What Is The Best Rust Proofing For Trucks?

Worker waxing orange car by polishing machine - a series of CAR CARE images.

If you want to protect your truck from damage, there are several ways you can go about it. You could go to a local auto shop like Calgary Paint Protection Film for paint protection film, ceramic car coating, car wraps, and various other damage prevention services. However, if you want to protect the metal components of your truck from corrosion, especially on its underside, you need rust protection.

To ensure you get the best rust proofing for your truck, you need to know which options are available to you. In this article, learn about the benefits of rust proofing and which rust proofing is best for your truck.

Why Get Rust Proofing?

If you care anything at all about your truck’s appearance, you should get rust proofing. Why spend money on other aesthetically pleasing vehicle enhancements like a paint protection film that keeps your paint job good as new if you’re going to neglect the risk that rust brings.

But, you should rust proof your truck for more reasons than just looks. A rusty undercarriage can lead to corrosion, which can cause damage to important metal parts and become a major safety issue. On top of potential safety issues, repairing or replacing damaged parts can be expensive. Much more expensive than pre-emptive rust proofing. By keeping your truck safe and looking good with rust proofing, you can keep the vehicle’s value high if you ever decide to sell.

How Does Rust Start?

Typically, the conditions for rust on a truck will become a problem when moisture gets inside a panel. If you could know when moisture seeps in, you could dry it and remove the problem. However, the issue is that you’re likely going to be totally unaware there is moisture inside a panel until it’s too late. By the time you notice any rust forming, it will have already been spreading. Leaving you with no option other than extensive auto body repair.

Types of Rust Proofing

As is the case with most consumer goods and services, you have various options to choose from when it comes to rust proofing your truck. Which one is best is different for everyone’s unique situation, but as long as you know what each one entails, you’ll be able to choose the best one for you.

Tar-Based Spray

Tar-based sprays are mostly known for their sound dampening effects. That makes sense considering that was their intended purpose when they hit the market back in the 1950’s. Also known as “undercoating”, tar-based sprays will provide rust protection in addition to its sound dampening qualities.

These sprays are applied by spraying the black, tar-like substance on the floor pans, wheel wells, and many other exposed parts underneath your truck. The substance then hardens to form a permanent shield against elements like water, salt, debris and other things that can damage parts of your truck’s underside. The issue with tar-based sprays is that they can become less effective over time, allowing moisture to pass by the hard outer seal to corrode the metal underneath. It’s also susceptible to cracks since it’s such a rigid barrier. Cracks are another way moisture can get past its defences.

Dripless Oil Spray

Dripless oil sprays work in a similar fashion to tar-based sprays, but there are some big differences. First of all, applying a dripless oil spray it takes a little extra elbow grease. In order to maximize how much area can get covered, the technician (if you choose a professional application) will often need to drill holes into your truck’s frame. Fortunately, most professionals can make these holes discreet.

Dripless oil sprays also harden after the application to form a protective barrier, but it has a waxy texture that sticks to your truck’s frame without dripping off. Hence the term “dripless”. Its viscous nature can leave small spots and tight seams unprotected. That’s the trade-off you make to get a larger area of protection.

Drip Oil Spray

If you want the absolute best coverage for rust proofing, drip oil spray is your best option. Since it’s the most viscous of the sprays, it’s the best for getting into every little nook and cranny underneath your truck. That means you get the greatest amount of area rust proofed. Like its dripless counterpart, you’ll still need to have holes drilled into the truck’s frame and body.

The real problem with drip oil spray is that, well, it drips. It takes up to two full days to dry. If you don’t want oil stains on your driveway or in your garage, either choose a different rust proofing option or find a new spot to keep your car for a few days after application.

Electronic Module

The newest and most unique type of rust proofing isn’t physical in nature like the other three types; it’s electrical. Its effectiveness is also somewhat disputed. Instead of forming a physical barrier that stops moisture from corroding metal on your truck, an electrical module sends an electric current through the metal on your truck. This signal theoretically stops the metal from reacting with oxygen, preventing the formation of rust. If that sounds scary, don’t worry, there’s no risk of you getting shocked by the module. Electronic modules are much less invasive to install, no hole-drilling needed, but they are also the most expensive.

Your Truck, Your Choice

Whether you choose to rust proof your truck with a tar-based spray, dripless oil spray, drip oil spray, or electronic module, you’re going to protect your vehicle’s aesthetics, performance, and value. If cost is your biggest concern, an electronic module isn’t the best for you. If you value your beautiful driveway, maybe don’t go with the drip spray. There are pros and cons to each method, and determining which option is best, is up to you.

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