Extremely rusty engine bay on 2 year old truck

Messages
307
Location
Central NY
Finally pulled the trigger and brought a Toyota Tacoma. Black 2.7L 4x4 access cab. My original intention was to buy a new 2021 but they sold it and had the same exact spec truck in stock as a used, off-lease unit. 2018 with 10k miles.

I know NY salt isn’t friendly to metal but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this. 2 year old truck and the radiator clamps, bolts, brackets in the engine bay look like They belong on a 15 year old NY vehicle. A lot of it is heavy surface rust but a decent amount is showing early signs of corrosion. The frame and underbody is extremely clean.

what’s the best way to deal with this rust? My main concern is the radiator clamps. I was thinking of spending this weekend hitting all of the rust with a rust dissolver and then putting a rust barrier over, but I’m not sure how those chemicals will effect the rubber hoses. Few other small bits and pieces are rusty and corroded.

my buddy has a 7 year old Dodge Avenger that he’s never washed the engine bay, driven in NY since new. it doesn’t even show half as much rust as this 2018 Tacoma.
 

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Messages
36,110
Location
ME
Replace the clamps if they bother you. Fiddling with rust converter on an $8 part, really?

And this is something you can do somewhere on down the road.

That is a disappointing looking bay, reminds me of project cars I've seen that have sat six months to a year.
 
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15,816
Location
...
Check some nooks and crannies for any rust and sediment. I’d wonder if this truck had been in a flood. I haven’t seen anything like that either. Another possibility is that the engine compartment was open to the elements for a while. Maybe a Carfax check is in order?
 

avacado11

Thread starter
Messages
307
Location
Central NY
Replace the clamps if they bother you. Fiddling with rust converter on an $8 part, really?

And this is something you can do somewhere on down the road.

That is a disappointing looking bay, reminds me of project cars I've seen that have sat six months to a year.

i will have to pull the hoses to replace the clamps, assuming there’s still enough integrity in the clamps where they won’t just snap away. If they just break off I’ll throw some new adjustable clamps on.
Everything else just seems like a PITA to source the bolts and what not. Trying to do something now so 5 years down the road the bolt head doesn’t round off or seize when I need it to come off.
 

avacado11

Thread starter
Messages
307
Location
Central NY
Check some nooks and crannies for any rust and sediment. I’d wonder if this truck had been in a flood. I haven’t seen anything like that either. Another possibility is that the engine compartment was open to the elements for a while. Maybe a Carfax check is in order?

Clean carfax, auto check. Underbody and everything else is extremely clean. The engine block itself is clean too. Just the parts around it. Starting to think toyota used inferior metal. Quite disappointing because my IS250 that’s been in NY for 6 years doesn’t look like this at all, although that enfine bay is much better sealed off than the Tacoma.
 
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12,469
Location
North Carolina
The picture seems odd to me. Rust on some areas, yet the brake booster is shiny. Some AL parts look oxidized, yet the bottom of the master cylinder looks like new. Some clamps look rusty, a couple look like they were replaced yesterday. Same for some of the hoses some look older, some look brand new. Yet you mention the frame and underbody is clean. Makes me wonder if there was a junk yard engine swap.
 
Last edited:
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15,816
Location
...
The picture seems odd to me. Rust on some areas, yet the brake booster is shiny. Some AL parts look oxidized, yet the bottom of the master cylinder looks like new. Some clamps look rusty, a couple look like they were replaced yesterday. Same for some of the hoses some look older, some look brand new. Yet you mention the frame and underbody is clean. Makes me wonder if there was a junk yard engine swap.


I looked again and your are correct. That one hose in the upper right of the picture does look brand new while a hose nearby is definitely older.

Something happened here obviously. If the engine was swapped wouldn’t that be traceable?


Did this truck come off a Toyota dealer lot?
 
Messages
170
Location
NJ
I use Rustoleum Rust converter. Just spray it on, you can light sand before you spray but I don't. Was the car ever owned by someone who could have been in a coastal flood?
 

avacado11

Thread starter
Messages
307
Location
Central NY
I looked again and your are correct. That one hose in the upper right of the picture does look brand new while a hose nearby is definitely older.

Something happened here obviously. If the engine was swapped wouldn’t that be traceable?


Did this truck come off a Toyota dealer lot?

yup toyota dealership. Didn’t notice the hoses until you pointed it out. I will check the serial on the block and the motor mounts to see if the bolts have been touched. Hopefully all is good
 

avacado11

Thread starter
Messages
307
Location
Central NY
I use Rustoleum Rust converter. Just spray it on, you can light sand before you spray but I don't. Was the car ever owned by someone who could have been in a coastal flood?

this was leased locally here in central NY. Town is close to a lake but it’s all fresh water here, and having only 10k miles it didn’t seem like it was driven much.
 
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15,816
Location
...
yup toyota dealership. Didn’t notice the hoses until you pointed it out. I will check the serial on the block and the motor mounts to see if the bolts have been touched. Hopefully all is good


Does your state have a good faith return policy in case you decided you don’t want this?
 
Messages
35,248
Location
NY
Wow that doesn't look good for a two year old truck. A rust converted might doll it up a bit. I'd complain to the dealer and see if they'll do anything for you. Good luck.
 
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1,976
Location
Minnesota
How does the aluminum block look? In Minnesota, older aluminum blocks start to show corrosion in the form of small white nodules on the surface. But not until 10 years or so. Something here does not add up. At 2 years, under the hood should look brand new or very close.
 
Messages
51
Location
PA
Maybe something strange was used to clean the engine bay? Or was used improperly. For example, straight Simple Green that isn't rinsed properly can do a real number on certain metals. My 2018 Chevy with 3x the miles looks nearly new.
 

Zee09

Site Donor
Messages
2,566
Location
Fairhill Maryland
I wish you all the luck in the world sorting this out. I wouldn't have bought it. Not being smart either. What kind of dealer doesn't detail this out in the first place? I would have.
 
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3,390
Location
Roanoke Virginia
You can go on CarFax and get the free vehicle maintenance report it will tell you what all has been replaced either by the dealership or an independent mechanic we had to report to them when I worked at the dealership and I run that on all my cars as well. That should help some but yes it looks as if something has been done.
 
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