Many people live in places where inclement weather can have a negative impact on their motor vehicle. Wear and tear from the elements is a normal part of a car’s life cycle, and car manufacturers try to make cars so they last, largely because they are such expensive and necessary investments for most people. However, some places like Hawaii and South Dakota have their own unique concerns with the elements that can warrant added protection for a car’s exterior. Although insurance rates between Hawaii and South Dakota are largely comparable, adding an extra measure of protection to the body of a car can help with insurance rates and to the overall longevity of the car.
For drivers living in Hawaii, salt is a concern because of Hawaii’s proximity to the ocean. For drivers living in South Dakota, the winters are very harsh and salt is often used on the roads after ice and snow storms to melt the frozen precipitation and provide clear streets. The problem with salt is that objects that come into contact with salt water are much more prone to becoming rusted. This is because salt conducts electrons much more easily in salt water than in water alone, and when it comes into conduct with the metal of a driver’s car, it creates a reaction that begins the oxidizing process. Paint is meant to protect a car’s body from the effects of rust, but dents and damage can create openings in the paint for rust to occur. For this reason, many people choose to undercoat their cars.
Undercoating is a protective layer that is applied to the under layer of a car where the parts are not coated with a protective layer of paint and thus more susceptible to rust damage. Undercoating is not meant to be an addition to the vehicle’s paint. A good waxing and inspection can help a car owner ensure that their vehicle is protected from rust damage. Since the under layer of a car is more often exposed to the elements of the road, many drivers choose to add that layer of protection, which is like a paint job for underneath the vehicle. Although vehicle already have a rust protection coating on these parts, and undercoating gives an extra measure of protection to these parts from damage and rust. The other added benefit of undercoating is that it provides a car with a sound dampener that makes operating the vehicle much quieter on the road.
For many people, the drawbacks to undercoating far outweigh their benefits. The biggest drawback is the cost. Car dealership often charge quite a lot of money to undercoat a car, and for someone financing a new car purchase, this can add too much to the final purchase price. The other drawback to undercoating is the addition to the vehicles weight. Although it may not seem significant, the added weight of an undercoating can have an impact of fuel efficiency of the car.
Although undercoating is costly, there are alternatives to having undercoating professionally done. Kits are sold that allow operators to undercoat their vehicles at a fraction of the professional cost. A driver should look at their overall road conditions and how they feel about the investment in their car before deciding to undercoat.