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Can an oil undercoating stop truck rust? NHOU says yes

Can an oil undercoating stop truck rust

Nicole Wakelin visits NUOH to learn how an oil undercoating can stop truck rust. (Photo by Nicole Wakelin)

After Publisher Tim Esterdahl found rust on his brand new 2021 F-150 hybrid, he asked auto journalist, Nicole Wakelin, to take a field trip over to New Hampshire Oil Undercoating to learn about their process, which protects trucks from the salt and grime that often leads to rust. Joey Dupont, shop manager, was kind enough to let Wakelin film the process, and the result is this fun and educational video that shows how an oil undercoating stops truck rust.

Dupont’s family started the company because his dad’s Ford F-250 rusted out underneath, and they wanted to find a way to avoid that with their next truck. To show us how this has been working out for them, Dupont shows us his family’s 2013 F-150 that has 117k miles on it and has been undercoated every year since they bought it.

As you can see in the video, the truck has been protected. A quick wipe of the oil shows a rust-free underbody on this truck.

How does it stop truck rust?

The shop uses a couple of different products and application techniques to apply a coat of oil to every vulnerable part of your truck’s underbody. This includes wheel wells, door frames, tailgate hinges, hood latches and hinges, battery connections and more.

The oil then picks up any dust flying up under the truck. The dust sticks and the next treatment goes right on over the previous oil treatment and accumulated dust, forming a thicker layer each year. The oil remains soft and liquid, and you can wipe it away to see the protected underbody at any time.

So, how does the process work?

First, the truck’s entire underbody is coated with a thick black-colored oil undercoating product using an airless gun. Then a fogging gun mixes air and a clear oil for a finer application, which can be sprayed into tight, hard-to-reach places — such as up into drain holes. Lastly, the wheel well guard product is used for high-stress points.

Owners of used trucks rejoice!

Here’s the even better news: An oil coating can be sprayed over existing rust. It won’t kill the rust, but it will cut off the oxygen needed for rust to continue. So, this is a great option for used trucks, too.

As a heads up, however, the oil often penetrates the rust, and after a while, can get behind the rust causing small parts to fall off. Don’t freak out. This is normal. And the next time you take your truck to get it coated, the shop can blow off any loose pieces before applying a new coat to continue protecting your truck from rust.

What to expect after an oil undercoating

Dupont says right after an undercoating treatment, or on warm days, oil may creep to the exterior a bit just after application. This will be noticeable around door frames. Not to worry; it can be washed off with soap and a power washer. Other things to expect:

  1. Smoke. Overspray gets in the exhaust and can smoke for a few minutes.
    2. Dripping. It’s minimal because the oil is thick, but it can drip from areas that get warm.
    3. Avoid undercarriage washes until after winter when the danger of salt and ice is over.

Can you DIY this?

Absolutely. If you live up north, you can use one of the many NHOU authorized shops. But, if there is no shop near you, you can go to their website and buy a kit to do it yourself. You’ll just need an air compressor.

What do you think? Would you have your truck’s underbody coated to stop truck rust?

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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