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Wasn't sure what section was appropriate, so just putting here. I'm in the process of purchasing a 2014 XLE with 20k miles. Had it transferred from Tallahassee and just got to see it in person and drive it. Looks great, drives great, and feels great. One thing I noticed though was looking around the engine and compartment, there is a white sort of oxidation residue all over the aluminum parts (head, etc.). Wondered if anyone else has seen this or what it might be from. Not sure if the engine was sprayed with some sort of treatment for the black bits that didn't agree with the aluminum or what. Don't have pics yet, but will post some as soon as I take them.
 

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Hmm...not sure that would be the cause of this. I would suspect if it were in water high enough to get to those parts that the interior would have been subjected also. There was no indication of that as far as I saw. I also have a keen sense of smell and didn't notice anything musty/mildewy.
 

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Aluminum oxide is white, and if there was a lot of it on the Aluminum castings of a vehicle that is that new, I would wonder if it somehow it came from a place with a salt air environment. Just a long shot, but if that were the case, I really wouldn't worry about the aluminum castings because its only cosmetic on them but would worry more about the steel and have a real good thorough look at everything you can see from the bottom of the car. As long as that looks good, with no signs of unusual surface corrosion on the steel parts, I probably wouldn't be too concerned.
 

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That sounds likely about the salt air. I'm in South Florida and the car was just transferred from Tallahassee, FL. I'll have my mechanic look over the underside thoroughly when I receive the vehicle.
 

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Hmm...not sure that would be the cause of this. I would suspect if it were in water high enough to get to those parts that the interior would have been subjected also. There was no indication of that as far as I saw. I also have a keen sense of smell and didn't notice anything musty/mildewy.
Criminals who "repair" flood damaged vehicles are VERY good at concealing interior and obvious exterior issues.
You need to pull the door panels off and inspect the inside of the doors and fenders to know, and even then they sometimes do clean these areas up.

Personally, I would not purchase ANY used vehicle within a year of major flooding anywhere in the country.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, it's tough for me to avoid purchasing, as my Tacoma was totaled by a tree limb during hurricane Irma.

My mechanic is very good and very thorough and will give it a good look.
 

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We had a series of killer flash floods here and several too-good-to-be-true bargains on expensive sports cars appeared. A former car salesman assured me they were flood vehicles - that many of the wealthy insure them for liability only, understanding that comprehensive does not pay over the long term.

Best of luck..
 

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It could also be from an ill advised cleaning attempt. Some products out there (simple green is one) will stain and corrode aluminum if any residue is left behind.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I was thinking possibly cleaning products also. It's just so evenly spread across the parts that I could easily believe it was something like that.
 

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Kind of off-topic here, but I have a couple of spots on the aluminum work surface of my Ryobi miter saw. It's only about 6 months old. They are darker spots, doesn't look like oxidation. Is there any cleaner I could use to get rid of them?
 

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I've seen that before. It looks like condensation or dew formed on the metal and then dried up.
 

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I got the same stuff on my car in Florida after I took it out of storage. I Sprayed the valve cover with WD40 and the white oxidation disappeared and solved the problem. It has nothing to do with flooding. It happens when the car sits for a while not being used and the salty air and humidity cause the aluminum to form this white oxidation. Try the WD40, it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That makes sense...there's also some spots on the roof that lead me to believe it sat for a while.
 

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I will clean it all up when I get to do a good detailing on it. Hopefully, it will cool off a little soon so I can do it comfortably...
 

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corrosion/rust etc. in engine compartment and the Carfax report

Recently bought a 2013 XLE. The car was returned from a lease and was low mileage and appeared to have been well maintained. Guess the lessee didn't want to pay extra when returning the car. Anyway, the car was from New Jersey, I live in Washington state, and the Carfax report didn't show anything but normal maintenance or about any sort of damage, however, parts of the car have been repainted, the battery has been replaced (Nissan battery in a Toyota, how obvious can the dealer get), and the engine compartment shows rust on the steel parts and corrosion on the aluminum. I did some further research into Carfax and several reviewers made statements that Carfax reports were incomplete histories about the automobiles in question. Guess the lesson learned here is trust only yourself and your trusted independent mechanic to check out a used car. Let the buyer beware. The car runs fine, by the way, and as much as I hate to admit it I did allow the dealer to sell me a service plan. If anything goes wrong in the next few years or several thousand miles I can get repairs at low or no cost. Not the way to do business, but so far I like the car.
 

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I would be suspicious. We live about half a mile from the ocean and our main highway parallels the ocean. We also have a lot of ocean fog (contains some salt) during the year and a prevailing onshore wind. On my RAV there is some but not much of that sort of aluminum oxidation/corrosion on the V6 rear valve train cover but none on the front cover or any place else, and no corroded aluminum on my motorcycle.

Interestingly, the chrome on my motorcycle's sissy bar shows some pitting but nowhere else on either aluminum or chrome.
 
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