vs. chemical vs. none?

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 $1000, obviously.
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?
    Yousuf Khan
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On Wed, 19 Sep 2012 23:45:59 -0400, Yousuf Khan

They are a gimmick and a way to lighten your wallet. A good non-hardening oil-type rust-proofing is the most effective - needs to be redone on a regular basis. My 16 year old Ranger was done by Crown when new, and annually touched up antill 2008 and the truck is totally rust free - in central Ontario - with 306,000km on it.
Daughter's 98 Neon - was my sisters before that - had the electronic gizmo on it and it was pretty rusty when we got rid of it 4 years ago. Several engineer friends - including a chemical engineer - claims the premise the electronic gizmos are supposed to work on is badly flawed.

A friend of mine has been in the under-car oiling business for a couple decades and uses a mixture of oil and lanolin - applied hot - sprayed into body cavities as well as on the underbody surface - and it has proved to be quite effective even on older cars - and it slows down rust even on vehicles where rust has started (but not perforated)

They are "aluminized steel". Stainless replacements ARE available for extra cost.

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On 19/09/2012 11:59 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Thanks, that helps seal that decision. Forget the electronic crap.

What is a good place to get it done, namely cheap but effective? The Subaru stuff is supposed to be good for 5 years, but I suspect a yearly application is a more effective protection. Do any of these guys still drill into the car to apply this stuff anymore?

Yes, thanks for the correction.
    Yousuf Khan
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On 19/09/2012 11:59 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Most of the aftermarket rust-proofing guys I've talked to have said that they all require drilling into the car body to apply their product. Is there any that doesn't require this?
Subaru itself says that its "Sound Deadening" doesn't require drilling into the car.
    Yousuf Khan
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 15:48:02 -0400, Yousuf Khan

To be effective, the car needs to be drilled, and the guy doing it needs to know where to drill. The sound deadnener is aoften worse than nothing, because when it peals off it holds water and "crap" - causing rust. Rubberized coatings are a no-no, as far as I'm concerned.
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On 20/09/2012 5:00 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I don't like the idea of drilling into a car, as there is a potential of the rust starting at the very spot that they drilled into, thus creating a rust starting location where previously there was none. I know they put extra coating in those spots, but why take the chance with a brand new car? Why can't they just do a mini application only over the outer portions of the car while it's still new?
I'm thinking maybe I'll wait on rust protection until it reaches near its 8th year, when it's natural protection is starting to wear away. I'd also be more comfortable having the car drilled into at that time. Would waiting that long still be effective in preventing rust?
Also I had some problem with roof rust on my previous car. Usually no one coats anything to do with the roof.
    Yousuf Khan
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 22:48:45 -0400, Yousuf Khan

Because the rust does not start on the exterior. It starts where moisture (and salt) sits on the unpainted inside surface of the metal - cars rust from the inside out - and if you can protect the interior you can prevent the rust. The holes are drilled, the product is applied,nd the hole is plugged with a plastic plug dipped in the product if the guy is doing it right. Really fussy guys will paint the edges of the holes - but that is not very common.

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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 22:48:45 -0400, Yousuf Khan

Signigicantly less effective, as the rust has a good head start by that time. It's not through yet - but the cancer is well established.
I was going to do that on my (2002 - purchased used at 5 years) PT cruiser - I had it oiled at age 7, but the front fender blistered through in year eight.

Roof rust is usually due to running with the heat on the floor in winter - the roof stays cold and all the moisture from wet snowy floormats condenses on the rood metal, and runs down the pillars - rusting them out along with the roof corners.
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I had factory underside sound coatings on my 77 280z. It never pealed and try to take it off. I kept up with rust prevention by cleaning, and repainting. Bought new in ca., spent most time in pa with only one winter driving. Sold great condition in 2009. You just got to get under there often, and clean.
My 2007 avalanche had some kind of coating on the frame. All pealed, and rusting underneath parts of acting still on.
My 93 Dakota had zeibart treatment. Those coatings start to crack open in 3-4 years and need resealed.
Inside door and panel coating last longer. I do some of my own coatings with an old jc Whitney coating kit, with sprayer, from an Ohio company. The stuff is the best I've seen in an oil based product.
I intend on treating my 2001 cavalier frame parts, especially near the engine, which had parts replaced, and new brake lines. Going to use coroseal converter on current rusted parts, then paint. Same with avalanche. My new 1999 outback is going to get a look over. Have not got registration yet. Body panels are clean at 100k. There are plastic covers on holes around inside doors. Somebodies treatment or OEM ? I get those plastic hole covers with the rustproofing kit.
I got an outback in my driveway, and I can't wait to drive it.
Greg
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wrote:

No such thing as OEM. Dealer applied, possibly.
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wrote:

I don't know any practice but in theory it is the only efficient way to fight corrosion. Rusting does occur *every time* your car sees metal ions and oxygen. In fact, keeping your car in a warm garage after driving on salty North American roads is the best way of promoting rust. So if I were to be dead set to not have any rust *and* if I were to trust that the implementation is done right, I'd splurge.

IMHO, a waste of money. Most of what can be done well, is already done on a new car. Benefits beyond that are marginal.

My choice. Today's cars are incredibly good with regard to the rust protection. Our 2002 Forester still has nothing visible (WI winters, driving in puddles of salty water after every snow). If experience with 17 years old Impreza is of any indication, various minor problems past 15 years quickly become dominating before the car develops any significant rust. And even when it does, replacing a body part is still a lot cheaper than paying for rust protection over the years.
DK
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On Thu, 20 Sep 2012 05:14:37 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@no.email.thankstospam.net (DK) wrote:

I'll have to respectfully dissagree - with decades of experience to back me up. A properly done and maintained rustproofing job will at least triple the life of most auto bodies in northern North America (rust belt)

When's the last time you paid a body shop or repairs???????
I GENERALLY keep my vehicles 'till they are over 16 years old - I'm selling one now at 10 that was not rustproofed - I bought it at 6 years - and it is rusting severely enough at 10 that I'm not going to hang onto it any longer. My other 10 year old car was rustproofed and is spotless - as is the 16 year old pickup I just bought -also rustproofed.

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On 20/09/2012 1:14 AM, DK wrote:

Well, in my experience, I found my 2000 OBW to be perfectly rust-free up until its 10th year too. It was in its 11th year that the first problems started, and when they started, they started big time!
You're on your 10th year now with that Forester, so it would be interesting to see if it's still in the same shape in the 11th and 12th years?
    Yousuf Khan
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On Fri, 21 Sep 2012 02:39:31 UTC, Yousuf Khan

My wife's Forester is 14 years old next month and has no rust. Admittedly it isn't driven a lot -- only 56,000 miles on it -- and we don't get a lot of snow in Virginia, but it does snow here from time to time and when it does, the streets are heavily salted and the Forester is the car we drive. Then we put it back in the heated garage, which as you know is the worst thing you can do for rust. And there's not a speck of rust on it.
It's my belief that aftermarket rustproofing is a waste of money.
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On 21/09/2012 5:10 PM, John Varela wrote:

Only 56,000 miles in 14 years, is the definition of a pampered car. :) That's only 32% of the average mileage of a North American car (approximately 20,000 km/year, or 12,500 miles/year), according to insurance companies.
How many snowfalls does Virginia get in a winter? Is it one or two? It melts the next day too, right? The salt gets washed away. Up here, the regular form of precipitation is in some frozen form. The frozen precipitation rarely or never melts either until the winter is over, so any salt that was added remains recirculating on the streets pretty much all winter, and they just keep adding more salt throughout the winter, which also stays until winter ends.

It very well might be -- in your region.
    Yousuf Khan
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On Sat, 22 Sep 2012 03:09:27 UTC, Yousuf Khan

It varies. Some winters are like that. Last winter was, but it was unusually mild. Two years ago three major snowstorms dumped a total of over 30 inches of snow on us in one week. A month later my lawn was still covered with several inches of snow.
I had a 1973 240Z bought new in southern New Jersey and moved here to northern Virginia. These areas have similar climates. I kept it for 12 years and by 10 years it was rusting through in the usual places where 240Zs rusted through -- wheel wells and rocker panels -- and the driver's side floorboard to boot. It had more miles on it that the 14-year-old Forester, but like the Forester it was always garaged.
There was a lot of improvement in the 25 years between the Z and the Forester.

If you live in the country and drive on gravel roads where stones may be kicked up and damage the zinc layer of galvanized parts and penetrate other factory-applied coatings, you may need aftermarket rust protection, but if you only drive on paved roads in the city I still think you're wasting your money.
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On 23/09/2012 5:01 PM, John Varela wrote:

We don't have to live in the country to get gravel. Up here they usually add a ton of gravel and sand to the salt as well. In the spring they are sweeping up all of these stones and sand.
    Yousuf Khan
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On Mon, 24 Sep 2012 03:28:11 UTC, Yousuf Khan

Have you considered relocating southward?
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wrote:

And deal with hurricanes????
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On Mon, 24 Sep 2012 23:49:59 UTC, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Not THAT FAR south!
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