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Is Undercoating A Truck Worth It?

If you’re looking for an easy way to make sure your truck’s underside is protected against rust, the answer is “Undercoating”. But will that protect your truck? Is it worth it? Keep reading below to find out!

If you live in a location that gets a lot of snow and ice then undercoating your truck will help to protect it from rust and damage from the chemicals used to melt the snow/ice. However, if you live in a warmer area like Arizona, Texas, California, etc. then undercoating your truck will likely not be worth the cost. 

Although undercoating won’t prevent your truck from rusting forever it will help it to not rust as fast and give you longer with a nice looking truck than not undercoating it. 

However, you do need to watch out for companies that offer undercoating but don’t do a good job. If your undercoating doesn’t cover all of the undercarriage properly you are wasting your money. So either hire a professional to do the undercoating properly or do it yourself but don’t try and save some money by using a cheap fly by night company for your undercoating. 

If you don’t want to spend the small fortune on having a dealer or professional undercoat your truck you can actually do it yourself as well and it is surprisingly affordable too. 

What is Undercoating?

Undercoating, also known as undersealing or chemical dipping, is a liquid applied by an automated sprayer on the underside of a vehicle. The liquid dries and creates a protective barrier between steel surfaces and the elements to help protect your truck/vehicle from corrosion. 

It is a liquid that is sprayed onto all of the undercarriage of your vehicle (if done right) which in turn allows the vehicle to last longer before the water and other chemicals (think salt or ice melt) start to eat away at the metal. 

Vehicle Undercoating Benefits

Undercoating on a vehicle will extend the life of your chassis by preventing rust. It is especially important for those who live in areas where road salt (or other chemicals) is used to melt ice or snow during the winter months. If not removed, the salt/chemicals can cause damage to your car or truck and seriously harm your paint job and how it looks over time. Undercoating also protects against moisture and other corrosive elements that can damage your car’s undercarriage.

Undercoating on a truck can also help to prevent rust damage caused by rocks, stones and other debris kicking up off the road. 

Undercoating a truck is a good way to protect your investment against costly repairs or replacements later on.

Undercoating A Truck: Pros and Cons

As with anything there are pros and cons to undercoating your truck. Some of these will vary depending on whether you are going to try and do the undercoating yourself or whether you are hiring a professional to do it for you. 

Pros of Undercoating a Truck:

All major truck manufacturers recommend undercoating but ultimately the choice is yours. The biggest pro that you get when undercoating your truck is that it is better protected from the elements and corrosive chemicals. This in turn will mean that it will last longer before it starts to show rust or other damage. 

If you typically only keep your truck for a few years before trading it in for a different model then the extra cost for undercoating won’t likely be worth it. However, if you plan on keeping your truck for quite a while then keeping it looking nice for longer is a great pro! 

Another pro for undercoating is that it can not only help keep your truck looking nice for longer but it can also help many parts to last longer as well. Chemicals and grime from the road can cause many expensive parts on your truck to wear out prematurely so by undercoating your truck you will protect many expensive parts as well which will help to save you money over time. 

Cons of Undercoating a Truck:

There are really two major cons when it comes to undercoating. The first is the cost. 

Obviously when spending a lot of money on a new truck the last thing that you want to do is drop some more money on undercoating it. However, it is a great way to protect it despite the additional cost. 

Another major con is that undercoating should be redone regularly. Although some companies will say that their undercoating will last the life of the vehicle that really just isn’t true. Undercoating should be redone every few years or sooner to help protect your truck from as much of the grime/chemicals as possible. This means that you will spend a lot of extra money over the life of your truck getting it undercoated and many people feel like the cost and hassle just isn’t worth it! 

Ultimately, you have to decide if the undercoating cost and process is worth it to you to help protect your truck’s looks and parts or not. 

Type Of Undercoating Used: 

There are basically two types used for undercoating a truck – liquid and powder. Of the two, powder undercoat is considered the most popular because it’s easy to apply when compared with liquid undercoat. However, since powder can’t be spread across the entire surface area, you need to focus more on areas where you’re most likely to get heavy scratches and other nasty stuff that will ruin your truck’s finish.

The trick is to use the most effective undercoating while saving on time and cost. The following are some dos and don’t when applying undercoating if you are doing it yourself. 

Undercoating Do’s:

Apply liquid or powder undercoat in a well-ventilated area. 

Undercoats must be applied at temperatures below 82 degrees. 

Do not apply when raining or when humidity is high because it will dilute your mixture quickly. 

It is best to apply the mixture during the evening when weather conditions are cooler. 

Test the mixture first before applying it on your whole truck to make sure that it doesn’t affect your undercarriage in an odd way. 

Undercoating Don’ts:

Do not spread the mixture thinly across your entire truck. Mix the mixture for a heavy bond. Add more mix if you see that it’s runny. 

Don’t apply over a clear coat because it will minimize the undercoating’s effect. Do not add too much mix as it may cause your paint to bubble or peel off later on. 

Do not get water on the undercoats before it has dried otherwise you risk it not adhering properly. 

Undercoating Vs Rust Proofing: What Is The Difference?

Undercoating is a blanket term used to describe any type of coating applied to the underside of a vehicle or equipment. This coating provides protection by preventing the vehicles or equipment from rusting away over time. 

Undercoating is most commonly applied to metal surfaces such as car bodies, truck beds, and even underneath the hood of a car. However, undercoating can be applied in other areas as well; they just usually are not as obvious. 

Undercoating will greatly increase the time that it takes for the material that is under the coating to start rusting away. 

There are several types of undercoating on the market currently; however, they have one common element in them: they create an impermeable barrier between moisture and metal. This will prevent the metal from rusting for a period of time (until the undercoating wears off). 

Undercoating has many different types of coatings that are applied to it, the most common of which are polyurethane and silicone.

There is a difference between undercoating and rustproofing although they are similar. While undercoating is typically sprayed on the entire underside of a truck or car, rust proofing is put in specific locations to prevent the vehicle from rusting there. Undercoating is also designed to be used on the exterior of the vehicle while rustproofing is put on the inside of the vehicle on the metal that undercoating would not be able to cover. 

The term “undercoating” was created as a way to describe any type of coating for the protection of metals and other materials from rusting away, such as cars, aircrafts and other equipment. Application of any type of coating onto metal can protect the metal from rusting depending on the type of coating being placed onto that metal.

Is Undercoating A Used Truck Worth It? 

Undercoating a new truck can be worthwhile as it will help it to look nicer for longer and prevent rust from starting to eat away at the metal however is it a good idea to do it on a used truck? 

Undercoating on a used vehicle is normally a waste of money unless the truck has had undercoating applied on it regularly since it was new. If the truck never had undercoating applied or just had a single coat many years prior then paying for undercoating later on when you purchase it is unlikely to be worthwhile. 

The chemicals and grime from the road will likely have already damaged parts of the truck and once the chemicals have started to eat away at the vehicle adding undercoating won’t fix it and probably won’t slow it down much either. 

Do You Really Need Undercoating Or Is It A Waste Of Money? 

Undercoating your truck (or other vehicle) isn’t very cheap but when you buy a car from a dealership they often push pretty hard for you to get it done. Do you really need to have undercoating on your truck though or is it a waste of money? 

Undercoating is a product that is applied to the undercarriage of your car. It’s a liquid substance that dries into a rubberized material that can help prevent rust and road noise from affecting your vehicle. Many dealerships will offer to do this for you when they sell you a new vehicle, but is it worth the money?

To understand whether or not undercoating your truck makes sense, you first have to figure out what type of road or weather conditions you often deal with on a daily basis. While some people live in areas where there is no salt used on the roads during winter months, others use tons of it every day for snow or ice control. As for rain and other types of precipitation, if your truck drives through a lot of nasty weather then it’s most likely a good idea to purchase undercoating.

Now that you know exactly what kind of weather your truck sees on a daily basis, you also need to add up how often it gets washed. Many motorists wash their vehicles regularly. If this is the case for you and your truck gets washed frequently, then it really doesn’t make sense to undercoat the vehicle unless you’re going to routinely drive through extremely harsh environments. 

Just because you have a nice car doesn’t mean that it won’t get ruined by the elements if you don’t take proper precautions when washing it.

In short, undercoating your truck isn’t a necessity unless you plan on driving through very harsh conditions. This means undercoating is probably a waste of money for most individuals who don’t drive their vehicles in these conditions on a regular basis. 

However, if you live in a location where salt and chemicals are sprayed on the road regularly during the winter months then getting an undercoating done is a good choice. Often though you are better off doing it yourself or paying a separate company to do it rather than being overcharged by the dealership to do so. 

Does Ford recommend undercoating? 

If you are buying a Ford vehicle (truck or car) you may have noticed that undercoating is always mentioned by the dealership but is that a recommendation from Ford or just the dealership trying to make more money? 

The answer is that it is the dealer’s decision on whether to recommend undercoating or not, but it may not be a good one for you.

Why not?

Undercoating by itself does not provide any significant benefits unless it is done properly, it does however always add to the cost of the vehicle. 

Some dealerships will charge up to $1000 extra for undercoating, while others will charge $300-$400. The cost isn’t much when compared to the cost of the vehicle but if the undercoating isn’t done right then you are literally throwing that money away. 

There also could be issues in the future if the undercoating is not applied correctly as not only will it not protect your truck/car properly but it also could peel off your undercarriage meaning additional costs involved. 

Ford does not always recommend undercoating because it does not help your truck unless it is applied properly. Undercoating has a minimal effect in protecting your engine and frame from corrosion unless done regularly so spending a lot for a one time undercoating at your Ford dealer is likely not a good choice.