Whilst getting tyres fitted a few days ago I took the opportunity to have a look at the underside of my 2005 156 20V sportwagon. I was surprised at the amount of rust on just about everything, especially the front floorpan and front lower suspension arms. I have looked at other threads and floorpan rust is a problem on some 145s, 166s and older cars. Maybe what I saw was surface only (don't spend a lot of time looking under cars!). Is Waxoyl a good thing or not - does it gunk everything up for future maintenance? Am I normal?
It's time for a wire brushing to get the worst off and yes a good dose of Waxoyl, great stuff! You can spray on with a garden spray bottle from B&Q works great for those hard to reach areas, just thin it a bit or use a brush. Give it a good couple of coats and if the rust is more than surface rust, you will need to rub the area down, use some Bilt Hamber Hydreate, great stuff or a good rust treatment, then a good coat of red oxide, before appplying Waxoyl. Rust normaly starts where there has been some inpact/scrape to the underside, this is normal for any vechicle. I did my 156 as described above and have never had the problem reappear.
You might wanna ask at a local bodyshop. My local will do the job as a cheap quick filler between big repair/spray jobs. I got one of mine done for £75...... which was a damn sight easier then me getting splatted with black oily ****. I plan to get this car done by them before too long.
On my last 156 the rustiest part was the floorpan below the rear footwells, and inside the inner front wheel arches.
The car needed quite a bit of welding.
Often you cannot see the rust, it actually spreads underneath the underseal until you get holes.
Unfortunately it seems that Alfa have cheapened up their rust protection again. I am pretty sure this was done around 1998, as some of the earlier 156's I have seen have been less rusty than the newer ones.
The best way to get to know your Alfa intimately, is to get underneath and get waxoyling, just don't get it in your eyes and one 5ltr can will do the underneath of at least three cars, great stuff! This is certainly a top priority job, when buying any car and will be a weight off your mind when driving in the wet dismal weather of the UK!
If only Alfa would galvanize the floor pans of their cars, surely it would not cost that much more, but there we go Italian logic.
I have to say that I was very unimpressed with the underneath of my 2005 156 when I looked last weekend. No protection to speak off and already going rusty in places. It certainly needs undersealing and waxoyling in the Spring. My last car (Rover 25) was hugely better and had no rust after 8 years and I never did anything to it :-(
It's not just the Alfa ! The past few winters where councils have been putting out ridiculous quantities of salt have taken their toll on all makes - my brother's 2005 Audi looks like its 20 year old underneath. I spray wax compounds over everything.