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Hi,

I have an 06 equinox in upstate NY. It has developed a front end clunk, and when I went to lift the front end today, it sounded like something was giving out (metal popping). After examination, it looks like the two front posts where the engine or body rests on the square frame bars is rusted completely. I attached pics. I think the body may be just resting on those posts, based on the condition I saw.

This car Is the hauler, I keep it up but drive 1-2k miles a year only. 140k on it. I would like to have it to use occasionally but I would love anyone's advice on what to do here.

1. Am I indeed looking at a wasted frame? Or are these replaceable mounts of some kind? The square bar seems solid. The bad part appears to be the metal that rests on the square frame bar. There is a sleeve of some kind that the post threads through and I can't tell if that sleeve is still providing any structure.

2. Is it possible to fix? I can do a lot but I'm not set up to remove engine or weld. Is this something a shop or an auto welder could fix?

3. Does anyone know if it's even legal to sell in NY, say, to a mechanic who might be interested? It just got inspected and Passed in April. Or must this be a $300 scrap sale? I feel like a welder with a shop might be the person I could sell to if it came to that.

4. In your opinion, is this safe to drive on the highway to a shop? After it was inspected, i took it on the highway a few times already.

Thanks, I've never dealt with frame issues before. I think I could see myself dumping another 1500 or so to fix this, but at its age Im reluctant to spend over 2500. I really appreciate anything you all can share!
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Wow, that looks really bad to me. I would be scared to drive a vehicle with that kind of rust related frame damage. Surface rust is one thing, but that is very scary.

Not sure there is any amount of welding that would make that safe, but I am no expert.
 

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Try going to a body and frame shop in your area for an estimate.
Find out price, is it worth it, will the rest of the frame have problems in the near future.

Get several estimates if you can and find out how they repair it.
Do they cut a good frame from a junk yard and splice in the good pieces after removing the bad?
 

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Typical upstate NY salt damage. That's why you always see not very old pickups on the road with half the bed rotted away. NY DMV doesn't care about rust, some states like PA will fail a vehicle at annual inspection with a dime sized rust hole in the body.
Regular underbody washing and rustproofing every summer is the only way to slow down the damage.
Once the frame part of a unibody rots away it's shot. Repairs on a '06 will be more than it's worth.
I'm a ADK year round part timer and have learned the ways of NYS salt damage on prior vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Typical upstate NY salt damage. That's why you always see no very old pickups on the road with half the bed rotted away.
Regular underbody washing and rustproofing every summer is the only way to slow down the damage.
Once the frame part of a unibody rots away it's shot. Repairs on a '06 will be more than it's worth.
I'm a ADK year round part timer and have learned the ways of NYS salt damage on prior vehicles.
Thanks for sharing your very valuable perspective. Would you imagine a repair cost over, say, $2000? Assuming the car passes a further inspection. (From what I gathered online, the problem area catches water and doesn't let it drain properly, so I am holding onto a shred of hope).

It's a shame because so many parts of the vehicle are recently replaced. I even have a few hundred in spare parts for the next round of preventative maintenance. Runs perfect. :(

Thanks everyone for sharing your replies!
 

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That is a shame but I have agree with Repairman that's toast...rusted through not safe to drive IMO
 
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I thought they’d stopped using salt on the roads up there? I remember rust-bucket cars when I was a kid in the 70’s, but then cars seemed to improve, and you rarely saw rust in the mid-to-late 80’s and 90’s. Did they stop, then go back to using salt?
 

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15 years & 140k (depending on underbody maintenance) is a long service life in the rust belt. 1st gen Honda Accords (76 to 81) would literally dissolve in 3 to 5 years(in Michigan anyway).

A good shop with access to a solid donor body can fix pretty much anything (Graveyard Cars anyone?). As usual, the cost is the issue.
 
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I thought they’d stopped using salt on the roads up there? I remember rust-bucket cars when I was a kid in the 70’s, but then cars seemed to improve, and you rarely saw rust in the mid-to-late 80’s and 90’s. Did they stop, then go back to using salt?
No, car manufacturers got better at applying rust prevention measures.
 

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I think NYS started adding magnesium chloride, not sure on that but something in addition to the salt mix in addition to brine before storms. You can see a green hue in the salt.
Even big rig guys are screaming as they never had frame rusting issues in the past and that's some heavy duty steel.
Lots of alloy rims corroding causing bead leaks also.
 

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No, car manufacturers got better at applying rust prevention measures.
Yeah, I know they did, but I’m pretty sure, while I was still living full-time in New England (pre-1995) that - at least where I was - they had stopped using salt and gone strictly to sand. Maybe it proved to be fruitless and they went back to salt?

I know going back and forth through New Jersey these past 26 years, I’ve noticed in recent years they’ve been pre-spraying the Turnpike just before the snowfall starts to minimize the snow/ice buildup (probably what @repairman54 is referring to). Fortunately, during my winter trips, I can only remember 3 or 4 times when I encountered snowfall ... and the worst of it was ironically in North Carolina when I hit a blizzard that quickly dumped at least 6” on I-95 with no plows anywhere in sight! Was going all of 20 mph, keeping to the right, while sweating pickup drivers trying to maintain speed in the left lane! It was a pretty scary last leg of my drive home...
 

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I think sand is only effective where it is very cold. I remember being in Marquette, MI in February back in the early 70's. They had so much snow that they had nowhere to put it. Their solution was to pack the snow down, mixed with sand, and leave it in the streets. In some places you had to step down a foot or more from the street to the sidewalk.
 
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In the ADK towns plow and dump sand on local town roads. Sand freezes into the road putting some ''grit'' into the packed snow and ice giving some traction. Weeks of never getting over freezing the sand works fine if you watch your speed and respect the corners.
State roads they dump a ton of salt/sand mix as well as pre storm salt brining as people want ''clear'' roads but up here it's 2 black tire tracks if your lucky with sub zero nighttime temps.
In NJ it's the worse, knucklehead Citidiots can't slow down, no winter tires and even with brine and tons of salt you can't make roads wet and black with salt in a storm and most state DOT trucks don't even have a wing plow on the side. Add in minimal snow driving experience and it's a comedy for sure with loads of ''parked in the median'', dented guard rails and bumper covers littering the roadsides.
 
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