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Normal level of corrosion after 1 year?

Hello people. I’m new here, so I hope I’m ok to ask etiquette-wise. I would just like some feedback on whether this is a normal level of corrosion on a 13 month old car? I bought it last month (Citroen C4 still under warranty). Dad says he checked the engine and it was fine before we bought, however the check was pretty hurried - now I’ve looked myself I’m not so sure. Is it normal, or is it something i need to take it back for the dealer to address?

Many thanks


[engine pics](

Looks like normal corrosion for some parts of the country. If salt is used on your roads in the wintertime or you live near the coastline it’s what you can expect for corrosion.

It depends very highly on the car’s environment. In areas subject to sea air I’d say definitely yes. In the desert I’d say definitely no.
The amount that can be gleaned from the photos is extremely limited, but it looks like normal surface oxidization to me.

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Citroen C4 - Must be European vehicle. Is there a Carfax like service there that might show any warning signs. Yes, ask the dealer the worst they can do is nothing and you could pay a body shop to look at it for your peace of mind.

Oxidation is different from corrosion, and is a natural process that you really can’t do anything to prevent.

I would argue that oxidation/oxidization IS corrosion. It’s the chemical bonding of oxygen atoms with surface molecules of the base material of which the item is made.

When it happens to iron, it causes the base material to fall away and we call it “rust”.
When it happens to aluminum, it forms an extremely hard aluminum-oxide material that protects the underlying material. Microwave circuitry is made on aluminum oxide substrates, and it’s extremely hard material.
It is oxidization to copper that protected the Statue of Liberty for decades in an extreme environment. Copper oxide remains on the surface of the base material and is an excellent protective layer. It was the iron structure below the copper sheathing that corroded and required refurbishing of the Statue some years back.

It’s all corrosion. However if you meant that it doesn’t fall away and expose underlying material to the chemistry wherein the process continues, like iron oxide does, I wholeheartedly agree. It becomes a protective layer on aluminum, copper, and some other metals.


Thanks guys you’ve certainly helped put my mind at rest. When I Tried to Google it I got all hits about radiator leaks. There has been a lot of gritting of icy roads near me and it’s reassuring to hear that aluminium gardens when it oxidises - unlike iron!

Hardens I mean

The initial oxide is a tight, hard coating. As time goes on, aluminum oxidation can bloom into a rough, white coating. It is stil hard, but doesn’t adhere nearly as well as the initial coating.

Yeah looks like pretty normal oxidation on the aluminum parts to me. Can’t really avoid it in Minnesota. Also on the bare metal frame parts, you would normally see some just surface rust but nothing crusted.

I will say though that I had a couple control arms replaced over two years ago on my Pontiac and took it in for alignment. The guy thought I had just replaced them because they looked new yet. The car is in the garage most of the time though and doesn’t get driven a lot on salty roads, but still, just depends on how much it is driven in the winter.

In impure alloys, especially cast aluminum with its inclusions and occlusions, that’s absolutely true. The more pure the aluminum is, the more stable and hard the aluminum oxide is. The stuff used for microwave circuitry substrates is extremely stable and hard.

True, and alloys used in automotive applications will be alloyed so that the parts will be hard enough withstand manufacturing, assembly, and use.

Looks normal to me also. Here’s a tip: When I lived in an area where they put de-icing salt on the roads, I used to wash the underside of my vehicles after every big snow storm at the diy car wash place. The kind of car wash where you pull into a stall & put in some quarters, then you spray the car with a pressurized wand. We still have those even here in San Jose. If you have one where you live, focus on keeping the wheel wells and rocker panels clean and salt free. That worked pretty good for me in keeping the worst of the under-carriage rust away.