Automotive

Fully galvanized steel body material -- So does this mean...

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  • Oct 26th, 2019 9:28 pm
[OP]
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Apr 29, 2010
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Fully galvanized steel body material -- So does this mean...

I just want to be clear. I'm considering a used 2011 BMW X3. Apart of the standard body exterior features is "Fully galvanized steel body material".

Does this mean the body will never rust even after stone chip damage? From the fender & wheel well (and inside where the wheel is) to all around the edges of doors and liftgate? I will assume the underbody will still rust nicely.
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May 10, 2005
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Galvanizing is a process of coating he steel in zinc. it is like a paint but normally the steel (or vehicle) is dipped in the zinc solutions.
No, it does not mean that it will remain rust free. Just like any coating, once penetrated by scratches or rock chips or whatever, the underlying steel is open to the effects of corrosion.
https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/what-is-galvanizing/
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Apr 29, 2017
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Pete_Coach wrote: Galvanizing is a process of coating he steel in zinc. it is like a paint but normally the steel (or vehicle) is dipped in the zinc solutions.
No, it does not mean that it will remain rust free. Just like any coating, once penetrated by scratches or rock chips or whatever, the underlying steel is open to the effects of corrosion.
https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/what-is-galvanizing/
This. And it's nothing exclusive to bmw, just marketing fluff.
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Feb 29, 2008
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Last I checked, all cars used galvanized steel for the body panels.

Don't know about undercarriage.
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mr_raider wrote: Last I checked, all cars used galvanized steel for the body panels.

Don't know about undercarriage.
Unibody... :)
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Jul 26, 2007
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That's the same stuff your muffler is made out of. I don't know why someone would put that in an advertisement.
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peteryorkuca wrote: That's the same stuff your muffler is made out of. I don't know why someone would put that in an advertisement.
Not really. The zinc is a coating is not capable of withstanding the heat/cool cycles of the exhaust system. It would fall off . Mufflers (catalytic converters, resonators) are made of a ductile metal, sometimes low grade stainless or other blends.
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Most cars (except maybe Mazdas) have galvanized steel bodies, then they're dipped in an e-coat, then the colour paint, then the clear coat.
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[OP]
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Terrific info. So basically what you're saying is all modern cars last a bit longer against showing rust but it will eventually happen once those high speed rocks dig deep enough past the zinc layer. And naturally the underside of the car is being eaten alive from day 1.
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Nov 8, 2017
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engineered wrote: Most cars (except maybe Mazdas) have galvanized steel bodies, then they're dipped in an e-coat, then the colour paint, then the clear coat.
Haha I'm surprised there's no class lawsuit agst Mazda, yet.
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Dec 24, 2009
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You'll be fine OP modern BMW, Audi and maybe Mercedes make heavy use of aluminum for underbody and suspension components. BMW does not recommended using any 3rd party rustproofing.

When I sold my 09 BMW last year it had basically no rust anywhere and was always winter driven an no rust proofing. Just wash the car often in winter and try to repair any major stone chips.
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Ken_vs_Ryu wrote: You'll be fine OP modern BMW, Audi and maybe Mercedes make heavy use of aluminum for underbody and suspension components. BMW does not recommended using any 3rd party rustproofing.

When I sold my 09 BMW last year it had basically no rust anywhere and was always winter driven an no rust proofing. Just wash the car often in winter and try to repair any major stone chips.
I dont think any manufacturer recommends rust proofing, and most frown upon treatments that drill holes for injections.
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Jan 12, 2017
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Years ago, most german cars were fully galvanized - inside and out, while many if not all japanese cars were only galvanized on the outside (including Honda & Toyota).
That's often why you see almost no rust on BMW/Audi's/Mercedes - in almost every case of rust, the vehicle has been hit (ie dents in the panels, damaging the galvanized steel).

Not sure what the make up is today - like someone mentioned, heavy use of aluminum today in german cars. Maybe the japanese cars have improved...
rosario99 wrote: Terrific info. So basically what you're saying is all modern cars last a bit longer against showing rust but it will eventually happen once those high speed rocks dig deep enough past the zinc layer. And naturally the underside of the car is being eaten alive from day 1.
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Mercedes has horrible rust protection compared to BMW and Audi. Older MB’s have bad rust and same year BMW/Audi are rust free.
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I'm not sure what KIA does with their cars but my daughters Forte5 is getting bubbly rust coming up from below on the roof panel. No where else. I suspect they didn't dip that panel to save $$$. Obvious stone chips on the hood and front fenders are fine.
[OP]
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Chickennbeans wrote: Years ago, most german cars were fully galvanized - inside and out, while many if not all japanese cars were only galvanized on the outside (including Honda & Toyota).
That's often why you see almost no rust on BMW/Audi's/Mercedes - in almost every case of rust, the vehicle has been hit (ie dents in the panels, damaging the galvanized steel).

Not sure what the make up is today - like someone mentioned, heavy use of aluminum today in german cars. Maybe the japanese cars have improved...
Very good information. Thanks
Newbie
Feb 28, 2019
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Proper Galvanizing isn't like a paint (mazda style zinc paint) , like in this image http://www.pgrahame.com/imgs/zinc_whisker/2.jpg proper galvanizing make zinc steel alloy between layers of zinc and steel. There is a more about practical difference detail https://galvanizeit.org/uploads/publica ... _Paint.pdf . Galvanizing require hot dip paint not.
This is what like zinc paint in mazda cars https://www.prodig-tech.pl/wp-content/u ... 68x672.jpg and this how look galvanized steel https://www.prodig-tech.pl/wp-content/u ... 68x672.jpg
Images is from some controversy in Poland, where mazda dealers was advertising that theirs cars was galvanized.
Sr. Member
May 6, 2010
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Richmond Hill
Mercedes is the worst, VAG is hit and miss, BMW is usually OK.
Volvo is pretty good.
I scratched off paint at the edge of the drivers door and for year there's not even rusty color, just darkened.
However if there's damage or mishandling at the factory you will have rust.
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Possum77 wrote: Mercedes is the worst, VAG is hit and miss, BMW is usually OK.
Volvo is pretty good.
I scratched off paint at the edge of the drivers door and for year there's not even rusty color, just darkened.
However if there's damage or mishandling at the factory you will have rust.
So true. MB is absolutely horrible.

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