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Hey guys! Just signed up to ask this question.
I found a 2012 Xterra with 164,000kms (101,900miles) for $11,200CAD ($8,182USD). Needs new control arm ($1,000CAD w/labour) and brakes but I’m negotiating with that.

Here’s the kicker, there looks to be a decent amount of rust on the bottom, however I’m not sure how much rust is too much rust, especially on the rear dif.... the X spent some time in the BC coast but it’s home is in Alberta. I’ve attached some videos for you guys to let me know your opinion. If this rust is no problem, then I want to hop on this deal ASAP!

FYI the exhaust is an aftermarket borla exhaust and looks a little brown but I plan on replacing that to a quieter one soon.
 

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And I was upset with finding a 1/4 x 2 rust on the edge of my fender? The exhaust ah its probably IMO close to being a total replacement. Not that bad with aftermarket full set and you do the wrenching. I would keep my loonies and keep looking. Maybe have members here keep an eye out for something better. A new member brought home a nice one in TX
 

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You would have a better idea if this is a good deal in your region than i.

Personally speaking, I would be more concerned with the hidden rust than I would be with what's seen.
Re: rust on the inside of the body panels.

You would hate to find yourself needing to replace body work due to eat through from rust.

What I noticed in the pictures.

Rust on your exhaust and cats: vehicle has 100K miles, you would probably need to replace these items anyway.

Rust on leaf springs. The Xterra is known to have weak leaf springs and could use an upgrade . (General Springs)

Rust on your drive shaft and axle.
You have options
I would use the gel soaked in a towel to wrap around the area of corrosion

Follow up with a rust encapsulator

 

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Ps: I would probably save my cash for something else, but this is not to say this Xterra couldn't be saved.

For the right price, a person could probably strip the rust, coat, repaint and sell for a profit.
 
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the frame doesnt actually look too bad, exhaust is not uncommon to be rusty, the rear axle is alittle rusty looking, but its probably just on the surface of that, i'd be more worried about leaking axle seals.

cant see what we cant see, and the pics only do so much. have you been looking long? hows it compare to others in your area?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I’ve been looking around for about 2 weeks for an X, this one looks the best, has the lowest KMs and has the best price... it’s also manual, haven’t checked the rust situations on other X’s tho. In my region the average is about $15,000 for one with 200,000km. I just took it to a Nissan dealer to get a full pre buy inspection and it came back all green with regard to fluid leaks (dif, tranny, engine, coolant) only issues dealer found were control arm and brakes.
 

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You have other normal service items that should have been done around 90k miles or so. Plugs and all fluids changed. Dealerships get big $$$ for this. I was told over $1200 for this several years ago.
 

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Being from Maine originally that looks like a tiny amount of rust, purely superficial. Living in Utah now that looks like a heap.

But it really doesn't look that bad necessarily. It's not awesome but that really does look more like a skin of rust on some really exposed parts. Also, there's extremely little rust on my x and my cats look exactly the same. But it's also an '06. Here's where I'd look instead from my experience with rusty piles of s***. If these look like they're not falling apart and that's the best deal you're going to get in the area then it's savable if you get after it: Front of engine compartment where the radiator and bumper and skid plate meet, including the harmonic balancer. If that crank pulley is puckering or if there's anything looking flaky in that area then she's been pretty well bathed. Look at where fuel and brake lines run and see what kind of shape they're in, plus their attachment points. If those are looking weak or loose from fittings getting bad then rust is in the bloodstream so to speak, same applies to anyplace something is screwed on or passes through. Also look at the spare tire carrier chain if you can, or between the spare tire and the bumper. Or anything dangly like the parking brake system. They'll be dirty but shouldn't be corroding much or at all.

When I bought my 1st gen frontier I looked for panel rust and frame rust. It had basically none but I should have run anyway. I'f I'd looked at those few things I'd have saved myself a lot of aggravation. Just my thoughts.

To me that truck looks less like it's been driving on salty roads and more like it's been launching a boat or driving on the beach or something, it's just a different looking rust to me. That could be better or worse. But I also haven't seen a rusty second gen so I could be way off.
 

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Careyj, should come to MN to get a eye full of rust. Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, calcium chloride, beet pulp, distillers grains and even some fluid from making cheese. Started October 11th last year
 

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Careyj, should come to MN to get a eye full of rust. Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Chloride, calcium chloride, beet pulp, distillers grains and even some fluid from making cheese. Started October 11th last year
My buddy I worked with last fall was from Wisconsin, his Toyota Yaris looked like he'd driven it through Fallujah. Literally no rocker panels, his car stopped at the bottom of the doors. He thought it was still pretty good.
 

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I’ve been looking around for about 2 weeks for an X, this one looks the best, has the lowest KMs and has the best price... it’s also manual, haven’t checked the rust situations on other X’s tho. In my region the average is about $15,000 for one with 200,000km. I just took it to a Nissan dealer to get a full pre buy inspection and it came back all green with regard to fluid leaks (dif, tranny, engine, coolant) only issues dealer found were control arm and brakes.
Smart decision.

Frankly, the photos are insufficient to evaluate the state of the chassis and the body. From what I am seeing, I am guessing that some careful cleaning should take care of rust issues. High pressure hose the undercarriage a few times.

In the province of Alberta, you have a few shops that can apply a Krown Rust treatment. It is a liquid and should be reapplied once every year or every two years. That might slow corrosion down while you assess and become more familiar with the vehicle.

I know if I was living in Alberta and had easy access to Krown rust treatment, I would apply it annually.
 
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