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Hi Folks,
I have a new 2017 Crosstrek with 185 miles on it. I looked underneath the vehicle and was surprised at how much rust there appears to be on the exhaust system. The muffler, the pipes and the clamps all have spots of rust all over. I was alarmed by this so I drove down the the dealership after hours and looked under several subaru models and found this was the case on all of them. I'm a little bit suprised by this.
Jim
 

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Welcome to the club!


Unfortunately, many stock exhaust systems aren't of the best quality, especially when it comes to corrosion resistance. Mine in particular has had my local Subaru mechanic warning me not to drive off-road where there is water. I didn't take heed of his advice and my exhaust now has plenty of horrific surface rust on the exhaust.

Do note I've driven my XV Crosstrek off-road and through mud plenty of times. If you live in a salted-road state, you may want to consider periodically spraying the undercarriage to spray off rust-accelerating salt.
 

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If you are really concerned, you could always use a rustproofing paint on those parts? I'm sure there is product available.


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I am also alarmed about the amount of rust on the exhaust components of my new Subaru. Very sub-standard when compared to my other vehicles that get used in the same environment. Painting won't work on surfaces where you've got big heating and cooling cycles except maybe on bracketry. Honestly it really is pathetic and we shouldn't make apologies for Subaru. My guess is that when the first exhaust leak appears the only way to fix it will be complete replacement after gas axe removal. Those nuts will be like little oxidized crumbling blobs...no exaggeration.
 

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Best preventative measure you can take (especially if you live in snow belts) is to get the under carriage washed frequently during the winter months. Road salt and ice melt solutions used by highway departments are brutal on cars undercarriages, exhaust systems, brake lines and other components.
 

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If the rust is present on a lot of the dealer vehicles, that means the rust occurred when in the shipping container, crossing the pacific. Not a big deal. It won't spread unless you keep it wet or salty.
 

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Best preventative measure you can take (especially if you live in snow belts) is to get the under carriage washed frequently during the winter months. Road salt and ice melt solutions used by highway departments are brutal on cars undercarriages, exhaust systems, brake lines and other components.
Yes, thanks Becks, I agree the liquid ice melt solutions are brutal on a car's under carriage. Washing can't really be accomplished easily when you arrive home in the dark after work and the garden hose is frozen. I think the point here is that my Subaru has deteriorated more in two months than my Ford Ranger has in six winters and more than my 31 year-old ex-military Land-Rover has done over a lifetime of neglect.
 

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If the rust is present on a lot of the dealer vehicles, that means the rust occurred when in the shipping container, crossing the pacific. Not a big deal. It won't spread unless you keep it wet or salty.
Wet or salty conditions are a fact of life in the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver BC where I live, shipping container damage or not. So the deal is this, it's going to spread and apparently faster than on my other vehicles. Your mileage may vary.:)

I really like my Crosstrek but let's not pretend this is common on all cars.
 

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I have never really inspected the undercarriage of any of my cars, but I'm sure some rust is to be expected. You have peaked my curiosity, and I will take a look. My last car was an 04 Mazda. It was eventually taken over by rust on the body panels, but the frame and exhaust were fine. I had it up until about 230 k. I've seen companies that do rust proofing, and they do treat undercarriages. The process has to be repeated in time. I'm in PA, and don't know if anyone in this area does it. I have seen a company near Canada that specializes. I'm sure with a little effort you could locate one. It would definitely give some piece of mind. This is obviously a big concern for you.


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Hi Butch, It's more of a disappointment than anything else. In my case I got behind the wheel of my new Crosstrek on the last day of 2016 and really loved my early morning, early evening commutes for the dark, cold and wet days of January and February. What a great little car, competent and sure footed.

At the beginning of March, I excitedly rolled under my Crosstrek to install my oddly named EcoHitch. Part of that exercise involves working around the exhaust and in my case opting to temporarily remove the muffler. This is when I noticed the premature corrosion. I read Jim Wheeler's post and wanted to share my experience. Again, mostly just disappointed.

Now with a generous helping of light pre-corrosion I'll be playing catchup with remedial rust protection I guess. Thanks for everyone's comments, Springtime is here in Vancouver BC, the Crocuses are appearing and the Highways department has stopped salting.?
 

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Unfortunately, many stock exhaust systems aren't of the best quality, especially when it comes to corrosion resistance...

...If you live in a salted-road state, you may want to consider periodically spraying the undercarriage to spray off rust-accelerating salt.
As we do live in a very heavily salted road state here—so knowing that, I opted for the rust-proofing when we purchased.

Looking underneath now after just one winter season, the exhaust line does have a rusted-over surface but some plain steel still peeking through, seems maybe normal for a season I guess. I gather the rustproofing was more about the doors and fenders but the muffler and exhaust pipe don't appear to have had anything sprayed over them.

I've been really good about frequent & thorough washings including undercarriage spray especially after each new snowfall (and therefore another fresh application of salt!). So if the stock exhaust parts are prone to excessive rusting, are there better upgrades to think about?
 

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Aftermarket exhaust

If you’ve had to replace your stock exhaust due to damage or wear, you may have an aftermarket system in place now. It may use 400-series steel, or it may use something else depending on the type of system in question.

Aluminized steel: Aluminized steel is an attempt to make the metal more corrosion resistant. The aluminized coating oxidizes to protect the underlying metal (like galvanized metal). However, any abrasion that removes this coating compromises the underlying steel and can allow rust to set in.

Stainless steel: Several grades of stainless steel are used on aftermarket exhaust systems, particularly the muffler and tips. Stainless steel offers some protection against weathering and damage, but it will also eventually rust.


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I gather by your screen name that you're in Minnesota. Any exhaust shop around you should have the know how for an exhaust setup that won't corrode as easily. Those guys have to make exhaust systems that don't rust out over a season, I'll guarantee a good muff shop will set you up.
 

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Sounds like it would be a good idea to keep an eye on it, and replace parts before "Those nuts will be like little oxidized crumbling blobs..." which does not sound like a desirable outcome. My last car I drove 10 years ('06 - '16) and it's now pretty much a rust bucket but I didn't treat it with nearly the respect I'm giving the 'Trek. I want this Subie to last that long, but in better condition!
 
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