Are you interested in installing a vehicle undercoating to your vehicle? There are many reasons you should, including how well it protects the underside of your car. The following information is some of the most intriguing in the world of undercoating. It will help expand your knowledge on this process, including some of the earliest (and weirdest) attempts at making this product.
The First Car Undercoating? Chicken Fat
As early car buyers suffered from damage to the underbody of their car, a variety of different items were marketed and sold as a barrier of protection. One that may seem utterly strange to modern sensibilities is chicken fat. That's right: at one point, car owners actually applied chicken fat to their vehicles to protect the body.
Oddly enough, it was effective, but for one major problem: sulfur. Simply put, chicken fat was full of the stuff. This substance was actually more destructive than the salt and weathering elements it was supposed to protect against. So, it was discontinued.
These Days, Undercoating Is More Sensible
The days of chicken fat undercoating is over: there are three major types of undercoating, including:
- Water and paraffin undercoats
- Petroleum and rubber undercoats
- Asphalt undercoats
Each of these substances has their benefits and disadvantages. For example, water and paraffin undercoats dry very quickly, meaning you can get your car out on the road more quickly. However, they need to be re-applied frequently due to their thinness: often as much as once a year.
Petroleum and rubber undercoats are stronger than water and paraffin undercoats, but water and paraffin are thicker. That thickness makes it more difficult to properly apply, meaning you may have to hire a professional. However, these options may be included as an extra when you purchase a new vehicle.
Asphalt is the strongest and most durable type of undercoating. It even comes with a warranty when purchased with new vehicles. However, you have no choice but to call a professional installer for asphalt undercoating, as it is much too thick for an amateur to install.
Properly Matching Undercoating
Matching your undercoating to your car is a complicated process that requires several steps:
- Matching the color – Requires understanding that the darkness of the undercoat does matter: even if you choose an undercoat of the same color as your vehicle, choosing one too light or dark can look odd.
- Choosing a base coat – The base coat should be lighter than your vehicle since you will be adding more coats as you go. So add a small amount of white paint to lighten up your first coat.
- Letting it dry – Wait a few hours for the first base coat to dry. During the drying process, it may lighten or darken.
- Adjusting the next few coats – Add the next coat, adjusting the amount of white paint as necessary. Add more if you feel the first coat was too dark or add none if you feel it's too light.
When you finish this process, you should have a seamless undercoating that protects the bottom of your vehicle from wear and tear. But if you are struggling to complete a car undercoating on your own, don't hesitate to call a professional right away.