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Hey! I’m looking at this 2012 Pro X 4x4 and I noticed a fair amount of rust underneath. Carfax shows the car was well cared for by the one owner, but nothing about dealing with rust. It’s from Virginia and my best guess was snow and salt caused the excessive rust up front as the rest of the undercarriage seems to be just surface rust. I did the screwdriver test and nothing seemed alarming, however there was some flakes that flicked away after being tapped near the front tires. Suspension also looks like the original...
The dealer is checking to see if they can replace the more heavily rusted parts as well as the rusted suspension stuff. As much as it broke my heart, I walked away, just too unfamiliar with rust. So hopefully I’m wrong, or the dealer will be crazy and fix it. Lemme know, thank you!
I’m dying to get back in an Xterra, I miss my o4 SE terribly!
 

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This is what the underneath of my 2005 looks like.


I had to change out my front struts and will be redoing the whole rear suspension soon. I have begun the laborious process of taking a wire brush and wire wheel to all the rust before I will hit it all with bbq paint and then an oil based rust inhibitor like Por15 or possibly a Krown treatment.

I wouldn't be too concerned with the amount of rust you are looking at. I would be concerned about the seepage around the differential cover. Others on here can speak more to it than I can but the axle breathers seem to be notorious for clogging and causing axle seals to blow out.
 

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Good, helpful photos. Rust? Yes. But not too bad. By Great White North standards, not too bad at all. Still worthwhile to be proactive.

Good advice by 05RB6Sp.

I would start by blasting the underside with a high-pressure hose and then covering the vehicle with liquid rust inhibitor, e.g., Krown or whatever is available in your area. (I see Krown has outlets in Pennsylvania which may be too far.) Then work on specific areas as required. You will probably want to repeat the liquid rust inhibitor treatment annually for the rest of the life of the vehicle.

Your struts do not look too bad. You may want to switch out the rear leaf springs (or add a 5th) at some point as the X family rear end can sag badly after a few years.

No mention as to mileage but your lower control arm (LCA) bushings will more than likely seize at some point and will require replacement. That may be a necessary step before any future alignment can be performed.

EDIT: To add, it is viewed by many as cost-effective to replace the entire LCA, not just the bushings or the ball joint.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks everyone. Someone else pointed out the rear diff looming wrong. I’m going to keep searching but I’m not as concerned about rust now. Thank you.
 

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Depending on what pat of the country you are in, that looks like it could clearly be labeld "rust free". Looks like just a bit of surface rust to me.
 
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