Car & Truck Undercoating

Posted by on 5/19/2019 to General Information Fluid Film & Woolwax

What type of automotive undercoating should you use on your car or truck? There are a lot of rust protection products on the market that will work as vehicle undercoating.  you can choose from oil undercoating, wax undercoating, there are plenty of rubberized one-time undercoating products, the old school method is bar and chain oil or used motor oil. The list of rust preventive products that are used as vehicle undercoating is endless. I've even heard of people that melt down the wax rings that are used underneath toilets and apply that as an undercoating to the vehicles. All the methods described above will provide rust protection to your vehicle undercarriage to some degree. If you coat metal with almost anything, even peanut butter, it will prevent moisture and oxygen from reaching the base metal and stop corrosion. But for how long? That's is what you need to think about when choosing a vehicle undercoating.   Let’s look at some of the automotive undercoat methods available.

Rubberized Auto Undercoating- This has been around for a long time. Rusty Jones, Ziebart, 3M, and so many more have offered or still do offer rubberized undercoating for vehicle rust protection. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard say “I had my first truck undercoated with Rusty Jones, I wish they were still around”.  I googled Rusty Jones.  They offered a warranty on their rubberized undercoating product. And they sold it like crazy. Franchises everywhere.  The warranty claims that were filed against them for failed vehicle undercoating was stated as over $130 Million dollars in their bankruptcy filing. That put them out of business.  Rubberized undercoating does provide rust protection for a while.  And then just as rubber does, it begins to break down, crack, and become porous. Road debris hitting up against the rubber undercoating chip and damage the coating shell. Moisture seeps in and the vehicle undercarriage corrosion begins. The vehicle literally rots away under the black rubberized undercoating. It is not something that you can detect because all you see is the black coating on the undercarriage. It’s nearly impossible to remove black rubberized undercoating. The upside of this method is that it’s a one-shot deal. Do it and forget about it. Until there is an issue. Once rubberized undercoating is applied you are stuck with the results for the life of the vehicle. Most people would conclude that rubberized products are probably not the best choice for automobile undercoating. Especially with the newer and more reliable undercoating products that have come available.

Oil Undercoating – This method of car & truck undercoating has been around for years. Many companies have put different brand names on it, but it’s still oil. Oil of any type will protect your vehicle undercarriage from rust to a certain extent. Oil is a low viscosity (thin) liquid. It’s easy to spray because of that low viscosity. The downside is that it washes off easily and constantly drips. A lot of people that apply oil undercoating drive the vehicle on dirt roads immediately after being undercoated. They say that this helps to stop the dripping. But there is no getting around the oil stains in the garage and driveway as a result of oil undercoating. Especially in the warmer weather.  Because the oil is so thin, it does creep into a lot of the difficult to reach undercarriage areas.  Another downside of oil undercoating is that for obvious reasons the mechanics at your local garage or dealer may refuse to work on a vehicle that is coated in oil. It’s just too dirty, smelly, and can turn a 30-minute job into 90 minutes with all the extra cleanup necessary. As you can imagine, the nasty oil gets over everything.   Oil undercoating is an annual application and in areas that have relatively mild winters without long term road slush, it is a reasonable option to protect your vehicle from rust and corrosion.

As I said earlier, there is a never-ending supply of undercoating products for your car or truck.  Let’s set aside the rubberized coatings for now, as the trend has shifted to the use of annual maintenance type undercoating applications.  These products are applied once a year depending on conditions, and generally in the fall. A good application of a viscous product should easily provide undercarriage corrosion protection though the snow and salt season. Commercial users such as snow and ice removal companies, industrial users and municipalities often reapply undercoating several times a year.  

Let’s talk about Woolwax® brand auto undercoating.  Woolwax® is a product that is constantly being refined and improved. The chemicals that your vehicle is exposed to are constantly changing.  The state and municipal highway departments are applying more harsh chemicals to our roadways than we have ever seen. Salt, brine, liquid sodium chloride, and too many others to mention. But none of them are good for your vehicle undercarriage. The old school undercoating methods are no longer effective. And neither are products with a 70-year-old formula that have never changed to meet the new challenges created by these newer harsh road chemicals.

The Woolwax® strategy is simple. We developed the thickest automotive undercoating in the industry that is still very easily sprayed. The heavy viscosity of Woolwax® makes it much more resistant to wash-off than any other product. Woolwax® will not wash off easily in the high-wash areas and will provide a longer term of undercarriage protection for your car or truck. Nothing lasts longer than Woolwax®.

Vehicles rust from the inside out. Corrosion often begins in the inaccessible areas that you can’t see. The seams where the metal interlocks, the inner frame rails, rocker panels, and so many other hidden areas.  Because Woolwax® goes on wet, and stays wet, it is always creeping and migrating into all the inaccessible areas. This is a significant advantage over applications that dry and begin to cure as soon as they hit the metal surface. These products don’t provide rust protection in the areas that you can’t see or access. Woolwax® is always active and creeping into new areas. If road debris scrapes Woolwax® it is self-healing and gels over itself to seal out any moisture and oxygen. No other product can provide the long-term protection in the hidden areas that Woolwax® provides.

Woolwax® is made from lanolin. Also known as wool grease, wool fat, woolwax. Lanolin comes from sheep’s wool. When the wool is shaved from the sheep for the textile industry, it is cleaned (scoured). The resulting by product is a very thick material called wool grease. Lanolin has been used for centuries as a lubricant and corrosion inhibitor. The lanolin in Woolwax® will creep into the most inaccessible areas of the vehicle and displace any water by attaching itself to the metal surface and forming a thick and durable corrosion inhibiting coating.  We have been selling lanolin based automotive undercoating for almost twenty years. We supply over 400 professional vehicle undercoater’s throughout the country.  All our products are tested and improved based on the feedback from our undercoaters.

Why do we use lanolin as a base?  Very simple.  We could use any raw material, but we believe that based on our experience that lanolin is the best product available for car and truck undercoating applications. It’s safe and clean, and it works extremely well as a corrosion inhibitor, lubricant, and penetrant. If there was a better performing raw material available, we would use it. What makes Woolwax® superior to the competition is the heavy viscosity. Auto undercoating is of no value when it washes off easily. Woolwax® will provide the longest lasting undercarriage protection of all the undercoating products available. We have removed the strong smell of raw wool grease with an odor neutralizer. Woolwax® has almost no smell at all. The heavy viscosity of Woolwax® undercoating makes it a non-drip formula so there is no concern about undercoating oil stains in the garage.

Applying Woolwax® as an auto undercoating is relatively easy. We offer a complete line of automotive undercoating spray guns and accessories to apply Woolwax®.  A small compressor capable of producing 70-90 psi is generally adequate.  In colder temperatures it may be necessary to heat up the Woolwax a bit before applying. Woolwax® is sprayed everywhere on the undercarriage of the vehicle. You should avoid the very hot areas such as the oil pan and mufflers, however if any over-spray reaches these areas it will just burn off.  Because of the excellent creeping properties of Woolwax® there is no need to be overly concerned about coasting every inch of the car or truck undercarriage. Just spray the Woolwax® on the best that you can, and it will get where it needs to go. Woolwax® is always actively migrating.        

Deciding to undercoat your vehicle yourself or take it to a Woolwax® undercoating location?  Our Woolwax® undercoaters are experienced and do a professional job. The cost may vary according to the service being offered. Some undercoaters may just coat the undercarriage very well, while others may tear the vehicle apart and do every possible spot that can rust. It just depends on how aggressive you want to be on this constant war on rust that attacks our vehicles. Woolwax® is solvent free so there is no evaporation process.  Since Woolwax® will not evaporate, the enclosed protected areas (doors, rocker panels, etc.) that are not exposed to the elements will be protected indefinitely (years).  These areas do not need to be recoated with Woolwax® every year. Only the exposed areas of the car or truck undercarriage will require an annual Woolwax® treatment.  Woolwax® can also be easily applied by the do-it-yourselfer. All that is needed to undercoat your vehicle is one of our Woolwax® undercoating kits and a small compressor. We always advise wearing eye protection and a respirator type mask when applying any vehicle undercoating. Even though Woolwax® is safe, non-toxic, and non-hazardous, you do not want to be inhaling any of the particulate that is in the air that comes off the vehicle that is being undercoated.  

Woolwax® is used on industrial equipment as an undercoating product also. School bus companies, fire departments, tractor dealers, rental equipment dealers, and state and local public works departments all use Woolwax® as their preferred equipment rust protection product.

Woolwax® is available in Straw (clear) color and Black. Both formulations and levels of automotive undercarriage protection are the same. The black simply has a black pigment additive. Many people undercoat their vehicles with aerosol spray cans. It’s a bit more expensive to do it this way, but it works well. It will take bout 8-10 aerosol cans to coat a vehicle undercarriage. With the bulk Woolwax® (gallons, pails) a mid-size SUV will take about ¾ gallon of undercoat.  Any pickup truck will take every bit of 1 gallon to 1 ½ gallons of Woolwax® to do a good undercoating job. Of course, amounts used vary by the type of undercoating gun being used, and how aggressive the person is that is doing the undercoating.  For the do-it-yourself person we do not recommend airless undercoating guns. Airless is a different type of spray and emits pellets, as opposed to a finer atomized spray. Airless spray guns do not wrap and feather around protruding angles like on a vehicle undercarriage. Also, low pressure (70-90 psi) air undercoating guns are much safer to use for the non-professional.  


 

Summary:  The first decision people must make when having their autos undercoated is if they are going to choose a one-time undercoating (rubberized), or to opt for an annual maintenance type product (Woolwax®).   If you choose Woolwax, and we hope that you do, the next step is to decide if you will undercoat your vehicle yourself or take it to a professional undercoating location.  If you have a Woolwax® undercoating location near you it would be advisable to pay the professional to do it.  For someone that is somewhat handy, and has a compressor, undercoating your vehicle is not difficult at all. And after the first year the subsequent years are easier because you only need to undercoat the exposed areas of the undercarriage.

There you have it. Go to your nearest Woolwax® auto undercoater, or parts store and ask for Woolwax® car and truck undercoating. Woolwax® can also be ordered online at www.woolwaxusa.com.  Woolwax® is better than all the rest. Nothing lasts longer.

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