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Does the GM wax-coated frame prevent rust? Or is paint better?


In this video, Publisher Tim Esterdahl takes an up-close look at GM’s wax-coated frame on a 2014 Chevy Silverado. At first glance, this truck is in near-mint condition — the paint still looks good, the seats aren’t torn or scratched, and for a truck with more than 174k miles on it, it drives like a dream.

But, what does it look like underneath?

GM builds trucks with two different corrosion protections

A while back, Esterdahl talked about the new Colorado with its painted frame, and speculated on GM’s reasons for offering this on its HD and midsize trucks but not the full-size trucks. At that time, Esterdahl asked GM why it would paint some frames and wax coat others. He was assured both coatings met GM’s standards of corrosion protection. But why? Certainly they’ve been building trucks long enough to know which works best. Why wouldn’t they pick one and use it for all their trucks?

How long does the GM wax-coated frame last?

In this video you’ll see what happens when a wax coated frame spends 10 years on the ice-, snow- and salt-covered roads of Michigan. You’ll also get to compare the GM wax-coated frame to some paint-coated parts to see how each has fared in the elements. We think you’ll be surprised at the difference. And you’ll probably be running out to check your own truck’s underbody for rust once you realize that the outside looking shiny doesn’t mean there aren’t problems underneath

When is rust something to worry about?

There are different types of rust that you’ll find on your truck’s undercarriage. So, if you look under your truck and wonder if you should be concerned — and if there’s anything you can do about it, we have you covered. In a post from a couple years ago, Managing Editor Jill Ciminillo talks about underbody rust and when to be concerned. She also talks about products like Fluid Film Undercoating Protection spray, which you can use to coat your truck’s underbody to help prevent rust.

How do you take care of your truck?

Have you coated your truck’s frame? Do you install all-weather mats and seat covers in your vehicles to protect the upholstery? We’d love to hear your tips and if you have a story about a rusted frame, drop it in the comments below!




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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