If you drive in a well-paved environment, protecting the undercarriage of your vehicle isn't much of a concern. However, if you live in a poorly-paved area, or do a lot of driving in areas that have lots of sand, dirt, or rocks, you may consider protecting the underside of your truck, especially if your vehicle is new. Taking the time to apply an undercoat to the underbelly of your truck helps prevent wear and tear. The undercarriage is vulnerable to corrosion from road salts, moisture, humidity and other elements and the resulting corrosion can increase your repair vehicle maintenance and repair bills. To determine which undercoating is best for your truck, you'll need a basic understanding of the types of undercoats available.
Oil undercoatings are the most common type of undercoating used for cars and trucks alike. These products are powerful corrosion inhibitors and will protect your truck's undercarriage from rust in most environments. The oil deprives the surface of oxygen and without oxygen, corrosion doesn't occur. Look for formulas that contain moisture displacers that last up to 12 months for maximum benefits. Some formulas use natural moisture inhibitors in the form of plants and animal fats. These are often called "green inhibitors" as they are better for the environment. It's often best to take your truck to a professional to have the undercoating applied. This way you ensure that all of the parts are lubricated properly. However, if you have the equipment to lift your truck, you can purchase a DIY oil-based undercoating kit from your local automotive store to get the job done.
While oil-based undercoats are effective options for most trucks, if you drive your truck for a living, or plan on heavy road usage, you may want to consider an asphalt-based undercoating. These are stronger, last longer and offer the most protection. Asphalt undercoats are tough, yet flexible and adhere well to metal surfaces. Your vehicle will be protected from moisture and corrosion so that you can rest easy. However, to avoid problems, asphalt-based coats should be expertly applied, as you must avoid applying it to areas that come in contact with exhaust components, or any areas that may get direct sunlight.
Undercoats to Avoid
It's a good idea to avoid waxy and tar-like undercoatings. These types of undercoatings, if not applied correctly, can cause damage to the undercarriage of your vehicle. Because of this, waxy undercoatings may void your vehicle's warranty. Before applying any type of undercoating, it's crucial to check your warranty thoroughly. Oil-based undercoatings are the safest and most effective option as they won't cause damage to parts if they drip onto unintended areas of your vehicle. Waxy undercoatings for instance, are known to cause electrical problems if applied incorrectly.