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Daily driving S2000 Does exposure to water damage chassis?

#1 User is offline   neuronbob 

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 09:51 PM

With high gas prices I am considering periodically daily-driving my S2000 in warm weather, including in the rain. My mileage is pretty consistently in the mid-20s, though if I am more assertive in my driving, I've been as low as 23 mpg.

In any case, I have a concern that may seem peculiar to some of you. My car is a low-mileage 2002 that I've been driving only on dry days and which I'm actively trying not to overuse. No flames about "it's only a Honda" or "you buy a car to drive it", that's what my daily driver CTS-V has been for, thank you! :)

Anyway, I've had the car in the rain exactly twice since purchase three years ago, both times involuntarily. The first time was the day I bought it, and the second time was two years ago, when I had to drive home from a tire installation in the rain. Many people boast that they don't ever drive their car in the rain at all. Is there long-term damage/rust to the frame and other underbody components on cars driven in the rain? I mean, if I was trying to preserve the car to be presentable at some Concours de Whatever in 25 years, would driving it in the rain REALLY hurt? I don't see it, but some are convinced of it.

Again, it may seem like a silly concern to some of you, but I am intending to keep my S2000 for many years.

Discuss! :)
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#2 User is offline   bronxbomber252 

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:15 PM

If you want to put in in a concourse one day... i recommend rarely if ever even letting it see daylight. if you are concerned abut rust and such, my 2001 has over 106k miles, daily driven for at least the last 60k miles, seen rain regularly (even lived outside with at least the last owner and with all but the last 5 months with me, so over 4 years AT MINIMUM)... It was daily driven through at least 1 northeastern winter and lived outside for many of them. The car is autox'd nearly non stop, has seen dirt roads, has done extremely long road trips, been in salty areas (near beaches for example) frequently etc... I have never done anything to actively avoid rust or whatever.

The undercarriage looks brand new save for a couple scratches from rocks and some fo the nuts/bolts have some surface rust. Once in a while I have to use WD-40 to break loose a bolt to get to something but the structural and suspension parts themselves are dirty but sound, and rust free.
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#3 User is offline   rjohnstonstl 

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:28 PM

The only impact I have seen from driving in all weather conditions is a bunch of crap accumulating behind the rear bumper (found this out when installing my Chase Race hitch).
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#4 User is offline   ikeyballz 

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:36 PM

newer cars (those made after the bad 80s..) have galvanized steel bodies. They prevent rust pretty well as long as no metal is exposed. If you have rain water on your car, corrosion wont be a problem if its sealed with paint/coating. If it isnt coated, even if its not exposed to moisture it'll still rust.
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#5 User is offline   ninjajwl 

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:39 PM

I'm pretty sure Honda has taken weather into effect when designing the S2000. That's why your entire undercarriage is sprayed with the rubber gunk. Our cars have it even better because the hood is aluminum so we don't have to worry about that rusting when rocks chip our hood. There's a certain industry standard that cars have to pass before they make it out onto the market and I'm sure Honda has considered all the weather issues involved with daily driving the S2000 before they released it onto the market.

I used to OCD about my car too. It got bad when I used to lose sleep over door dings and minor things like scraping the front bumper. Life got a lot easier when I switched the S2000 to my daily driver and I began to worry less. "Don't fix it unless it's broken." :p

#6 User is offline   CKit 

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 10:54 PM

Worried about gas prices but driving a CTS-V? That's a little strange.
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#7 User is offline   bronxbomber252 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 12:07 AM

^i think hes worried BECAUSE he drives the CTS-V...

#8 User is offline   neuronbob 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 04:39 AM

View PostCKit, on 24 April 2011 - 10:54 PM, said:

Worried about gas prices but driving a CTS-V? That's a little strange.


Another story altogether, and should be another thread. :) I can afford the gas, honestly, and have been daily driving the V simply because I can, even during the winter, for the last two-plus years. It is an AWESOME daily driver and I bought it knowing gas prices were eventually going up. After 20 years driving Hondas/Acuras (I've owned nine including the S), I simply wanted a muscle car. I was a vegan and simply wanted a burger, and it has tasted damned good...can't get enough. Again, another thread.

I am simply looking at my options for $5+ a gallon gas here in the U.S., thinking ahead, and mostly thinking out loud as I don't think that will actually happen here in Cleveland. Should have made that clear in my first post.

Part of it is also missing my S2000. As much as I love my V, I also live in a part of the country where I store my S2000 for half the year and I am going nuts just thinking about shifting in the car. I take it out every time there is a dry spell onto the few curvy roads around here between the daily rains we've had here recently. I have dreams about it. Now THAT'S a little strange. Maybe a LOT strange. :ponder:

EDIT: I'd appreciate if we keep on topic, please? I'm interested in knowing how much undercarriage rust/etc. you have experienced when driving on a regular basis in the rain.

This post has been edited by neuronbob: 25 April 2011 - 05:29 AM


#9 User is offline   ikeyballz 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:16 AM

OP, it sounds like you live somewhere with snow? Whats more damaging to body panels/frame than water is SALT. salt water will rust through practically anything, no metals like chlorine (NaCl). Even aluminum and stainless will rust in salt water. My S is daily driven in hawaii and we get rain practically every other day. No signs of rust on the frame, some minor surface rust on exposed bolts. I'd bet that it will be another 10-15 years before i have any rust on body panels. With salt, all bets are off on exposed surfaces

#10 User is offline   stauren1203 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:39 AM

OP, I DD my s2000 through this past winter, with MUCH LESS under body washes than I would have liked this winter, and I just snapped some photos of my under body for you. I will post them asap. I have a MY00 with about 106k

#11 User is offline   hicabi 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:39 AM

I had to leave a Honda bike out exposed to the elements for two years. None of the original chrome rusted. All after-market stuff did.

#12 User is offline   stauren1203 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:56 AM

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I haven't washed my car in a while, so some dirt and dust may be accumulated, but you get the idea.... pretty clean still

#13 User is offline   Woodson 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 10:56 AM

You should change your name to neuroticbob.
To people who say the S2000 sucks in the snow, you either don't have the right tires, or you just suck at driving.

#14 User is offline   neuronbob 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 04:24 PM

Thanks for the replies. The pictures are particularly helpful. That looks like it can be cleaned at some point in the future with some elbow grease.

ikeyballz, I live in Cleveland, where it snows a lot. My S2000 will never be driven in the snow except under exceptional circumstances. It's covered and kept in the garage all winter and even when not in use during the warm season.

Woodson, maybe I am a little "neurotic" about my cars. I just like to take care of what I own. If I sell my S, I'm the guy you'd want to buy from. :tipwink: :)

#15 User is offline   zdave87 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:17 PM

View Postneuronbob, on 24 April 2011 - 09:51 PM, said:

With high gas prices I am considering periodically daily-driving my S2000 in warm weather, including in the rain. My mileage is pretty consistently in the mid-20s, though if I am more assertive in my driving, I've been as low as 23 mpg.

In any case, I have a concern that may seem peculiar to some of you. My car is a low-mileage 2002 that I've been driving only on dry days and which I'm actively trying not to overuse. No flames about "it's only a Honda" or "you buy a car to drive it", that's what my daily driver CTS-V has been for, thank you! :)

Anyway, I've had the car in the rain exactly twice since purchase three years ago, both times involuntarily. The first time was the day I bought it, and the second time was two years ago, when I had to drive home from a tire installation in the rain. Many people boast that they don't ever drive their car in the rain at all. Is there long-term damage/rust to the frame and other underbody components on cars driven in the rain? I mean, if I was trying to preserve the car to be presentable at some Concours de Whatever in 25 years, would driving it in the rain REALLY hurt? I don't see it, but some are convinced of it.

Again, it may seem like a silly concern to some of you, but I am intending to keep my S2000 for many years.

Discuss! :)

JHC.
Sell the S2000 already.
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#16 User is offline   mikeyr 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 07:53 PM

Since getting my motorcycle 2 years ago, my S2000 has been my rainy day driver. I can go months without driving it as I only drive it in the rain and it normally does not rain much in S. Calif. My S has also sat outside since the very first day of ownership (bought it new in 07), if I ever get around to washing it it still looks good. And the underneath of the car is fine also. Its a car quit worrying and enjoy it.

#17 User is offline   s2kayyyy 

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 09:00 PM

what I'd be worried about if you drove in the rain, is under the tool compartment in the trunk. The trunk vent tends to leak and water gets in there. I know mine had a bit of water stain from the previous owner.
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#18 User is offline   jelliotlevy 

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 04:57 PM

View Postikeyballz, on 25 April 2011 - 06:16 AM, said:

OP, it sounds like you live somewhere with snow? Whats more damaging to body panels/frame than water is SALT. salt water will rust through practically anything, no metals like chlorine (NaCl). Even aluminum and stainless will rust in salt water. My S is daily driven in hawaii and we get rain practically every other day. No signs of rust on the frame, some minor surface rust on exposed bolts. I'd bet that it will be another 10-15 years before i have any rust on body panels. With salt, all bets are off on exposed surfaces

...

Exactly. Having lived most of my life in New England, I have seen lots of old rustbucket autos, due to the high usage of salt on the roads in Wintertime. It is a nasty necessity. My last ten years, I have been a retiree in South Carolina. It is amazing how many older cars you see with no evidence of rust decay. I would never worry about rain. Of course, in Hawaii (and South Carolina as well), there is a high incidence of direct sunshine day after day (for which I am eternally grateful), and you do need to worry about decay of rubber parts - especially tires- due to the UV exposure.
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#19 User is offline   realmike15 

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 07:57 AM

If you're looking to make this a show car 20 years down the road, then avoiding the elements is probably the safest way to go. It's true, modern cars have great rust protection but they aren't full proof. If you drive your S in the rain for 5 years, you might not see any rust. But extend that to 10, 20 years... eventually things will start to rust. For most people, in that amount of time they'll have a new car and have moved on (DD or not). It all depends on how long you plan to keep it. A few rainy days a year will not rust your car, but if you need this thing looking brand new in 2031... avoid rain when possible.

This post has been edited by realmike15: 27 April 2011 - 07:58 AM


#20 User is offline   Saki GT 

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 08:08 AM

Avoid salt, rain is okay; the car isn't made out of cotton candy.
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