The Best Car Undercoating For Protecting Your Vehicle From Rust

Click here to see examples of undercoating for cars.
Click here to see examples of undercoating for cars.
To prevent corrosion, many of today’s new cars have a chassis with a zinc-phosphate coating or similar that provides great durability to all metal surfaces in and on the vehicle. They also add undercoating on the underbody of vehicles to add additional corrosion protection and in many cases additional noise reduction properties and insulation as well. Well the new generation of coatings has become pretty robust, if you’re restoring a vehicle that has been in an accident, or is from a past decade or even a past century, you’ll often find that the undercoating has become cracked, damaged, and fallen off the vehicle.

Generally you can’t buy OEM product that is used on today’s cars fresh from the assembly. The great thing about that is that the aftermarket has come up with solutions that rival OEM performance and are available for purchase over the counter or from online retailers that will have them delivered to your doorstep. Many of the offerings are available as an aerosol spray version or can be painted on with a roller or brush.

The Best Car Undercoating

3M Undercoating
If you’re looking for the best undercoating available over the counter and on the internet, our recommendation is that you look no further than the 3M brand undercoating (part # 08881). It’s great for your current restoration project that needs a little extra corrosion protection and reduced in-cabin sound levels.

For ease of use, the 3M brand undercoating (part #08881) comes in a simple to use aerosol spray. Simply shake up the 1-pound can until its mixed well, then point and shoot until your vehicle surface is covered to your satisfaction. Each can will cover approximately four to six square feet under normal conditions, less if you need a thicker coating, or more if you don’t need as much. Many of the normal uses for the rubberized black coating are the undercarriage of your vehicle, the fender wells, or inside your vehicle doors.

It can also be used on a boat deck surface for added slip resistance, as a potential sealing coat to prevent a water leak under minimal pressure, or an abrasion resistant coating on high traffic surface areas. Undercoating #08881 is a permanent matte black non-paintable coating, so if you need to cover it in a paint to match your vehicle or another part it’s best to use undercoating #08882. Item #08882 is listed as a matte finish also, but is paintable. Either coating covers well on primed, painted, and bare metal as long as the surface is clean and ready to be sprayed. Be sure to cover any surfaces you don’t want to have undercoating on.

Each can is VOC compliant and offers excellent coverage without worry of sagging while it quickly dries. The coating doesn’t plug the nozzle after using a portion of the can and putting it into storage so long as you wipe it off before storage, which is usually a concern with an aerosol paint after use. Dry time is around 30-minutes to the touch and fully curing in 24-hours after application. Dry times can vary depending on temperature and humidity, so be prepared to allow proper curing before moving on the next stage in your project. The can will spray from any direction, so it doesn’t matter if you lay under the car and spray upwards, or kneel beside the vehicle to apply the coating. It’s as versatile as you are, which is why it’s the best undercoating out there.

As far as available purchasing options, Amazon’s attractive pricing means we’d start by checking pricing there. Overall, the 3M undercoating is a great product with good adherence and long lifespan. We highly recommend it and think you’ll be happy with the results! Happy wrenching!

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