No matter the climate, the underbelly of every vehicle needs proper care and protection. Undercoating helps protect your vehicle against rust and corrosion. Seals on the underbelly parts have gotten a lot tighter and more effective at keeping out dust and moisture, but there are other factors to consider. Poor roads, rocks getting thrown from the tires and denting the metal, and corrosion from road salt in the winter all play a huge part in the damage or decay of a vehicle’s underbelly. Used vehicles especially will need a little underbelly protection — while it’s already been exposed to contaminants and rust, applying undercoating will prevent further damage.
Undercoating and rust protection often go hand-in-hand, but they are actually two different things. Rust protection generally goes inside your vehicle, while undercoating is used for protection outside of the vehicle, and there are a variety of coatings available. Depending on the level of damage and how much protection you want for your vehicle will determine which type of automotive undercoating you choose.
Rust is unsightly, unsafe, and it could also make you lose money on the investment that you made in your vehicle. Oftentimes unsightly rust occurs because of road salt, a necessary evil. Without road salt, the roads would not be safe; they would be filled with ice and snow, causing vehicles to slip and slide every which way. Salt does its job by creating a chemical reaction that lowers the temperature necessary for water to freeze, allowing the ice to melt and making the road safer. Unfortunately, this salt can also do serious damage to the exterior of your vehicle. In recent years many municipalities have chosen to use a magnesium chloride based road salt, which is even more harmful to the exterior of your vehicle, which makes it even more vital that you understand how and why rust prevention is necessary,
Rust, as it is normally called, is really iron oxide. The body of your vehicle is made from iron. When that iron is combined with oxygen (from the air) and water (from the road), you have the perfect combination for iron oxide, or rust. Water on its own is not the best electrolyte, meaning that the rusting process would go much slower if pure water alone were to make contact with your vehicle during the winter. Unfortunately, in snowy areas, when salt is used to melt the ice that turns it to salt water. As the salt water hits your vehicle and buries itself in the nicks and cracks that have occurred from normal driving, you have a good chance that rust is going to occur.
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