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Old 11-19-2018, 05:30 PM   #1
pierrot
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Default A West-coaster wonders about rust issues and usage of undercoating

In 1978 I was on a trip with my parents and visited various relatives whom I knew only very little or not at all. One of them was a great-uncle in Wisconsin. He lived near Madison and owned an early 70's Pontiac LeMans coupe ('72 perhaps). It was in great shape, the paint was in near perfect condition, and was well covered below by a rubberized undercoating. Being a native of Southern California I'd never seen undercoating applied to a car before, but my great-uncle and father explained the need for it. Later, that same trip took us through Detroit where I saw the results of cancerous rust on cars which I thought was downright frightful!

Has the undercoating of cars fallen out of popularity with car owners in the "salt belt" of snow country in the eastern half of the country? Is there some other reason why it is apparently not in use?

...
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Old 11-20-2018, 11:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: A West-coaster wonders about rust issues and usage of undercoating

Im from MI and the places that perform
Undercoating and Rust Proofing" do exist- Ziebart the most recognizable. I believe many dont want to pay the extra expense. Car companies have bamboozled the masses on how the underneath metal of their cars is zinc coated and needs no further protection. The 08 era Dodge Rams, 2000s Ford Focus and Fusion and anything GM around the fuel filler factually disproves this! Pierrot its insanely disheartening dealing with rust in this area. KBB values do not take into consideration that a vehicle here may be 6 years old with under 60k miles but yet be rusted on the body and underneath compromising the safety of the car. What really sucks is a car can have a great body but be worthless and not road worthy/dangerous due to rust under the body in the structure. The best example is a Saturn S any year. Car will look wonderful!! Hopes high gonna get my kid a Saturn....But the engine cradle inboard of the front driver side wheel- will be rotten! Replace cradle right? Its a bolt in item. But go to the rear. In front of driver side rear wheel. FRAME STRUCTURE ROTTEN AND CANNOT BE REPAIRED- not realistically. I own an an 04 LeSabre owned by a retiree that lived in Arizona and kept the barge out of the sun so no rust. But typically MI cars need their brake lines replaced and if you must have a shop do it the cost ranges from $300-$700!!!!!

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Old 11-20-2018, 12:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: A West-coaster wonders about rust issues and usage of undercoating

I'm not aware of any car, truck or suv with zinc coated parts. Ever since unibody design eliminated a separate steel chassis and body, the main car chassis/frame have always been dip coated or sprayed with primer for corrosion resistance. No factory rust proof treatment otherwise we'd have cars/trucks/suvs without rust and no need to buy new ones when none rust. In addition to sheet metal coatings after assembly, heavy caulking around seams prone to water infiltration are applied before painting. As I understand it, any galvanizing of steel becomes a problem with welding. Zinc coated steel must be ground to bare metal before welding and any welding without removing zinc coating interferes with welding, creates zinc oxide gas that is hazardous to anyone breathing in the area. Assembly line spot welds may not tolerate galvanized steel panels. Since the majority of vehicles are coated for corrosion protection, this isn't rust proofing. The aftermarket products like ziebart and under coating in a can are secondary methods to add additional protection. What isn't discussed is why our vehicles rust. None are galvanized due to the complexity of assembly line processes. Undercoating only works with new cars and most likely at the assembly line when vehicles are still dry and haven't been moved outside yet to absorb moisture. Once outside and exposed to weathering, any moisture or humidity hidden in nooks and crannies may be sealed in with under coating treatment. This may begin corrosion as water or moisture is sandwiched between primer, paint and under coating. Spraying under coating is effective only on rust free parts. It's never been proven in long term studies of under coating protecting vehicles better than zero under coating. Corrosion begins as soon steel is scratched with whatever coating is removed, exposing bare metal to mother nature. Even the navy doesn't have galvanized ships.

Most street lamps, highway posts and chain link fences are galvanized for long term protection against weathering. They're simple, have very few openings for attaching or mounting parts and are rarely serviced once erected. They stay rust proof from the heavy zinc coating and near zero service to disturb the zinc coating. Where corrosion begins appears on threaded parts where zinc is removed, exposing bare metal to oxidation.

I think the only way to deal with rust and corrosion is dealing with it as soon as its identified by removing as much corrosion as possible then spraying bare metal with paint or under coating to seal it against exposure. Easier said than done........

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Old 11-20-2018, 01:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: A West-coaster wonders about rust issues and usage of undercoating

Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrot View Post
In 1978 I was on a trip with my parents and visited various relatives whom I knew only very little or not at all. One of them was a great-uncle in Wisconsin. He lived near Madison and owned an early 70's Pontiac LeMans coupe ('72 perhaps). It was in great shape, the paint was in near perfect condition, and was well covered below by a rubberized undercoating. Being a native of Southern California I'd never seen undercoating applied to a car before, but my great-uncle and father explained the need for it. Later, that same trip took us through Detroit where I saw the results of cancerous rust on cars which I thought was downright frightful!

Has the undercoating of cars fallen out of popularity with car owners in the "salt belt" of snow country in the eastern half of the country? Is there some other reason why it is apparently not in use?




Galvanizing is definitely incorrect. I meant to say as you said- corrosion protection. I have never bought new car ever. But my coworkers have and do. I asked them about zie barting, Crown or fluid film or some other additional protection and all 3 said the same. Its already protected from corrosion by the manufacturer. So these people I reference see no need. These people also get rid of said vehicle before the real rust starts so I guess if theyre not gonna own long term then why should they spend the additional $$?

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Old 11-20-2018, 02:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: A West-coaster wonders about rust issues and usage of undercoating

I trust this tech and was disappointed at what his video demonstrates. I always thought a sticky flexible thick petroleum based coating to a brand new car was a guarantee for no rust. He states this truck was undercoated when it was brand new. He is in New York.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXvl9nt57Kg&t=329s

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Old 11-20-2018, 04:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: A West-coaster wonders about rust issues and usage of undercoating

I came across this youtuber at random and was impressed with one video, taking on a repair from a failed attempt at repairs by another shop. Fixing a problem from repair shop that couldn't correct the original problem and created a second problem doubled the issue. This man appears to be the mechanics mechanic or from the electronics problem, the technicians technician. With advanced skills and experience, he clearly showed his diagnosing and troubleshooting skills to find the mistakes, correct them and get the car running. He even found the problem that begat the problems - an exhaust system with a plugged converter that appeared as engine problems and chased incorrectly by the other unnamed repair shop.

He states clearly how undercoating can do more damage by sealing in moisture to accelerate corrosion. Even when new.......

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Old 11-20-2018, 05:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: A West-coaster wonders about rust issues and usage of undercoating

I wish Eric O of South Main Auto was in my town. He does it all. Mechanical and electrical diagnosis that's amazing.

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