Rusted Car Bottom


I have a 1992? Toyota Corolla and live in a VERY rainy climate. The bottom of the car is almost completely rusted and the muffler is only a year old but supported by some metal wire that I strung up. I think another piece of the car must have fallen off because now the muffle is completely relying only on the metal wire and not attached to the carriage as it once was. In other words, it’s dangling precariously.

Is there anything I can do to save my car and get a couple more years out of it? The rest of the car is running well. It is kept in a garage at night.


After 15 years one would expect undercarriage rust and the loss of muffler hangers…get yourself some wire hangers and make your own exhaust system hangers otherwise you will loose the muffle etc. unless there are holes into the passenger space rust don’t worry. Cars near salt water do tend to rust faster.


I don’t want to alarm you but you should get the undercarriage checked by a competent mechanic once in a while. If you don’t do your own oil changes, then you should search out a highly regarded mechanic to do your oil changes and he can check the frame members at each oil change.

Some of the suspension mounts hanging off the frame rails can rust off. If you catch a suspected area soon enough, they may be able to salvage it with a welder. They may also be able to slow the rust down some too.


The biggest problem you have or WILL have shortly is exhaust gases infiltrating the cabin space.

My recommendation is to either repair the flooring or dump it.

Rusted out cars aren’t worth the $ you throw at it.


You could take it to a place that does undercoating. Have them give you an estimate on how much it would cost to have it undercoated. They may not undercoat it if it is to rusty. To be quite honest it may cost you more than what the car is worth.


Undercoating once the rust has already started won’t really help much-- there are some actual rust treatments, but they are very expensive.

However, I’m not totally convinced from the original post that the car is necessarilly as bad as the other posters have been thinking. The exhaust rusting out is pretty much normal-- cars need new exhaust components sometimes! Car bodies (as long as they’re not FIATs)usually fare quite well in rainy climates, and it could be that there’s just a bit of normal surface rust on the bottom of the car. There’s nothing in the post to suggest any kind of serious structural problem.

Still, best to get it checked by a professional!


Replace the whole car. 92 corollas on the coast of California don’t have any rust to speak of, the Southern half of Ca. has even less. There is So. Dakota too but less Toyotas. Az. Nv. East of the Cascade mountains in Wa. has little rust. Take a trip out to Wenatche if my spelling is close. Chelan Wa is OK too. Don’t forget Spokane.