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  #1  
Old 03-21-2009, 03:46 PM
dolphinboy dolphinboy is offline
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Location: Bigfork, Montana
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Is Rust Proofing/Undercoating Worth It?

I'm moving from California to Northwest Montana and I will be purchasing a brand new truck once I get there.

Since I have never lived in snow or ice before I have always declined to purchase rust protection or undercoating. Should I consider it for my new truck? I don't know if they use salt or sand there, but I plan to keep the truck for a long time. If buying undercoating is considered a good idea I would like to understand what additional protection it would provide me. Any idea what undercoating should cost for a small truck?

I'm not sure what make or model yet, so let me know if that factors into your opinion.

Last edited by dolphinboy; 03-21-2009 at 03:48 PM..
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2009, 04:14 PM
HongKongFooey HongKongFooey is offline
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Undercoating is a necessity here. Lots of salt on the roads and lots of salt in the air since we're not far from the ocean; I'm guessing Montana wouldn't have quite as much salt in the air but I don't really know. New cars are undercoated fairly well so a lot of people wait a year or two before getting newer vehicles done. Price varies, my van cost $150 last year to have it Rust Checked (covers entire vehicle so not strictly undercoating). The effect of not having it done isn't nearly as noticeable as it was years ago when the bottom of the vehicle would rust out within a few years, especially in the seaside communities but most people get it done each fall. Some only have it done every couple of years and don't seem to have much more rusting.

Last edited by HongKongFooey; 03-21-2009 at 04:16 PM..
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2009, 04:39 PM
Jodi Jodi is offline
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Not sure what you'll be using the truck for, but AFAIK having grown up in Montana in a town (paved, plowed roads), nobody ever buys the rust-proofing. It's something only naive buyers sign up for -- the kind of people who would pay full sticker price as well. It's dry in Montana; it takes a long time for stuff to rust out.

Last edited by Jodi; 03-21-2009 at 04:39 PM..
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  #4  
Old 03-21-2009, 06:20 PM
dolphinboy dolphinboy is offline
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Anybody else out there? Everyone can't be watching March Madness all day like I am...
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  #5  
Old 03-21-2009, 10:41 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Don't get it done by the dealer; instead have it done after the fact by someone who you've researched through acquaintances. Waiting a few years won't be a problem.

My ex-neighbour swore by a guy who did it out of his own garage and used some form of used, emulsified motor oil as a protector and by golly his cars were always pristine.

FWIW I've lived in salt and rust country (Canada) for most of my life and have never had a vehicle rust protected. Everything else seems to wear out before I'm worried about fenders, rocker panels and the like. I'm approaching 300,000 Kms on two vehicles and the least of my worries is rust.

Last edited by Leaffan; 03-21-2009 at 10:43 PM..
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2009, 09:58 AM
zenith zenith is offline
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Forget Ziebart and all other blind-sprayed tarry goops because the stuff gets into window mechanisms and clogs drain holes-actually promoting rust. Your owner's manual states that your 6yr/100K mile corrosion warranty is voided by using that crap.

The body shop that repaired "rustproofing"-induced rear quarter rust on one of my cars brush-painted the insides of the new metal with a combination of zinc primer and "all the odds and ends of paint buckets dumped together". In 6 more years of ownership thereafter-no rust in the rear quarters.

If you've run out the warranty and have the time to remove inner trim panels, you'd probably do better with a zinc-rich paint carefully hand-applied than with any of that spray crap.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2009, 12:44 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenith View Post
Forget Ziebart and all other blind-sprayed tarry goops because the stuff gets into window mechanisms and clogs drain holes-actually promoting rust. Your owner's manual states that your 6yr/100K mile corrosion warranty is voided by using that crap.

The body shop that repaired "rustproofing"-induced rear quarter rust on one of my cars brush-painted the insides of the new metal with a combination of zinc primer and "all the odds and ends of paint buckets dumped together". In 6 more years of ownership thereafter-no rust in the rear quarters.

If you've run out the warranty and have the time to remove inner trim panels, you'd probably do better with a zinc-rich paint carefully hand-applied than with any of that spray crap.
Some spray places are good though, hence my suggestion ask friends, coworkers, etc. A friend of mine used Krown and swore by it. I see it's a Canada chain though.
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2009, 02:27 PM
zenith zenith is offline
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If the "small truck" you're condidering is a Ford Ranger or its Mazda-branded clone, my 1997, never garaged, rarely-washed specimen has solid floors, doors, front fenders, and frame. And they use lots of salt here.

I have wheel-opening rust, but a woman hit me on that side of the box back in '99 and I suspect that the shop that her ins. co. recommended used non-Ford metal.

Toyotas and Nissans used to degrade before the 36th payment, but they seem to have gotten it under control, circa mid-'90s.

Save your money.

Last edited by zenith; 03-22-2009 at 02:28 PM..
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:21 AM
Chopper9760 Chopper9760 is offline
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Undercoating? Seriously? No, you don't need to pay extra for that dubious feature. Both my pickups are from the 80's - no coating and nothing has rusted off the bottom yet.

Save your money indeed.
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  #10  
Old 03-25-2009, 02:14 PM
Sam Stone Sam Stone is offline
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Do not get undercoating on a new vehicle. First of all, new vehicles don't rust very much - manufacturers have gotten much better at rust resistance.

Second, it's grossy overpriced.

Third, it can actually promote rust if done poorly.

Fourth, it makes the vehicle harder to work on and inspect. It can actually lower the value of your vehicle because an old trick when selling a used vehicle is to apply undercoating to hide pre-existing rust or frame damage. Always be wary when buying a used vehicle that has what looks like fresh undercoating, or even any undercoating at all.

The same goes for all the other crap the dealer will try to sell you - fabric protection, extended warranties, VIN etching, yada yada. These are all grossly overpriced and often the dealer will make more from tacking on this garbage than he'll make from the sale of the vehicle in the first place.

Negotiate your price first, BTW. Once you have it, in writing, THEN decline all the other crap. If you tell the dealer you don't want any of that stuff up front, he'll have less of an incentive to give you a decent price for the vehicle. Of course, you don't want to lie, but don't volunteer the information. Similarly, if you have a trade-in, don't work it into the price. The dealer will use this to game you - if he thinks you care more about getting good value for your old vehicle, he'll offer you an awesome trade-in price - but work it back into the price of the new vehicle. If he thinks you need a great 'deal' on the new vehicle, he'll offer you one - and then give you peanuts for your trade-in.

If the dealer asks if you are financing, or have a trade-in, or are interested in the extended warranty and all that, just say, "I don't know yet. I want to see what kind of price you're willing to give me on this truck before I make those decisions."
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2009, 01:09 AM
Dallas Jones Dallas Jones is offline
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Undercoating/rustproofing is a complete scam. Do some reasearch on it. Modern cars do not need it anymore. My owners manual says so. When I pointed that out to the salesman he got quite sheepish. They all know it's a scam. Just like 'sealing' the paint on a clear coated car.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2009, 04:46 PM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is offline
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IIRC Consumer Reports strongly recommended against it.
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