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Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Undercarriage Rust

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  • We just found out today that our 1999 Sierra not only has the rusted out brake lines, but also has severe frame damage due to rusting. This is an absolute heartache financially for our family. GMC says frame can not be fixed??? It's the crossmember of the frame.... I can't believe this can not be fixed..... I am physically sick over this. Do you know of a fix for this issue?

    Thank you so much.
  • GM seems to have a huge issue with their frames prematurely rusting out, causing a very dangerous situation. The NHTSA did a recall investigation, but closed the case jan 2011 ....NO recall. Strange that no recall was issued for this, but I see the Toyota Tundra had the same issue and recalled all affected trucks. Why was Toyota required to recall their trucks, but not GM??????? This is a dangerous, expensive, and frustrating problem that GM and the NHTSA should address and fix. If anyone else has this issue ( and I know there are a lot of you ) I would like to get the information together as a group and try to force GM to take responsibility for this problem. Thanks Patti
  • I'm in my truck is a rust box
  • Had the same problem. I took the bed off and found a buddy that could weld went and bought some schedule 40 fence poles and flat steel then spent the day repairing Gm's crap frame still holding up now I need to do the rotted out rocker panels
  • lh1010lh1010 Posts: 2
    I have welded patches, and patches from front to back. I rebuilt the body with new GM parts 3 years ago. If I could find a NEW frame, I would put a crate motor in and have a brand new truck. I just can't find a new frame.
  • GM service dept. won't touch it, so we are looking into making the same sort of repair that you have done...... thankfully we have a good friend who has a welding tool ( I am in the process of trying to find the metal as you did ) Did you happen to take any pictures of your repair???
    I am still planning on trying to get people to one central location to file a formal complaint together, as there is power in numbers, so please keep checking back to this posting for updates.. and thank you for your reply.
  • I am wondering how you made the repair on your truck? Our problem is the crossmember that holds up the gas tank, and GMC service says there is no way to replace the part as it is part of the frame. We were going to try and weld something ourselves and I am wondering how you made out with your truck.

    Thank you
    Patti
  • cookn1cookn1 Posts: 1
    Has anyone experienced the factory undercoating falling off after using another brand of rust inhibitor?
    We applied a rust inhibitor to a 2009 Sierra and the product we applied as well as the factory undercoating literally fell off the vehicle.
    This cannot be normal.
    Any suggestions on what be done?
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,166
    cookn1,
    I apologize for your frustrations. I would recommend speaking with you dealer of choice. Please update me on your situation.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • I'm sorry you're having a problem also. My truck is a 2001 Chevy Silverado 2500HD. If GM is still using the same frame wax, not much to say. It comes off if you bump it. you can scrape it off with your finger nail. My favorite method recently has been mineral spirits. It's like a solid grease. I'm surprised anything sticks to it. Salt will just find a hole in your under coating and penetrate this stuff like butter. Once the salt gets through to the metal, it spreads sideways and your coating just falls off.

    My suggestion is to scrape if all off, then paint on POR-15. Either stop there or add additional rust proofing. Otherwise, it will never stop coming off - if you live in a northern state like me. I would suggest lots of elbow grease, and limit your comments about GM. they don't see the problem as broken.

    Before:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68076540@N08/6189661400/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68076540@N08/6189660480/

    After:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68076540@N08/6286917982/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/68076540@N08/6286917852/
  • Have the rust issue on the rear rails of a 2008 Silverado.

    I wire brushed the rails (at the rear bumper mounts) and applied a coat of sprayed flat enamel to cover the area. So far - its held up nearly a year.
    The rest of the frame is mint- just the very rear of the rails where it caught the salt.
  • im looking to buy some rocker panels for my truck its a 2001 gmc siera 1500 with crew cab any ideas guys for places i live in ri thank you
  • chevman828chevman828 Posts: 1
    edited December 2011
    Wow how did you clean up your frame so nice? Did you sandblast or just scrape it off? I really want to clean up the frame on my 1998 to have it last a long time. Did you spray the por15 or roll it? What did you do for primer? Does it last a long time and protects well? Thanks
  • Lots of man hours and determination. I wouldn't recommend it for the faint of heart. I used mineral spirits, a rag, and a putty knife to scrape all the cheesy wax off the frame - down to the bare metal. Then I used a small hand grinder (4.5 to 5.5 inch) with knotted wire brushes to knock the rust off the best I could. They use POR-15 (google it), which is a 3 step process: grease/dirt cleaner, acid etch, POR-15 paint (2-coats, brush it on; it’s self leveling and looks like you sprayed it on). To do it right, I had to dissemble some parts: springs, shocks, some other small parts. On surfaces that are visible to light, which affects POR-15 discoloration, I sprayed with rustoleum flat black and/or rubberized undercoating to reduce chipping from rocks. I’ve also completed the entire underside of the truck box, disassembled and completed the inside of the rear bumper and trailer hitch. All that work, and I just completed the back half of the truck. I’ll do the front half next year because I need the truck now. The crying shame about all this is that GM could do this at the factory a lot easier than we can. I can understand cost and weight considerations on their part, but at least give us an option of paying for a top notch rust prevention system – not just a rubberized spray over of the wax cheese, which falls off anyway. Get it together GM! We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t make something that won’t rust out in a couple of years? I can do it, why can’t GM?
  • I have followed the posts and threads on the undercarraige rust issue with GM. I own 2 cadillac escalades. One I purchased brand new in 2007 and another purchased in 2008 which I traded my 2002 in for the brand new 2008. Within a year the brake roter rusted completely and peeled and warranty replaced. Again, within a year another set of rotors or rotors and brakes rusted out, now on third set of rotors were replaced, again under warranty as dealer said GM has had rotor issues. Each time escalade was taken to the dealer for all work. Now, for a year we have had a nightmare with undercarraige rust. Entire frame is rusted, ignition coils rusted out and were replaced, both manifolds rusted so bad the bolts busted when they tried to replace them. The lines have rusted out, all replaced under warranty but now eith 29,000 miles on this excalade the warranty ran out in November. I am fighting with GM, and due to go to court in January. Has anyone gone thru the court process and can weigh in what the result was. With only 29000 miles the vehicle is unsafe to drive. an expert looked at it and said it is the worst case of rusted undercarraige he has ever seen. I know this is a mealurgical issue with the 2008 frames as my 2002 and 2007 with 73000 miles has no rust. The 2008 frame, undercarraige, hinges, even the brackets under the hood are rusted and bubbling. I have a 2007 Toyota Tundra that has been in and out of strip jobs, off road in mine pits, sits next to the escalade in the driveway each night and not a bit of rush anywhere and it has 196000 miles. I am contacting the NHTSA and filing a complaint and holding my breath for what the outcome will be in court as the GM experts will testify that there are no rust history with GM undercarraiges. The Sierra is living proof that there is a metalurgical problem and GM should step in and do a recall. I have photos that tell the whole truth. Wife doesnt even drive it when the roads are bad, wont go on ice and minimal salt came in contact and it was always throughly washed. There must be an issue with the 2008 escalade frames and undercarraige. any thoughts?
  • I am so sorry to hear about your rusting problems... you are not alone. I have been fighting this issue for a couple of months now. Obviously, the first step is to put in a formal complaint to NHTSA. I have a blog set up with what I hope is some helpful information.
    http://gmrustbuckets.blogspot.com/
    This also has a link to a fellow GM victim, that is very helpful. I hope this helps a bit, and PLEASE let me know how you make out in court.
    Best of luck.
  • I have a 1999 GMC Sierra and it is rusting too. Frame has completely rusted and had to have it repaired (some what) before the rear end falls out and the rocker panels are just as bad. I work on cars and i see this all the time. Even the insurance agent told me this was a problem on these trucks and that is not cover buy them. They need to recall them and fix them, other wise i will never buy another one! At least toyota fixed their problem.
  • gmrustbucketgmrustbucket Posts: 8
    edited March 2012
    Complain to NHTSA and GM and never buy from GM again. You will never hear from either but at least they will get the message (unless we bail them out again). I have been restoring my 2002 to fight rust with 45k miles. GM has turned their backs on their customers and chose profit over product. Send them a message back. I will be buying other trucks from now on. And to the GM CS's watching this site, stop responding, it is insulting to think you care. Maybe if GM let some dead weight go they could properly make trucks that are actually safe. (Oh and before anyone chimes in saying truck is 10 yrs old. Check my older posts. I have been fighting rust since 2004.)
  • hball01hball01 Posts: 7
    > I have been restoring my 2002 to fight rust with 45k miles.

    Same here, but mine only has 30K miles. Don't forget to look behind the rocker panels below the doors. I noticed the paint bubbling up with a moist oily feel underneath the paint chips I was breaking off. One area was rusted enough to knock out a hole. I ran a video camera probe behind to find the metal rusting out from the back. I'm going to wait until next fall to cut mine off, seal it up with POR-15, then put new ones on. For now I fiber glassed over, and sealed with POR-15 from the outside. Seems the designers left large channels open on the bottom, which allows salty water to spray up inside the closed channels from the wheels, and then forgot to apply any kind of a rust inhibitor. I better not meet one of these designers on the street.
  • katzoo, what has been the outcome if any with GM? We have a 2006 GMC Sierra 2500 HD with the EXACT same issues...2 sets of brakes and rotors rust out, the entire underside is heavily rusted, exhaust has rusted off and the truck only has 32000 miles. We are now even seeing rust inside the cab.
  • Katzoo,

    I have been to court on this and can give you a lot of good info. Where are you in the process.

    Kendonhank
  • Jean,

    I have been to court on this and can give you some good info. Where are you in the process.

    Kendonhank
  • Christina, This problem affects all of the GM trucks ont he road, its not just a select few. My truck (2000 silverado 2500 extended cab) is in great shape no rust at all, but the brake and fuel lines are rusted to hell. Dont start me with the piston slap. I am threw dealing directly with Gm, when my tailgate cables broke and crushed the tailgate, you issued a recall 1 week after the occurence and GM did nothing but replace the cables. If it wanot for the government bail out gm would be gone. Its time to do something. Just google rust and chevy truck and youll get enough hits to enter into a recall. I was a die hard chevy guy (still have an 87 aerocoupe with 4300k) but i will not be much longer. When its time for a new truck 3 brands come to mind, ford, toyota and dodge. Sadly Gm is no longer part of my automotive vocabulary.
  • rustguyrustguy Posts: 1
    Sounds like a Siver-Rot-O to me..we do them all the time AUTORUST.com
  • I have purchased a 2008 gmc with 10,000 miles on it I wash It every weekend and it parks inside the last few times I have washed it I notice little rust spots on the doors in random spots there more and more after I wash it. I called GM which the truck is still under warranty and they said they may not beable to do anything about it. Me and my dad have been GM fans all are lifes after he had seen what my truck was doing stop he stop buying GM products. I have on the truck for 3 months today I just want to find a way to get GM to fix this problem.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,166
    kellerbuilt,
    Thank you for taking the time to post your experience. Can you please email me directly at SocialMedia@GM.com with your VIN, dealer of choice and contact information? I would like to look into this further for you.
    Christina
    GM Customer Service
  • greg128greg128 Posts: 372
    As the owner of a 2006 Silverado and a follower of the Toyota truck rust issues I would like to make the following observations:

    My 2006 Truck has minimal to no rust on its frame. My neighbor has the same on his 2003 Silverado and 2005 Colorado. I live on Long Island where salt is used extensively during winter storms. (although this past winter is an exceptiondue to the mild temperatures).

    I did a search on www.arfc.org which is the site where vehicle complaints are compiled to the NHTSA. I searched "Frame Rust". In the first 10 pages of search results I found the breakdown of complaints by manufacturer:

    GM - 2
    Isuzu - 5
    Honda - 9
    Kia - 1
    Subaru - 1
    Ford - 9
    Nissan - 10
    Toyota - 63

    Fully over 60% of the complaints were for Toyota products. Over 3 million Tacomas and Tundras were sold in the last 12 Years. Toyota has been dealing with this problem by buying back and destroying / or re-framing these trucks to the tune of approx $13,000 per vehicle.
    3 million times $13,000 equals $39 billion. Current Toyota yearly profit is approx $5 billion, so that their liability for these defective frames is equal to about 8 years of profit. I predict their policy of taking responsibility for these rusty trucks will end within a year or two. If I owned their stock I would sell it soon.
  • mpruitt05mpruitt05 Posts: 1
    I guess this is a trending topic on many Chevy trucks. I bought my truck about 5 years ago and could see just a small amount of rust under the rocker panels. Now, I've got a large hole in the passenger side rocker panel and rust is starting to run up the side of the cab on the drivers side. The hinges on the tailgate rusted off and I've replaced them (about $100 from the dealership for parts). I have given up trying to remove my trailer hitch. It has rusted to the receiver itself. Other people I know have had the same problems with their Silverado's around the same year model. I checked with a few body shops around and the cost to replace the rocker panels, spray the under carriage rust and fix what has started on the body would cost about half the value of the truck now.
  • The break lines burst a on my 1995 Chevy silverado Z71 couple years ago and had them replaced. I was amazed at how rusted the frame was and am wonder if the frame will break. I call them rust barnacles, I find large pieces of rust on garage floor. I was not aware until recently that many others were having the same rust problem. I live in the north and take good care of my vehicles. My other car is a 1996 and has no rust. I have dealt with GM on other issues and realized they just don't care.
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