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We are considering purchasing a used 2015, but Pre-certified car. (which means it passed a 152 point inspection in this case) Everything is in great condition, but when we looked under the car, noticed that the exhaust pipe was excessively rusty. Having NO perspective of what's normal and what's not, it still seemed weird given the overall solid condition of the car. Should this be a concern? Are there any tests we can run, or questions we can ask, to ensure it's okay? It's in the East coast, so clearly has been exposed to rain, snow, sleet etc for last two years.
Thank you!

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 19 '18 at 21:24
  • If you aren't certain, the best solution is to have the vehicle inspected by a third party. Exhaust pipes aren't particularly expensive to replace, so if everything else looks good, I'd use it as an excuse to negotiate the price down. Maybe you can also fit in the price of the inspection. – idmadj Mar 19 '18 at 22:04
  • what make /model? – agentp Mar 20 '18 at 1:30
  • It would very unusual in my experience in the US. Most exhaust systems have been 13 % chrome stainless steel for 20 + years. Although not immune to corrosion by salts it is highly resistant to rust. Are the catalytic converters , mufflers, resonators , etc. rusty ? – blacksmith37 Mar 20 '18 at 4:08
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If everything else seems good. I would purchase the car. The main cause for rust in the north is not really the snow, but the salt. The exhaust pipe is exposed to the salt easily, being at the bottom, and so is the rest of the underside, so I would check the entire underside for rust. Exhaust pipes are pretty cheap and easy to replace, as compared to most parts of the car's body. An exhaust pipe leak is not a big deal if it occurs behind the muffler, but will generate a lot of noise if it occurs in front. If the rest of the car including the area surrounding the exhaust pipe and the entire underside of the vehicle is not very rusty, I would try to talk the price down using the rusted exhaust pipe, and then probably get an oil undercoating if I did purchase the car.

EDIT: You asked about running tests. There aren't really any tests you can run for the exhaust pipe, just a visual inspection. If the pipe is completely browned from rust, that is not necessarily a big deal, but if there are holes or a very textured surface, or if there are multiple colors of rust (dark brown and light brown) then that is more of a big deal.

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If it's a factory installed exhaust system, you have no worries.

If for some reason they ended up having to replace the factory installed parts, then that is concerning, in it self.

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