Undercoating Tips

by KevinM

The topic of automobile undercoating has become highly contentious. Many believe that today's cars come from the factory with all the rust-proofing and noise insulation you will ever need, while others still believe undercoating is a wise choice to preserve your investment. If you have weighed all the pros and cons and decided that undercoating is for you, then there are a few tips that can help you get the best job possible.

Choose the Right Product for the Purpose

Undercoating serves two purposes, namely rust protection and noise suppression. Rust-protection undercoating is normally applied as a thinner oil-like liquid that, when sprayed, can penetrate deep into the nooks and crannies under your car. Noise-suppression products are usually thick tar- or wax-based substances. When sprayed, they will form a thicker coat but will not penetrate well into small crevices. Be sure the undercoat you choose is well-suited to your purpose.

Shop Around

Do your research. The need for undercoating is a hotly contested topic these days, but once you have decided to go ahead then carefully check the reputation and the warranty of the products you are considering. Talk to people you know who have undercoated their vehicles and find out about their experiences. Check online blogs and articles. When shopping, deal with contractors who have been in business a long time. Check their facilities to be sure they look tidy and professional, and look carefully at the technicians who will be doing the work to see if they seem competent and experienced.

Apply Undercoat to Clean Surfaces

Any undercoat must be applied to a clean and dry surface. If not, then the undercoat will not adhere and parts of the surface will go unprotected. Even if you are having the undercoat applied by a contractor, it is a good idea to give the underside of your car a good cleaning a day or so before you take it in. The contractor should also give the underside of your car a thorough cleaning, but by doing some of the work upfront you will allow him to concentrate on the really stubborn spots. Try to schedule your application for a day when the weather is dry so that the underside will be as dry as possible when the technicians start their work.

Older Vehicle Considerations

A vehicle that has been on the road a few years will usually have at least some rust and dirt buildup on the under-surfaces. When undercoating a car like this, it is important not to trap rust underneath the undercoating or the problem could accelerate. Before undercoating, all rust should be carefully removed. The rusted spots should be sanded down to bare metal and then primed and painted. All dirt accumulations should be removed. If rust protection is your goal, consider simply spraying the underside of your vehicle with oil. This will not aggravate existing rust; in fact it will likely slow it down considerably. The downside is that oil will not last, and yearly reapplication is necessary to sustain the protective effects.

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.