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Some rust on undercarriage and clutch cylinder of used car?

Hi all,

There’s a 2011 Mazda 3 (2.5L) that I want to buy. It’s very clean and has no rust on the painted body, but there’s some rust on the undercarriage and on the cylinder next to the clutch pedal (by the way, what is that part called?). See these photos:

Is any of this serious? I want to get 5 years out of this car, and I live in Quebec, Canada with a lot of snow, ice slush, salted roads, etc. Advice would be appreciated!

I would not worry about how steering column looks INSIDE, but the suspension rust does not look good, especially since what you see is only 50% of what’s there :frowning:

Seriously , if you are going to a forum to ask perfect strangers whether to buy a vehicle than I say pass . There are thousands of used vehicles out there that can be found that won’t have you concerned at the start .

Rust is like icebergs , you only see a small portion of it.

I have a sister who has lived in Quebec for decades. Quebec is very, very hard on cars.

My recommendation is to have this vehicle looked over thoroughly by a trusted mechanic. Like Greendragon, I don’t like the looks of that undercarriage.

The steering column is normal . . . that level of oxidation is to be expected. It is inconsequential

The other picture is more worrisome. It appears to be the rear suspension. Pretty rusty for 6 years of age. I suspect the front suspension is much the same. In my opinion, it doesn’t bode well for a long life.

My first opinion is pass on this car.

However, if you really like it, follow mountainbike’s advice. Tell the mechanic you’re thinking of buying the car, and you’d like him to go over it, which should include a thorough test drive and putting the car on a hoist.


That amount of rust looks normal to me for a car that age from Quebec. I would expect to get 5 years from it but not 10. I would imagine most used cars in Quebec would look like that unless they belonged to snowbirds that wintered in Florida.

In the Buffalo area we have used car dealers who specialize in selling used cars from Florida, because of border regs, I don’t know if they have them in Quebec but you might want to find out.

Run and don’t look back! this car is probably in worst shape than it appears. These older generation Mazda3 were built in Japan using bad recycled steel, thin paint and little rustproofing.They were not tested for the harsh Quebec winters where road salt mixed with gravel stones are used to de- ice roads The latest generation is built in Mexico and has a better built quality,improved rustproofing protection and better paint job. You decide!

Are you by chance going a little overboard?

I suspect there are lots lots of 6 year old vehicles of ALL brands, made in numerous countries besides Japan, which are just as rusty, if living their whole lives in Quebec

How about you show us the proof?

Show us pictures of the underside of a Mexican-built 6 year old Mazda 3 which has spent its entire in Quebec

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I thought it was strange that we had two people from Canada posting similar ideas . But I suspect that the anomaly this site had for a while with using different names ( screen name and email address ) that I think Rascal 123 and Corollaguy are the same person.

I don’t see very many Mazdas here in MN and WI, which surprised me because they are usually well reviewed by the automotive and consumer press. The ones I do see, unless fairly new, look to my eye to have much more body panel rust for their age than the general run of cars.