Is Undercoating Your Vehicle Worth It?

Auto repair shop - low-angle view of a car, exhaust system - toned image

Many consumers wonder whether vehicle undercoating is worth its cost. According to the experts at Calgary Paint Protection Film, there are many benefits to this extra layer of protection on the underside of your car, truck or SUV. In fact, you can have protective coating applied no matter your vehicle’s mileage. Besides preventing rust, taking this extra step in vehicle maintenance can help you keep the vehicle longer, preserve its value and get more out of your automobile investment.

Types of Rustproofing

 Also called rustproofing, undercoating is a process involving multiple options. You can choose the latest technology on the market today or one that has been used for decades. Ultimately, the decision is yours.

Electronic Rustproofing

 Reviews are mixed on whether the newest version of rustproofing works. These electronic methods use weak electric current through a small device installed on your vehicle to stop effects of corrosion. The technology comes from research into rustproofing of major steel bridges partially submerged underwater.


 This type of rustproofing is a car-owner favorite. It involves spraying a tar-based or rubberized material on the underbody of a vehicle, particularly on exposed parts. Once the material hardens, it serves like a protective shell and creates a barrier against moisture, salt and road chemicals.

 It is very important to maintain the integrity of this material during its application. Improper application can lead to cracking. Moisture can enter these cracks and break down the protective layer’s purpose. Only professionals should apply this coating, for these reasons.

Dripless Oil Spray

 Dripless oil spray is a waxy material applied to the vehicle body. Once dry, it hardens and forms a protective shell. However, with dripless oil sprays, you must have holes drilled into your vehicle’s body at specific points. Also because of the oil’s high viscosity, it does not always seep into tiny nooks or crannies of the vehicle body. This leaves these areas vulnerable to corrosion.

Drip Oil Spray

 One of the most commonly used methods of rustproofing, drip oil spray effectively gets into smaller areas of your vehicle’s body than dripless oil spray. This relates to the spray’s viscosity, with the drip oil being more watery. But this watery nature also means the dripping continues after application and for about 48 hours, until your vehicle’s coating is fully dry. A drawback for many vehicle owners is needing to have holes drilled in the vehicle’s doors, fenders and other areas during application.

Why Undercoat Your Vehicle?

 Your best option to undercoat your vehicle and protect it from rust is to have professionals apply this coating for you. A well-applied coating can block rust and corrosion, helping you keep your car, truck or SUV in top shape for years to come. Benefits of rustproofing include:

Sound Dampening

 Reducing road noise heard inside the passenger compartment is a great benefit gained through an undercoat. Rustproofing material provides that extra layer of protection like a shell, in turn quieting many mechanical sounds. As a result, you can enjoy a more peaceful driving experience.

Improved Stability

 Rustproofing adds weight to your vehicle. This actually improves vehicle safety through the minor weight change and its resulting boost in stability. As a result, you enjoy better control of your car and a smoother ride.

Corrosion and Rust Prevention

 The main reason why people seek to undercoat their vehicles is for corrosion and rust prevention. This is also the biggest benefit of these coatings. The protective barrier formed by the substance of your choice lengthens the life of your vehicle. This is especially true in wet environments with a lot of rainfall or snow. Moisture is one of your auto body’s biggest threats, where the moisture gets trapped in or around vehicle components, causing rust.

The Rustproofing Process

 It is important to have professionals apply your vehicle’s rustproofing for the ideal protection and integrity of the applied material. Below is some insight into their process of applying an underbody undercoat, the most popular type of rust protection. The pros have the precise equipment, materials and training to get the job done right.

1. Cleaning the underbody of your vehicle by raising it on a mechanical hoist and working beneath it.

 Your rustproofing professionals use a degreaser, then remove all existing rust using a grinder. They follow the grinding up with sanding, using large grit sandpaper specifically designed for metal. After degreasing, grinding and sanding, they wipe away all remaining dust and debris.

2. Painting and priming the vehicle’s underbody.

 The next step involves priming and painting the vehicle’s underside. This process begins on all of the areas where rust has been removed. The pros typically use a high zinc primer, allow this base to dry and paint over it using black automotive paint. Of course, the paint must dry before they move onto the next step.

3. Applying the undercoating material on the underbody.

 Your rustproofing professional applies the undercoat material on the underbody of your car, truck or SUV. They do so liberally, on every part exposed to the elements or road. Once this coating dries, they apply a second coating. It typically takes eight to 12 hours for the vehicle’s new protective coating to dry. Your vehicle should remain in the shop during that time.

 If you need your undercoated rustproofing removed at some point, you can take your vehicle back to the same shop where the material was applied. This process simply involves the use of a specialized removal spray. The spray softens the material, and your rustproofing professional scrapes it away from the vehicle’s parts.

 It is best to have rustproofing applied as soon after vehicle purchase as possible. The ideal situation is buying a vehicle with this material already in place. But you can have any car, truck or SUV undercoated, whatever the mileage. It is the best way to keep your automobile safe from exposure to water, salt, dirt and other road substances. If your vehicle already has some rust on its underbody, proper rustproofing can stop further corrosion, too.

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