I just purchased a 2023 nissan frontier pro 4x new back in the end of December. I live in the northeast, so I know rust will happen on the exhaust and muffler quickly. This just seems a bit excessive since my dad has a new frontier he bought about 8 months ago and it isn’t nearly as bad as mine. It also makes that metal cooling sound (threat tinging sound) while I’m just stopped at a red light. I’m used to cars making that noise when the car is just turned off, but never heard it before while still driving. Just want to make sure it isn’t getting to hot for some reason which is causing that rust.

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! It appears to me most of what you are calling is "rust" is just heat discoloration ... but not being there in person I can't really tell you for sure. Feb 15, 2023 at 15:12
  • That's not "rust" as in iron oxide. The parts you are showing are all stainless steel and what you are calling rust is just some surface discoloration from road debris and from heat. Totally normal and this exhaust should last the life of the vehicle.
    – jwh20
    Feb 15, 2023 at 18:06

2 Answers 2


The gold > pink >blue > purple are normal oxide colors on typical 13 chrome stainless exhaust systems. The color development is a normal matter of time and temperature. Those colors are not "rust". The dark brown rust-like spots are unusual in my experience. I suspect exposure to salt water caused some thicker more complex oxidation spots than the normal colors. I would not suspect abnormal temperatures from the appearance.


If your Frontier driving style is . . . "spirited" and your father drives his like an old man, your cat will have more work to do in cleaning up your emissions and your entire exhaust system will run hotter than his on average.

That could account for greater discoloration in a shorter time span because stainless color is a product of both time and temperature.

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