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I lived in the Chicago area for 13 years which, as everyone knows, salts the bejeezus out of the roads. Cars get nailed pretty bad but not THAT bad in less than 10 years on suspension structural members, and I've crawled under and worked on a LOT of cars while there. If you live in the city either in an apartment or townhouse (which a huge percentage of people do, myself included when I was there for most of it) you're not undercarriage washing anything in the winter either and an awful lot of people don't have indoor parking of any sort.

My 2015 doesn't look anything like this -- anywhere -- but I don't live where the brine the crap out of the roads all winter either..... if I did I suspect I'd be very, very unhappy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
I say "like" but I don't in fact like that it's happening to your Mazda. Now while several of the members' Mazda6's are apparently not paragons of "rust-free-ness", @Byakuya 's car has been in the Northeast, is of a similar- or older vintage, and apparently is not that bad.... ????
Maybe I just got unlucky and the guy applying corrosion inhibitors was feeling uninspired that day.
 

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I say "like" but I don't in fact like that it's happening to your Mazda. Now while several of the members' Mazda6's are apparently not paragons of "rust-free-ness", @Byakuya 's car has been in the Northeast, is of a similar- or older vintage, and apparently is not that bad.... ????
Depends on what you call "not that bad" - I've got plenty of rust buildup everywhere underneath and a few pretty bad heat shields that are starting to crumble.

However, having spent 9 winters of its life where they use obnoxious amounts of road brine, being on the road at 7am and back home at 6pm, there's not a single minute in the day during winter that I would have a chance to drag my hose out and rinse the car. This car has taken a beating for over 8 years and it's holding up just fine compared to every other car I see out there.

Could I have done more to prevent it, absolutely, but am I aware that most reasonable things you do to prevent rust won't do much in the long run, definitely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 · (Edited)
Pre water based paint still.
I'm all for saving the environment, but that just pisses me off. I recall trying to buy oil based Kilz paint for a shed project and I couldn't get it in the gallon size anymore due to environmental regulations. So the local paint store was selling it in 4 quart cases instead.
 

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  • 10 winters. (9 years, starting in February)
  • 185k miles.
  • 8 years living in top 20 snowiest city in country (4 years straight 2nd place behind Syracuse, NY)
  • 8 years with extreme amounts of road brine.
  • Never once washed it during winter.
  • Never applied any kind of rust inhibitor/protection.
  • The car is currently filthy, sorry.
  • Here are images of both the front and back axels (a couple of the worst areas on the car) - to me, this certainly fits "isn't that bad"

 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
Depends on what you call "not that bad" - I've got plenty of rust buildup everywhere underneath and a few pretty bad heat shields that are starting to crumble.

However, having spent 9 winters of its life where they use obnoxious amounts of road brine, being on the road at 7am and back home at 6pm, there's not a single minute in the day during winter that I would have a chance to drag my hose out and rinse the car. This car has taken a beating for over 8 years and it's holding up just fine compared to every other car I see out there.

Could I have done more to prevent it, absolutely, but am I aware that most reasonable things you do to prevent rust won't do much in the long run, definitely.
I covered the entire front clip, rocker panels, trunk lid and rear bumper top with PPF immediately after buying it. (Not done by Mazda). Worth every penny.

Several people have mentioned Fluid Film, but when I research it I come across several posts from people who say their local paint shop won't touch their car due to potential paint booth contamination. Then a video of a guy who noticed that Fluid Film seems to be dissolving some of the paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
  • 10 winters. (9 years, starting in February)
  • 185k miles.
  • 8 years living in top 20 snowiest city in country (4 years straight 2nd place behind Syracuse, NY)
  • 8 years with extreme amounts of road brine.
  • Never once washed it during winter.
  • Never applied any kind of rust inhibitor/protection.
  • The car is currently filthy, sorry.
  • Here are images of both the front and back axels (a couple of the worst areas on the car) - to me, this certainly fits "isn't that bad"
Wow, 185k miles. That's some serious traveling. I bet the top of your rear lower control arms look similar to mine. From what I can see of it, your rear stabilizer links probably look like mine too.
 

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  • 10 winters. (9 years, starting in February)
  • 185k miles.
  • 8 years living in top 20 snowiest city in country (4 years straight 2nd place behind Syracuse, NY)
  • 8 years with extreme amounts of road brine.
  • Never once washed it during winter.
  • Never applied any kind of rust inhibitor/protection.
  • The car is currently filthy, sorry.
  • Here are images of both the front and back axels (a couple of the worst areas on the car) - to me, this certainly fits "isn't that bad"
View attachment 245753
View attachment 245754
Amazingly little corr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Amazingly little corr.
Interesting. When I look at Byakuya's pics I see the same level of corrosion as mine. It took me a bit of time to get the phone camera in the right positions to see the problem areas. Car needs to be jacked up to really see the rear lower control arm/stabilizer link bracket area and expose the subframe to bushing connection rot. The front lower control arms tend to be rotting out right at the bushing - again - have to get the camera in the right angle to see it.
 

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I live in Chicago. It snows a lot here. They use road salt like crazy here all winter long.
That level of corrosion is 100% unacceptable. I agree with OP that if our cars are that susceptible to rust Mazda should call it out in the owner's manual. FYI - I have never seen that level of rust on a car that I have owned. I am going to ask my dealer if I can take a look at my undercarriage next oil change.
 

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I agree with OP that if our cars are that susceptible to rust Mazda should call it out in the owner's manual.
It does call out underbody rinsing in the manual. At least in the 2020. Likely because they know it’s going to rust and it buys them some “too bad, it’s on you” wiggle room.

We haven’t had that many episodes of snow/ice that needed salt, but they do use it to excess here for the conditions when it does get sloppy out there. When it gets that bad, with the pandemic and all; I just don’t bother to go out. I do rinse the underbody when washing the car (probably once a month or so - a left over from my days in Ohio). Rarely stays below freezing for more that a week.
 

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I live in Chicago. It snows a lot here. They use road salt like crazy here all winter long.
That level of corrosion is 100% unacceptable. I agree with OP that if our cars are that susceptible to rust Mazda should call it out in the owner's manual. FYI - I have never seen that level of rust on a car that I have owned. I am going to ask my dealer if I can take a look at my undercarriage next oil change.
I'd love to see the average rust buildup on any cars built in the last 10 years that have lived through as many winters as ours. In my experience, this level of rust is 100% acceptable for modern cars with cheap, thin metals, even thinner paint/protection, and the level of brine that they now use on the roads.

You can get the same photos I did without jacking the car up (I didn't), so it's super easy to do. My 2004 V6 had even more corrosion than this one does after the same amount of time. 95% of the rust you see is surface-only and could easily be taken care of with a hard day's work of wire brushing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
It does call out underbody rinsing in the manual. At least in the 2020. Likely because they know it’s going to rust and it buys them some “too bad, it’s on you” wiggle room.
View attachment 245772
We haven’t had that many episodes of snow/ice that needed salt, but they do use it to excess here for the conditions when it does get sloppy out there. When it gets that bad, with the pandemic and all; I just don’t bother to go out. I do rinse the underbody when washing the car (probably once a month or so - a left over from my days in Ohio). Rarely stays below freezing for more that a week.
Sorry, I guess I missed that. I see now it is in the 2015 manual. I was looking for something in the Scheduled Maintenance or Owner Maintenance sections of the manual. I wouldn't have expected something this important to be in the Appearance Care section. This is a structural safety issue, not an aesthetic appearance issue. We'd be much better off if it was in the Scheduled Maintenance section, as then the dealer would be offering it at every oil change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I'd love to see the average rust buildup on any cars built in the last 10 years that have lived through as many winters as ours. In my experience, this level of rust is 100% acceptable for modern cars with cheap, thin metals, even thinner paint/protection, and the level of brine that they now use on the roads.

You can get the same photos I did without jacking the car up (I didn't), so it's super easy to do. My 2004 V6 had even more corrosion than this one does after the same amount of time. 95% of the rust you see is surface-only and could easily be taken care of with a hard day's work of wire brushing.
I can take pictures that look just like yours too and they won't show the imminent failure areas. Those are the areas that are 100% Unacceptable as they affect the safe handling of the car.
 

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shrug

I haven't seen a single article about these cars having any more issues due to rust than any other vehicle and, after 185k miles, I still take corners faster than I should and enjoy every second of it. The only things on Mazdas I've seen fall apart due to corrosion (after roughly 8 years) are the upper strut mounts in the rear.

If I've got any "imminent failure areas" they would've broken a long time ago.
 
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