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I have recently purchased (2 months ago) a 2007 Chevy Silverado LT, extended cab, with 150k miles on it. I love the truck and I'm trying to do whatever I can to make it last about 10 years. One of the things I've found is under the dash, there is a fair amount of surface rust. And if I am correct, surface rust doesn't stay surface for long.

My questions:

  • Is this just normal, and it's not worth the effort to chase it?
  • If it should be chased, is there a way to do it that doesn't involve disassembly of the entire cab and under dash area?

I'm especially wondering about the rust on the universal joint that's part of the steering column.

Here is the rust I'm asking about: Rust under the dash

  • I don't know if I'd agree with this being "interior rust". The word "Interior" usually refers to inside the body of the vehicle, such as interior spaces where the people sit. This is underbody, exterior rust. Sorry, just me being anal. One of the reasons I point this out, though, is with serious interior rust, I start wondering if the vehicle has been flooded at some time, which is a whole different ball of wax and usually comes with a lot of other possible issues. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 26 '17 at 15:37
  • But this is interior.. That rod at the top connects the brake pedal to the master cylinder, and this was taken under the dash. The wide black bar in the right half of the pic is the brake pedal. And it's the other issues I'm wondering about. Rust like this on the interior makes me wonder.. The truck was used in a winter environment for years, hauling a snowmobile. I wonder is this is a residual of boots with snow and salt on them. The u-joint in the pic is part of the steering column and is just inside the cabin side of the firewall. – cdunn Jan 26 '17 at 15:40
  • Holy crud, sorry about that. It looks like the under bed portion of the truck ... my bad. So, yes, interior rust! :o) I'll need to amend my answer below. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 26 '17 at 15:50
  • It took 10 years to show minor surface rusting. In another 10 years, it'll still be minor. – cory Jan 26 '17 at 20:27
  • Is the growth of rust linear like that. Or something much faster? I don't know, honestly asking. – cdunn Jan 26 '17 at 20:29
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If you want the truck to last, my suggestion is to take care of this surface rust as best as possible. This depends on the amount of work you are willing to go through to take care of it. Here is my suggestion, though.

The easiest way to take care of this would be to use a rust encapsulator such as POR15. Products like this bonds with the rust, stopping it from deteriorating any further. It also covers the area to prevent new rust from forming. To best use it, I'd separate whatever parts you are trying to coat and getting it between the parts so as to keep the nooks and crannies as pristine as possible. This is the "work" portion I'm talking about. More than likely, just coating the exterior spaces (the facing parts of the body with rust on them) is going to bring some extreme life to your vehicle in and of itself.

There are some caveats when using POR15 (and I assume others like it).

First, direct sunlight will deteriorate its effectiveness. Since this is inside the vehicle, it really doesn't matter. The second thing to worry about with POR15 is, wherever it goes, it's there for life. Use a throw away paint brush to apply it as it will never come clean. It will also bond metal together. Don't get it on the threads of bolts or in nuts as it will never come apart again without destruction. Also, once you start using a can of the POR15, use what you're going to use and throw the rest away. The reason for this is, once the stuff gets into the seal portion of the can and you put the lid on, as soon as it dries you'll never bet the lid off again.

I wouldn't worry too much about the cast parts like the steering linkage. Those parts will still be held together long after the truck has served its useful purpose. It takes a long long time for cast iron to deteriorate due to rust.

  • 1
    That's exactly what I was looking for, as always thanks! – cdunn Jan 26 '17 at 15:54

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