Is It Too Late for Undercoating and Rust Protection?

June 21, 2018

It doesn’t matter how many miles are on your vehicle when it comes to protecting it from rust. If you want to keep your vehicle around for longer, or just want to preserve its value, now is the time to act. Don’t wait for the damage to be done to realize you should have had your vehicle protected long ago. New or used, rust doesn’t discriminate. You could have a car with 160,000 miles on it or one with 1,600 miles on it, if there is still a chance to help protect your vehicle, get it protected!

Rust Protection (2)
(Less than 200 miles on this truck)

We’ve seen 2016 model trucks with surface rust on the underbody and we’ve seen 2000 model trucks without a spec of rust on them. The difference being, the owner of the trucks without any rust on them had them treated by a team of professionals. If you’ve noticed that your vehicle is starting to display signs of rust, it’s not too late. Ziebart offers a Rust Eliminator service that comes along with an undercoating or full rust protection package. For those of you who looooove the technical/science side of protection services, feast your eyes upon the glory we are about to unfurl. For those who could care less about the technical side of things, feel free to skip ahead. (Don’t worry, this won’t be on the test)

Rust Protection Ford F150
(18-year-old F-150 XLT 7700 with our rust protection package)

Rust is the result of a very simple chemical reaction. When the iron (Fe) found in the steel of your vehicle is introduced to the oxygen (O) flowing naturally through the air, or in water (H2O), we are left with rust (FE2O3). Where does Rust Eliminator fit into all of this, you may ask? Well, rust eliminator uses a reaction product, Zinc Phosphate ZH3 (PO4)2 that reacts with free iron forming a bond. Tannic acid is also used and reacts with the Iron Oxide (rust) rendering the oxide inert. We then use various ethers and alcohol to dry the exposed areas, removing all moisture from the steel. Undercoating steel while there is still moisture on the steel can actually accelerate the rate in which iron oxide is produced. This is why it’s important to have a vehicle professionally treated for rust protection and undercoating services.  

Undercoating - Before
(Before an undercoating treatment)

Undercoating - After
(After an undercoating treatment)

For undercoating purposes, if that cold-rolled steel looks more like cold Swiss cheese, it’s probably too far gone. The damage has already been done. If the underbody of your vehicle has surface rust on it, but the steel is not completely rotted through, our professionals can help preserve and protect that steel. If you allow that rust to continue, nature will do what it does best.

1966 Mustang Rust Protection
(1966 Mustang with our full rust protection package. The only way to preserve a classic!)

For rust protection purposes, if you have a hole in your door or side panel that was brought on from rust, or, the paint is starting to bubble, it’s already too late. Once the iron in the steel is oxidized, there is no getting that iron back. We can’t protect what isn’t there! This is again why it is so important to bring your vehicle to a professional. We have the tools to diagnose your vehicle and assess what can and can’t be done. A person cannot gauge the damage caused by rust found inside of a vehicle’s doors and side panels simply by looking from the outside. The only time you can see the damage from the outside is when it’s already too late!

To recap, it all depends on the extent of the damage of the rust on the underbody and around your vehicle. Sometimes, it can be hard to discern how much rust is too much rust. That’s why we always recommend at least calling your local Ziebart dealer for an opinion. They’ll tell you exactly what they can and can’t do. It’s free to speak with a professional or get a quote and it might just help keep your vehicle looking good for a long time to come.

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