One of the best aspects of owning a car is customizability. Some of the common ways you can customize your vehicle are by getting your windows tinted, wrapping with 3M Paint Protection Film, an amazing paint job, or a variety of other performance or aesthetic enhancements. But, there’s one type of car enhancement that you don’t hear of very often even though it provides many benefits to motorists, it’s just not as eye-catching as putting on a fresh set of rims. That enhancement is called undercoating.
Undercoating is a great way to help protect your vehicle from corrosion and abrasion for a reasonable price. The cost of undercoating varies depending on your vehicle type, the shop where you have it applied, and other services you get at the time (like rust proofing or window tinting). Before you go ahead and book an appointment to have undercoating applied to your vehicle, let’s break down the benefits of undercoating, how it’s applied and how much of an impact it will have on your wallet.
What is Undercoating?
Simply put, undercoating is a rubber or wax coating that is sprayed on the underside of a vehicle. It can be applied to the entire undercarriage as well as wheel wells, quarter panels, the interior side of fenders, door skins, the underside of the hood and trunk lid, and floor pans. Once applied, the undercoating forms a textured black finish. The coating makes a rustproof layer that separates the underside of your vehicle from water, ice and salt that gets kicked up off of the road. We will discuss the function of undercoating more below, but it’s good to understand these basics before we get too detailed.
What Are the Benefits of Undercoating?
Road Noise Reduction
Have you ever been driving around town, listening to your favourite music or podcast, and then when you hit the highway, you need to turn up the volume to hear even though it was loud and clear before? That’s because the faster you go, the more road noise pollutes your eardrums. Undercoating can help with that.
One of the benefits that undercoating provides is it has sound deadening properties that help reduce road noise so you can enjoy a more pleasant and quiet ride. And you won’t have to turn your volume up to max just to hear whichever sounds you decide to pump out of your speakers.
Protection From Corrosion and Abrasion
Perhaps the most important benefit of undercoating is that it helps protect your vehicles’ undercarriage for the long term. What happens is the rubberized or wax coating creates a protective barrier that seals out dirt, grime, and moisture that would normally bump right up against the metal components. This barrier greatly reduces the damage that would usually occur due to corrosion from the elements.
However, that’s not all undercoating will guard against. A single coating of the spray increases your cars’ resistance to chipping, abrasion, exterior rusting and general weathering. Since a layer of undercoating protection is relatively easy to apply, it is an excellent, cost-effective way to prevent damage to all sorts of components that are exposed under the car. Quite possibly saving you a lot of money by avoiding costly repairs or replacements.
Vehicle Type for Undercoating
You can have undercoating applied to almost any vehicle type. That includes cars, trucks and recreational vehicles. Some auto shops will price their undercoating application based on vehicle type. Therefore, make sure you speak with the technicians beforehand to know that you’re paying for the right service.
Cost of Undercoating
Generally, undercoating is relatively cheap. Especially when you consider how much money it can save you in the long run by preventing damage to expensive parts. Of course, the price you pay will depend on the auto shop or dealership that you use, so take some time to look for the best deal from service providers in your area. You can find auto services that will apply undercoating for as little as $150 all the way up to $1000, but most quality places will charge somewhere nearer the $500 range.
It’s also common for service providers to bundle undercoating with other products or vehicle upgrades. For example, a company might charge you $500 only for undercoating, but if you bundle the undercoating with the application of 3M Paint Protection Film and rustproofing, you can get it all for just $700. Do your due diligence and ask about service bundles from multiple places before you pick a spot. You don’t want to have your undercoating applied at one service center because it was $50 cheaper only to realize you could have spent a little more on a service bundle somewhere else that would get you more bang for your buck overall.
How Long Does Undercoating Last?
Another element of undercoating that you need to consider when you’re trying to decide if spending $500 upfront is that undercoating isn’t permanent. Due to the constant weathering from the dirt, grime and moisture, the protective barrier between your cars’ undercarriage and the debris will only last for about a year. But that’s ok. It means the undercoating is doing its job by taking all the weathering damage, keeping your car well protected. Still, the undercoating should be reapplied after about a year after the most recent application.
So when you think about the cost of undercoating, it is more helpful to think of it as a yearly expense instead of a one-time purchase. That may seem a bit too pricey to commit to, but that’s how it goes with products and services that prevent future expenses sneaking up on you. It may seem expensive at the time but can save you big money over time by preventing damage to vital and costly parts.
You can protect your vehicle in many ways. You can have 3M Paint Protection Film applied to your car. You can get your truck fully rustproof. You can even protect your seats from the sun with tinted windows. But don’t forget about the many benefits and money-saving potential of undercoating; it will be worth it in the long run.