Is Undercoating Your Vehicle "Worth It"?
Byon Mar 2nd 2023
Undercoating your vehicle is a topic that has been debated for years, with many people wondering whether it's worth the time and money. Aerosol-based undercoating is perhaps the most divisive product on the market, alongside fuel additives, with advocates and opponents on both sides.
However, not all aerosol-based undercoating is created equal. There are numerous brands and varieties of undercoating and, depending on the degree of rust present on a vehicle's underbody, the results can vary significantly, especially after months of unpredictable weather.
Many popular brands, such as Rustoleum, 3M, and Eastwood, produce rubberized undercoating. While laying it on thick seems like the best practice, users have experienced serious issues with this type of undercoating. Rubberized formulas have a dried film that is often hard, arid, and brittle, making it exceptionally smooth and durable but allowing air and moisture to seep underneath the coating, leading to rust formation and corrosion.
Part of this is due to the makeup of these coatings, with them oftentimes mixed heavily with asphalt, diminishing the outstanding protective properties of rubber. Undercoating in a Can offers 100% pure rubber undercoating with no fillers or corner-cutting measures. We have tested dozens of formulations to present the best rubberized undercoating on the market with notable sound deadening and a textured finish perfect for top-coating with automotive paint. With the right preparation and a clean starting surface, expect corrosion protection for years to come (leading to considerable maintenance savings and improving resale value).
Oil-based coatings, on the other hand, work great by being penetrants, creeping into the crevices and surfaces of your underbody to provide exceptional protection in hard-to-reach areas. However, due to the low viscosity of these fluids, overspray, dripping, and running can be a concern. Additionally, power washing the underbody or getting a car wash could remove the coating completely. These are typically annual coats, meaning they get re-coated every year, so while not permanent, they can offer excellent protection while on the surface.
Our Clear Fluid Coat set out to reduce the pitfalls of annual undercoating while providing the exceptional benefits associated with it. What came out was our heavy, tenacious petroleum gel film that sprays clear, smooth, and does NOT drip or run off the surface area being protected. This effective penetrant will creep into the joints and crevices, pushing out any remaining water, air, and moisture, remaining in place to provide continued corrosion protection.
Finally, solvent-based waxes are used primarily in industrial situations, with Undercoating in a Can Black Wax being the most popular and promising option on the market. It is a solvent-based wax packaged in an aerosol can, with a paraffin content that provides exceptional adhesion to metal surfaces, even those plagued by existing rust. The film allows for underlying moisture to evaporate during the drying process, and it never truly dries, leaving a firm but somewhat tacky finish that allows for self-healing and prevents the spread of new rust when an area becomes exposed via flying debris.
Due to popular demand, we now also offer a Clear Wax formulation of Undercoating in a Can, offering the same great protection.
In conclusion, undercoating your vehicle is worth the time and money if you choose the right product for your specific circumstances.
It's important to note that no topical product can ever remove existing rust. The only way to completely remove rust is via blast media or sandblasting, which exposes raw, fresh metal underneath the layer of rust. However, nothing corrodes quicker than fresh metal, so it is recommended to use a coating product after blasting.
Undercoating in a Can provides you with not only numerous options, but also plenty of resources to help you confidently choose UIAC for your next project. If you have any questions, contact us! We’ll be happy to help.
While you’re here, don’t hesitate to pick up some accessories, such as the Wet Film Thickness Gauge, Quikcoat Precision Sprayer, spray wands, and more… Oh, and enjoy Free Shipping On Orders Over $75.