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Removing rust from a truck

I have 2004 Tundra, and sometimes a sticking point on a sale is the rust. It spent 4-5 years close to the Pacific Ocean. There’s a noticeable but modest amount of rust showing between the hubcaps and wheel. There is noticeable rust around the engine compartment. I did have the engine compartment cleaned, but some amount still shows. I’m not sure about rust under the truck.

What to do about it? I’m thinking nothing. Just lower the price if it’s an issue. However, maybe there’s another idea?

What do you mean by rust around the engine compartment? Are we talking things like the shock towers? Is it surface rust or has it gotten into the metal? Or is it the top of the motor?


Sounds like a good to post pix. I didn’t know it could be done, but see it now. I’ll try to do it in a few hours.

OK,I had a meeting canceled, so here are the pix. Hmmm, I may have to do this one at a time. Well here is #1. All rust is on the undercarriage, wheels, and engine comparment.

A representative shot in the engine compartment.

One from the undercarriage. I have two more to post but will stop here. If there’s a way to post 2 or 3 at a time, I’d like to know how.

The issue with Tundra’s is some of them were recalled for safety issues due to the frame rusting out. You seem to be talking about surface rust, but for many buyers rust they can see means a rusted frame and substructure meaning a truck that is ready for the crusher.

To handle that objection you could have a good body shop examine the trucks frame and issue a written all is good with the frame report.

You are also the guy asking about timing belt replacement. You can sell the truck as is, the belt won’t snap on you. The next buyer will have to deal with it. It isn’t your responsibility to inform the new buyer.

Another strategy would be to have the belt replaced now and show the receipt documenting this fact to the potential buyers. It might help build trust and could add value to the truck. It might even make the rust objection something you could overcome without much loss of value.

Woe is I. :slight_smile: I think we both agree on the harmlessness of both issues I posted. I hope you read my “analysis” response. In the rust case, I took a materials class in college a long time ago as a requirement for all engineering degrees. I don’t recall rust continuing after removing it from the environment the rust began. It’s been a long way and time from the Pacific Ocean where this started. How an ordinary buyer sees all this is a different story.

Interesting about the rust safety issue. I’ll look into it further.

Yes, I’ve never brought up the timing belt issue, but have not denied its existence when it was brought up. It’s up to the buyer to discover these things. If I knew of a serious safety issue, I would get it fixed first.

From bodyshop experience I can say once rust gets started it’s very tough to stop. However from what I can see from your pics. it does not look unusually bad…I have seen a lot worse especially in my state with snow & road chemicals. I doubt your frame is structurally damaged from it, but as Uncle Turbo said you could have it inspected to make sure.
A Saturday spent with sandpaper, primer and a spray can or two of paint would make those wheels look like new!

Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a body shop within 30 miles of me that is qualified to make a statement. I live in a small town in the Sierra foothills of California. Frankly, I think the market for a v8 truck that might get 15 mpg is pretty limited right now.

My mechanic shop commented on it once, and saw no difficulty. Personally, of the seven or so people have been interested in the truck, only three have objected on the grounds of rust.

For what it’s worth, I’ve attached a pic of the truck. No rust anywhere other than I mentioned.

Well, I’ll ponder all of these suggestions.

It’s hard for me to tell but from the pics it doesn’t look that bad.

You might consider buying a bottle of rust converter and brushing some of that on the rusted areas.
A little of this stuff will go a long way and can be applied with a small paint brush. After it sits for a while this chemical will start turning black and while it won’t cure any rust problem it can certainly slow it way down and make it much more presentable to look at seeing as how this stuff blackens as it dries.
The wheels may be a different kettle of fish though.

I’ve got some old and very rare Harley motorcycle parts with some rust areas that could not be cleaned as much as they needed to be. I used some of this product on those parts, painted them, and 10 years later no rust bleed-through yet.
You can buy this stuff just about everywhere.

The exterior has not a touch of rust on it. Zero. Probably attributable to a superior coating of parts.

Personally, if the next buyer complains, I’ll knock the price down by $100.