PRESS RELEASE: How to Fix Underbody Corrosion Before It Starts

There is often more to vehicle rust than meets the eye. While vehicle owners in harsh winter climates may bemoan the rust eating away at their vehicle bodies, the more serious issue is what is happening to the vehicle underbody. Although underbody rust may not get a second thought on a new vehicle, it will get plenty of attention after it starts deteriorating the critical components of an aging one. To counter this attack on vehicle integrity, Cortec® Corporation offers two underbody coatings to help cars, trucks, and buses last longer.

Underbody Rust Issues
The biggest culprit of underbody rust is deicing salts, applied freely in wintry climates to keep roads safe in snowy, icy conditions. While the lives of commuters may be safer, the service life of vehicles driving on messy roads can be significantly shorter from the chloride-laden road spray splashing up onto vehicle underbodies. Regular washing with a cleaner like VpCI®-406 is one of the best ways to extend vehicle service life. But it is more difficult when it comes to cleaning the undercarriage, among the most exposed and vulnerable areas of the vehicle. Ultimately, underbody corrosion can hasten the need for repairs, reduce vehicle service life, and-worse-cause safety threats if critical parts rust through without being fixed. The problem is worse for plows and salt spreaders that get the brunt of the winter road treatments.

Is Underbody Coating Worth It?
Considering these rust problems, an underbody coating can be extremely valuable. The question is not one of choosing undercoating vs. corrosion protection but of choosing undercoating and corrosion protection. Cortec® offers two anticorrosion coating options for vehicle owners and fleet maintenance personnel to consider.

CorrBarrier™ Primer is a fast-drying high solids waterborne latex with extremely low water vapor permeability. This one-coat system provides protection in harsh outdoor applications. It dries to a pencil hardness of F but remains flexible with good chip resistance. This is important for underbody surfaces constantly being battered by gravel, rock chips, or other debris flying up from the road. CorrBarrier™ can be applied directly to the metal vehicle undercarriage by spray or brush. It offers the familiar water-based coating advantages of easier cleanup and low VOCs (0.2 lbs/gal [24 g/L]) while still getting good underbody corrosion protection.

VpCI®-398 Undercoat is a solvent-based coating for even heavier duty corrosion protection. This fast drying, sulphonate one-coat system can also be applied direct-to-metal by spray or brush. It is available in one color, black, and has excellent UV resistance. Rather than leave a hard coating susceptible to chips, VpCI®-398 remains soft, pliable, and very forgiving to physical abrasion so that nicks do not crack and break open the coating.

Who Needs Underbody Coatings?
There are many places an anticorrosion undercoating can be beneficial. Harsh winter climates are the most obvious, but tropical coastal climates with high temperatures and salt-spray can also necessitate corrosion protection. Corrosive work environments (e.g., heavy equipment loading salts or fertilizers) are another good reason for undercarriage protection. Coating the underbody of a personal vehicle is a great way to make a personal investment last longer, but it makes even more sense when entire fleets or high value assets are at stake. Service trucks are one example. Buses are another. For DOT plows and salt spreaders that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take the brunt of winter roads and deicing salts, the price of periodic underbody coating as part of routine maintenance is negligible compared with the cost of repair and replacement. Even train cars and their chassis may benefit from an underbody coating to help them last longer as they ride the rails in unrelenting weather.

Get Your Underbody Coated
Many ask if underbody coating is worth it. The answer is a resounding “Yes!” As with many preventative maintenance measures, it can be difficult to swallow the time, hassle, and cost of a task for which there is no urgent need. But the benefits can be huge in the long run, increasing with the value of the asset. If you think your fleet or personal vehicle may need long-term corrosion protection underneath, contact Cortec® to learn more about vehicle underbody coatings and weigh the costs/benefits for you and your team:

Keywords: how to fix underbody corrosion, vehicle rust, underbody rust, is underbody coating worth it, undercoating vs corrosion protection, Cortec, deicing salts, preventative maintenance, fleet maintenance, corrosion protection

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