If you’re over a certain age, you probably remember when Toyota was known for its body problems. A Toyota would last and last – but only if you kept patching it, or lived in a state that didn’t inspect for rust. Times have changed, and so has automotive technology, so today’s Toyotas are not the rust buckets they were in the 70s and 80s. But they are not immune to rust and other corrosion problems, either. In 2014, Toyota issued a recall of 450,000 2004-2011 Sienna minivans in salt belt states. According to Autonews.com:
The recalled Siennas are at risk for rust corrosion in the spare tire assembly cable, caused by faulty water splash protectors, which can stem from the protectors’ placement or the protectors coming loose from the vehicle without warning. The corrosion is caused by high concentrations of road salt, which reaches the spare tire assembly cable when the splash protectors fail. Some of the recalled 2004-10 Siennas were also involved in an April 2010 recall, which included the addition of a water splash protector and an anti-rust agent. These vehicles may have insufficient rust protection.
If you have a Toyota Sienna in the affected model year range, then you should follow up on this recall if you haven’t already. And whether you own a Sienna or not, you should also consider a good rustproofing treatment for your vehicle. Standard factory rustproofing measures are good as far as they go, and are probably all you really need in most of the country. But here in New Hampshire, as we have just been so strongly reminded, our winters are not so mild. We live north of the main US/Canada border, and the climate here is not so much American as Canadian. And when the Canadian Automobile Association and the Canadian Army studied the subject, they both came up with the conclusion that aftermarket rustproofing both lengthened the life of a vehicle and saved on repair bills during that lifetime. The Rust Stop Pro in Concord and Deering provides a number of rustproofing options, including the acclaimed RS3000. Prices start at $139 for most cars and $159 for most pickup trucks and SUVs. When you compare this to what it would cost to repair or replace rusted-out body panels, the value becomes obvious. And the body rust is the easy part: brake lines, exhaust systems, frames and even plastic and rubber components can be destroyed by modern deicing mixtures.