Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Undercarriage Rust



  • kendonhankkendonhank Member Posts: 61
    Where do you live?

    BTW, GM would not cover this problem under the warranty under any conditions.

    Your truck could be a year old with a thousand miles on stored in a climate controlled facility.
  • chrisb01440chrisb01440 Member Posts: 5
    I live in massachusetts, i know salt snow etc. I washed this thing religiously! I sold a 1986 3/4 ton chevy that I plowed with (shop truck) and that sucker was solid as a rock! Mine has 110,000 miles on it! I just purchased a 2003 dodge ram 2500 quad cab. Its 4 years newer than my rotten suburban but you can eat off the frame its so clean, and its a new england truck also.
  • casillacasilla Member Posts: 20
    If it is up to the dealer to call GM to report these problems that customers come to them with, nothing will ever happen! Warranty parts that are used at the dealer and covered by GM are reimbursed to the dealer at factory prices, however if you are put off by the dealer over and over and your warranty runs out, or you have to cave in and buy a part because you need your vehicle, the dealer can mark the same part up by 45-120% and charge you more for labor. My point here is, the dealer is out to make money so why should they report stuff like this to GM? They have a cash cow here Christina! My dealer is Knight Automotive in Plattsburgh NY and I live in zip code 12989, I am sure if you cared, you could figure out who I am!!!
  • kendonhankkendonhank Member Posts: 61
    GM does not cover any parts due to corrosion under the warranty.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Member Posts: 4,252
    I apologize for your frustrations. Have you set up a case with Customer Service? If so, can you please send your case number so I can look into it? I look forward to your response.
    GM Customer Service
  • casillacasilla Member Posts: 20
    I solved all of my issues with my GMC today, I traded it in for a 2011 Dodge Ram. I took a little hit in the payment department, but not too bad with 1.9% financing.
  • casillacasilla Member Posts: 20
    I cancelled my contract on the Dodge after the dealer played bait and switch, so I am stuck with my GMC, as I learned the trade in value is about 1/2 the sticker price after 15 months! And today I learned what the transmission whine was, Torque converter! there is a tsb out for 2009-2010 built prior to april 19 2010.
  • susandpcsusandpc Member Posts: 1
    I just feel so sick about this: Our 1997 GMC Sierra with 85,000 miles will not pass inspection. Garage was afraid to put it on the lift because it was so badly rusted. I've very disappointed and it should not happen to a vehicle with this few a miles. Heck we see 20 year old vehicles that don't have this much rust. Vechicle is unsafe to drive. We don't have 30k, 20k or even 10k to spend on another vehicle. Will GM help us in anyway?
    I have filed a complaint with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.
  • chrisb01440chrisb01440 Member Posts: 5
    I have posted a few times and have gotten responses from a "GM" customer service representative. And of course I have gotten no where! So I just posted a complaint to the NHTSA myself. I would recommend anyone having trouble with rot on these trucks to post a complaint! If we all complain together maybe it will be loud enough for GM to hear! this is the link to there page. File a complaint online, its easy and only took me about 5 minutes.
  • gmrustbucketgmrustbucket Member Posts: 8
    I have posted my complaint with GM, NHTSA, and every forum I can to warn others of these problems. I had my entire brake system replaced twice until I used conifer tubing to protect myself (Chevy denies problem). I also complained about my 2002 Silverado that has 45k miles and LOOKS in excellent shape. My entire frame is roting away. GM will do nothing about it (do not get any hopes up if hearing from rep on this forum). They know of the issue and WILL NOT fix it. They do not care about thier customers lives, only the next dollar they can make. PLEASE stay away from GM until they step up and fix this issue. I will keep warning people on every possible media I can find as long as they ignore my families safety. Step up GM. We cannot be ignored.

    PS this is a notice from a lifelong Chevy guy until they put my family at risk.
    PSS I have pictures of the rot and problems if anyone wants to see what to expect.
  • kendonhankkendonhank Member Posts: 61
    Unfortunately, GM will do nothing for you. Even if you were within the bumper to bumper warranty, they would tell you that they do not cover ANY corrosion to any part of the vehicle caused by the environment, which as we all know, is the cause of ALL corrosion. GM simply doesn't cover corrosion, and I have been to the highest levels of the company, and in the courtroom with their experts.

    That is why Government Motors went out of business once, and will go out of business again.
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    You are complaining about rust on a 10 year old truck?

    When did the rust start? 2003? 2010?
  • kendonhankkendonhank Member Posts: 61
    The rust on the undercarriage of my brand new Silverado started in about a month, and the truck was a rust bucket in two years. If you read the posts on this thread, you will see a common theme. The rust starts early, is very aggressive, and attacks only the undercarriage. I have had non-GM vehicles used under the same conditions in the same area with zero rust after ten years.
  • gmrustbucketgmrustbucket Member Posts: 8
    My rust started the same. About a month after purchase. I had my rotors and calipers replaced at <36 months due to Rotting not wear. My first brake line blowout was at 4yrs. This is not a 'oh that's an old truck' thing. I have a 79 Bronco that is used in same area and has very little rust on the frame and has the original brake hard lines in it. I'm just trying to warn people of what they are buying. Ask a local mechanic about vehicles before you buy one. I dont know about you but I don't think a $30k truck even at 8 yrs shouldn't be a total loss due to frame rust through.
  • kendonhankkendonhank Member Posts: 61
    GM will always blame the environment for the corrosion, but it is bogus, because surrounding the GM rust bucket will always be older vehicles in pristine condition that have been stored, used and cared for in exactly the same way.

    Government Motors!
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    I'm confused. In reading back you're in litigation with GM? On a 2005 Silverado that started under carriage rust within the first year of ownership? What's missing here?
  • hball01hball01 Member Posts: 7
    I&#146;m new to this forum. Sorry for the long post: I started researching a rust problem on my truck, and it didn&#146;t take long for find this discussion. My truck is a 2001 Chevy Silverado, 2500 HD, and has only 33K miles. I bought it brand new. With low mileage, I&#146;m expecting it to last my lifetime. Most of the driving lately has been Wisconsin winter driving &#150; when my Honda can&#146;t make it on fresh snow. Lately, I&#146;m venturing into summer driving with a truck camper. I started getting tired of the rust spots on the driveway. I should have applied undercoating when I bought the truck, but couldn&#146;t afford it nor had time for it as I was building a house. Now it&#146;s time for the truck fix. Again, I can&#146;t afford it, so I&#146;m doing it myself. I have the truck bed removed (I have a cherry picker), the bumper, trailer hitch, and gas tank dropped, so I have good access. I&#146;m shocked at what I&#146;m seeing. The metal frame is still good. I&#146;m using an electric wire brush and grinder to remove the rust, but the time consuming part is I&#146;m having to remove factory under coating from the frame with mineral spirits and a rag. Guess what? They did not paint the frame. Let me repeat that: they did not paint the frame. Water and salt is burrowing through the undercoating and attacking the naked metal. Then, it&#146;s burrowing sideways, and the undercoating is coming off in sheets &#150; as well as chunks of rust. My goal for this year is to restore the back half of the truck &#150; frame, suspension, even the underside of the truck bed &#150; anything that looks rusty. Next year, I&#146;ll do the front. Once the metal is cleaned, I&#146;ll put multiple coats of rustoleum primer, then multiple coats of rustoleum enamel, then undercoating again. The frame is well rusted, the brake calipers are well rusted. The differential and axel is well rusted. Last year, I replaced the brake rotors all around because they rusted out &#150; before the original brakes were worn. The shocks are unrecognizable, but still manage to work. I&#146;ll be replacing them. The brake lines had a level of corrosion I was able to knock off, and will be putting a sealer on. I&#146;ll be keeping an eye on those &#150; I&#146;m sure I&#146;ll have to replace them one day. Heck, maybe they&#146;ll make it to 40K miles. There is a galvanized side plate on the center side of the plastic gas tank &#150; probably to protect the gas tank from things flying off the drive shaft. Hard to tell from the rust. I&#146;ll knock that clean and spray rustoleum galvanizing spray on it. The bottom line is, they skipped the painting part and went for an undercoating instead. As I walk through parking lots, and look under trucks, I see well protected painted and undercoated undersides. They&#146;re not GM or Chevys. I see aged Dodge Rams that are painted, without undercoating, and they still look reasonable. That&#146;s because they were painted. I look under CM and Chevys and all I see is rust. Now, I know Chevy doesn&#146;t warranty the elements. My question is when did they start, and how long did it go on, when they decided not to paint the frame and underside? I&#146;m not an expert, but I&#146;ve been around the garage a time or two. Seems like painting the metal would be job one. I&#146;ll bet they are painting their frames now, before applying undercoating. Next time I buy a truck, assuming I can&#146;t keep this bucket rolling, I&#146;m going to scratch the undercoating from the frame to see if I find any paint. Am I wrong about this?
  • kendonhankkendonhank Member Posts: 61
    GM has testified in court that the wax undercoating is designed to last only one year and is for cosmetic protection only. Basically, they rely on the bulk of the metal to keep the frame intact for the life of the vehicle. Not all GM trucks are rusting like yours and mine. It is definitely a subset, and I can't explain the reason. My guess is there is some kind of electrical circuit (anode/cathode) that inadvertently forms in some of the vehicles that accelerates the corrosion process in certain vehicles.
  • hball01hball01 Member Posts: 7
    edited September 2011
    I guess I should have googled more before ranting. This topic seems to be covered. However, I'm confused by GM's statement that the wax is used to stop rust. In my restoration, I'm taking off 1/16 inch thick chunks of the frame. Here is my rear crossbar, representing an area that is unreachable and not repairable without garage assistance - quite an assumption for the average customer:[email protected]/6189140685/in/photostream/lightbox/

    Other views:[email protected]/6189661400/in/photostream[email protected]/6189660480/in/photostream

    I'm guessing they just made a business decision and traded a savings of $100 in paint for hundreds of hours of labor and hundreds of $$$ in parts for the customer. All we can do is keep this in mind on future purchases.
  • lh1010lh1010 Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone know where we can find a new frame for a 1990 Chevy Silverado stepside, short box?
  • pattipie3pattipie3 Member Posts: 25
    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.
  • pattipie3pattipie3 Member Posts: 25
    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
  • mrstevens1000mrstevens1000 Member Posts: 5
    I'm in my truck is a rust box
  • mrstevens1000mrstevens1000 Member Posts: 5
    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 Member 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.
  • pattipie3pattipie3 Member Posts: 25
    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.
  • pattipie3pattipie3 Member Posts: 25
    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
  • cookn1cookn1 Member 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 Member Posts: 4,252
    I apologize for your frustrations. I would recommend speaking with you dealer of choice. Please update me on your situation.
    GM Customer Service
  • hball01hball01 Member Posts: 7
    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:[email protected]/6189661400/[email protected]/6189660480/

    After:[email protected]/6286917982/[email protected]/6286917852/
  • 2doorpost2doorpost Member Posts: 74
    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.
  • jsweetguy320jsweetguy320 Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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
  • hball01hball01 Member Posts: 7
    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&#146;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&#146;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&#146;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 &#150; 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&#146;t make something that won&#146;t rust out in a couple of years? I can do it, why can&#146;t GM?
  • katzookatzoo Member Posts: 2
    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?
  • pattipie3pattipie3 Member Posts: 25
    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.
    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.
  • chrisgfromvachrisgfromva Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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.)
  • pattipie3pattipie3 Member Posts: 25
  • hball01hball01 Member 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.
  • jeanfitz63jeanfitz63 Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • kendonhankkendonhank Member Posts: 61

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

  • kendonhankkendonhank Member Posts: 61

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

  • whtmontiewhtmontie Member Posts: 1
    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 Member Posts: 1
    Sounds like a Siver-Rot-O to me..we do them all the time
  • kellerbuiltkellerbuilt Member Posts: 1
    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 Member Posts: 4,252
    Thank you for taking the time to post your experience. Can you please email me directly at [email protected] with your VIN, dealer of choice and contact information? I would like to look into this further for you.
    GM Customer Service
  • greg128greg128 Member Posts: 500
    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 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 Member 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.
  • miss_judy1miss_judy1 Member Posts: 1
    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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