Q: I'm looking to purchase a 2013 Acura TL from an Acura dealership in Wisconsin, but I wanted to make sure rust wasn't an issue.

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I'm looking to purchase a 2013 Acura TL from an Acura dealership in Wisconsin, but I wanted to make sure rust wasn't an issue. I've asked the salesperson to send me a few pictures of the engine bay and underneath the car and so far, I do not see much rust, if any at all. However, I wanted to double check my view with an expert eye such as your self. May I send you the pictures of the vehicle I'm looking to purchase and perhaps you could help determine whether this car has too much rust or not? To my knowledge, any surface corrosion on the hard parts under the car is fine; however, rust on sheet metal such as doors, rocker panels, quarter panels and fender wells is not so good so I just wanted to ensure that's not the case with this vehicle. But again, I wanted a professional eye (mechanic) to take a look and let me know your opinion.

My email is rami.al-sabbagh@advance-auto.com Please feel free to continue contacting me through that email and I send you the pictures of the vehicle.

My car has 80000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Rami: The areas of immediate concern when it comes to rust are brake and fuel lines and suspension or frame components. Rust on exterior sheet metal (body panels) is somewhat "cosmetic" although of course I understand that nobody wants to drive a car with visible rust. Technically speaking, and from the standpoint of safety and the cost of repairs, what you have to look for is rust on steel tubing carrying fluids and rust on the frame or suspension components. Typically, on a 4 year old car, you are not going to see anything meaningful in the way of rust in the underhood area. It will be difficult to determine the complete condition of the tubing through photographs unless they are incredibly numerous and complete.


Inasmuch as used car repair, maintenance, and restoration costs are highly dependent on the actual, as found, condition of the vehicle, the only way to get a reasonably precise estimate of costs you might face, and also to protect yourself in the transaction, is to request a pre-purchase vehicle inspection. That inspection, carried out by a certified Mechanic, dispatched to your location, will give you the exact data that you need to make a fully informed, intelligent decision and minimize your risk in buying a used car. If you look at the just cited link for YourMechanic’s inspection service, you will see a long list of the vehicle systems that must be inspected as well as details of YourMechanic’s inspection methodology. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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