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Need help: Is this car's undercarriage in bad condition? Looking to buy soon.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Haschwalt, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    [​IMG]
    I'm not sure what i'm looking at above here - is this dirt, or rust and corrosion?

    Might be buying soon. Car's a 2012 with 45k miles - Toyota dealer's asking $13.8k for (Prius 4). It's a car from upstate NY which has salt/water corrosion issues in the winter. Car is otherwise clean inside (the driver foot area has a salt stain but otherwise car is clean for its age), and owner regularly serviced it.


    Should I pass on this car? I intend to keep it for as many years possible.
     

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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    looks like some kind of undercarriage coating, but i can't be sure from the pic. what does it feel like?

    it also looks like some of the aero covers are missing. ask them to include in the purchase price.

    prius doesn't have a ton of rust problems, although things can look rusty
     
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  3. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    Can't say since I'm not there - there was some mention of undercoat protection possibly done, but don't know.
     
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  4. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    you mean the wheel caps?
     
  5. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    Is this something to consider too? I don't know what these parts are. Thanks in advance.

    [​IMG]
     

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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no, the entire underbody has plastic covers for aerodynamics. there is an oil flap that often breaks, and sometimes, people just remove the whole front section for service, and never replace it.

    those circled sections don't look too unusual. see if you can find one to look at for comparison.

    is it a one owner, always registered in ny?
     
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  7. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    Yes one owner always registerd in NY. Always serviced at same Toyota. Very low milage. The big area that we mentioned before is dirt not undercarriage protection.

    How much would those plastic covers cost for aerodynamics ball park?
     
  8. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    Typically a car that has been treated with “Fluid Film” will collect dust like this. Although the dust looks unsightly, the “FluidFilm” is probably the best solution for rust preventative maintenance. It’s an oily product so you can expect a build up of road film and dust. Your picture seems to look like this is the case.
    A good test would be to rub your finger across a section of the undercarriage. If your finger comes up with an oily dirt mixture you should be fine.
     
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  9. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    Great info! Should you leave that dirt on there then if this is the case? Or can/should you remove it?
     
  10. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yeah, it looks like under body coating. If you can touch the part with you finger and comes off it is likely something similar to Fluid Film mentioned above.
     
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  11. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    Let sleeping dogs lie.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    not sure on the costs, depends on what is missing. probably a few hundred.
     
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  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    If it is Fluid Film, then they do recommend annual "touch-up" coating application. It is not permanent like some other undercover coating that hardens like plastic.
     
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  14. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    So Toyota dealer said that, "There are a few of those undercovers listed on the illustrated parts breakdown that are not applicable for the VIN ."

    It's a Prius 4 Trim with solar roof option.

    Thoughts? Is he incorrect?
     
  15. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    Absolutely correct, Haschwalt!
    BTW, the rubberized undercoatings that are used are death on the undercarriage of cars that are driven in the “ Rust Belt”. These types of coatings promote rust damage by trapping road salts an moisture in between the metal and the coating. By all means, stay away from this type of product.
     
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  16. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    Why does the 4 trim miss the undercarriage "aero" panels but the other trims don't? And sorry if I misunderstood, but are you saying this car may have a rubberized undercoating or just in general?

    Thank you for your help!*
     
    #16 Haschwalt, Aug 1, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sorry i don't know the answer to that. not sure if he is correct or not. hopefully bzzap does
     
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  18. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    There is the possibility that the PO removed them because on dirt roads. Those underpanels can collect copious amounts of brine saturated dirt.

    It doesn’t appear that the car has rubberized undercoat. If that was the case, you would have no doubt because the car would in all likelihood be a rusted, see-through rust bucket.
     
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  19. Haschwalt

    Haschwalt Member

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    Dealer said, "We use auto armor for our undercoating. It is a petroleum based product that is only applied once. It dries to a slightly tacky consistancy." Is this the same rubber stuff you were talking about?

    The car's a good deal/price wise - clean, and besides that surface rust on 2 componentss, and the missing aero panels (if anyone can chime in on whether or not this was a part of the Prius 4), car seems good I think. I'm close to buying it in the next few days.
     

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  20. lenjack

    lenjack Active Member

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    I think it's OK.
     
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