Excessive rust on Dodge truck


#1

I have a 2004 Ram Pickup with only 34,000 miles on it. I started having brake line problems this past winter, both back brake lines broke within two weeks. I had friends who replaced them but had to get through a heck of a lot of rust to do so. Things were fine, but the other day, I started the truck and both the brake light and the ABS light came on. I drove to my mechanic who checked things out. His observations were that there was way too much rust on the truck for its age and mileage, and that he had seen this problem in Dodges before. He said I need everything replaced in the braking system. Yes, he did say everything. That the cost would be high and that he could not do the job. He also noted that the oil pan and transmission housing were also showing extensive rust. He told me to contact a dealership to see if they had any recalls on the rust problem? Has anyone else had a similar problem? Or can anyone offer some helpful suggestions? I need this truck for towing a two horse trailer. It obviously needs to be safe. Thanks!


#2

That is a lot of rust for an 8-year-old vehicle. That’s really low mileage. What climate do you live in? If the vehicle is driven intermittently in winter snow and salt, then parked and never washed or even driven in rain so that the underside never gets a bath, that salt can just stay up under there and slowly destroy everything.

I doubt “everything” needs replaced. It’s hard to believe the master cylinder, ABS unit, combination valve, and wheel cylinders and sensors need replacement, but you may need all of the brake lines under the truck replaced.


#3

I live in the Northeast. I am hearing rumors that the new liquid they are using on the highways in the winter is very corrosive. I guess I am going to be frequenting the local car wash more this winter than in the past. I have someone working on it now and it looks like I have to replace all of the shoes, rotors, one caliper, and the tie rods. I’ve already replaced one caliper this past winter. The tie rod ends are almost fused together and one of the bolts is so rusty it is cracking. I guess I should consider myself lucky that one of the tie rods didn’t let go while hauling.