Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I live in Massachusetts and I've been religiously trying to keep my car clean, taking it to the car wash as often as I could and trying to spray down every nook and cranny of the wheel well and underbody of my Rav4. Recently I took a peak under my car and spotted some signs of corrosion around the suspension, control arms, random bolts, and so on. :crying

What really makes me upset is I've implored the local Toyota dealer on suggestions on how to protect the undercarriage but all I was told was to simply wash the car regularly. In hindsight, that seemed to be inadequate advice.

Anyone have any suggestions on what I can do (not right now, but maybe over the Summer), to correct some of the damage and/or prevent further corrosion? My brother suggested using some WD-40 to stop the rust in its tracks, but I also heard of a company called Ziebart that specializes rust prevention and undercoatings.

Also, I understand that Toyota has a rust warranty, but does that only apply to the body?

Many thanks for your input!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
In contral Ontario where I live in Canada, there is lots of salt used on the winter roads. Many of us spray our vehicle under bodies annually to retard oxidization. These treatments are mostly water displacement sprays (Rust Check, Crown, Krown etc.) or some use a light oil based formula (sometime new ... sometimes heavier used oil). Prices range from about Can$130 for the big brand names down to Can$55 at your local garage/provider. There are still some tar and wax based applications available but most generally shy away from those as they can "catch" moisture underneath them once the original treatments start to break down.

Although there are no absolute guarantees that your vehicle won't start rusting, these water displacement treatments do delay most significant oxidization for many years as witnessed by our recently sold 1996 Camry wagon with minimal body rust (just surface stuff) and almost no sins of undercarriage rust.

However, the undercarriage was quite "dirty" as the spraying places recommend driving down a dusty gravel road after spraying so the dust will mix with the fluid to form a protective dirt packed coating. It's messy to look at but works well. You also don't wash it off when cleaning your car or going through a car wash (defeats the purpose). Hope this helps. ~ BugJr ~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,917 Posts
Even with the best oil spray systems, your bolts and parts near the suspension will have surface rust.
The wheel well aread is often exposed to high speed water and snow/salt and any oil will be promptly washed away.
That's the way it is ...or if you have a high end car, then these areas will not be so exposed.

I am currently using the cheapest option ,which is Canadian Tire, to spray the underbody (CA$ 60). I do the doors myself with a can of Fluid Film.

Surface rust will not cause any damage. I actually don't even wash my undercarriage except once before taking it for the oil spray.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies! It's kind of funny, I called Ziebart this morning and they told me about their system, which involves an acid treatment upfront to remove the rust followed by an undercoating. Costs $650 and comes with a 10-year warranty.

But, I called my Toyota service advisor after that and he did not recommend the undercoat solution. He said they would offer it as well and it would be an easy upsell, but the fact that they don't should say a lot. Can actually trap moisture and cause more harm than coat. He also cautioned against soaking the underbody with grease.

One solution is a few shots of WD-40. Also, I used to buy S100 Total Corrosion protectant years ago from the Harley Davidson dealership and would use that around metal and rubber components on my car.

As for the acid treatment, anybody try using white vinegar? I remember reading how professional detailers would "acid wash" a car to remove hard water spots and the solution was simply white vinegar and water. I actually performed the wash myself on my old car, and it worked wonders. Anybody ever try spraying white vinegar on their undercarriage?

Any thoughts on Krown as well?

Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
Undercoating was for decades something that dealers just did so they could charge you $200 for something that cost them $20. It was found to trap moisture under the coating and actually made things worse, not to mention, a shady money-grabbing practice. That is why it is not offered anymore (at least at reputable dealers). The car is steel as are many parts and will rust, regardless of what you do. The oil-based products are MUCH preferred to the "plastic tar" products, as mentioned previously. Washing under there at the car wash is the best option as you are washing your car anyway. When I was shopping for my Tacoma (first new car I have ever bought), one dealer had a $400 "option" of a clear coat on the paint and fabric protector on the seats and you could NOT buy a car without it. That was tricky as you could not see EITHER one and they most likely did nothing except extract money from wallets. They also bad-mouthed me for wanting factory cruise control. Their answers were: 'Oh, I never use my cruise control.' and 'Just get an after-market cruise control.':roll: Dude: I am buying a NEW truck. I WANT factory cruise control and, by the way, am rarely in my 4Runner without using the cruise control. That dealer is no longer in business....:D: Oh: and I bought the pickup from another dealer.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,912 Posts
One solution is a few shots of WD-40.......
I remember reading how professional detailers would "acid wash" a car to remove hard water spots........
Any thoughts on Krown as well?
Thanks!
First off, WD40 is water dis-placer. It is great for getting water out of things like door locks, to prevent them freezing up, but it leaves NO residual protection like oil does.

I've never hear of using vinegar before, but it does make sense that it would help remove mineral deposits on a painted surface ( just like cleaning your kettle) , but there would be no benefit to spraying your undercarriage.

The manufacturer does take some precautions to protect the sheet metal, such as zinc coatings and tar like sprays, but the heavy suspension parts do not receive any special protection ( because they really don't need it. They would take a lifetime to rust through) so it is perfectly normal to get rust developing on these parts.

I highly recommend, and use personally, Krown rustproofing. I recommend at least one professionally applied Krown treatment to ensure that the interior panels (e.g. doors, inner fenders) have a good protective film. The product is sprayed into these panels as a mist which literally covers the entire surface as well as electrical connectors, motors, etc. As they spray through a small hole in the edge of the door, you can see the mist coming out of every seem and opening in the panel.

The oil in these interior panels should remain in place for many years without the sandblasting effect that occurs above the tires and the under-body. Afterwards if you want to save some money, then use Fluid Film (amazing product) to spot treat any external areas that seem to be vulnerable.

And finally I would not spray the under-body with a high pressure spray which would only remove the oil treatments you paid to have installed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I did undercoating on my camry in zebart. They did a fair job only thing is u have to take it to them every year for inspection so then will spray it again. They don't spray it on the moving parts.
It's a good thing to do especially if u live in place with bad weather.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Rickl, thanks for the input! I've read other posts from Canadian Rav4 owners and the feedback was generally positive towards Krown. The only problem is I can't seem to locate service dealer here in Massachusetts.

Given your feedback on WD-40, have you heard about S100 total corrosion protectant? It's made specifically for motorcycle owners to protect the chrome exhausts and other surfaces from the corrosion effects of salt air.

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,912 Posts
The only problem is I can't seem to locate service dealer here in Massachusetts....
have you heard about S100 total corrosion protectant?!
You may not be able to find a Krown franchise in your area, but look for a place that sprays oil rather than sticky tar or wax. Check out this YouTube video and find a place that uses a similar application method.

I've never heard of S100. It appears to be a very light oil that needs to be rubbed into the surface with a cloth. It also appears that it's intended use is for protecting shiny surfaces (that sounds like wax!). It doesn't sound like it would hold up to the harsh environment underneath a vehicle, and could not be applied to the untouchable interior panels.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Hello guys

Some people have opinions about doing undercoating is actually causing problem rather than protecting.
I want to get it clear next time when I buy a new car should I do it or not??
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for replies everyone! I've been doing some research on Fluid Film, but I also spotted the WD-40 Specialist line of sprays at Autozone. In fact, two of them look like options for undercoating my vehicle: Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant, and Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor. The former is supposedly safe to use on both metal and non-metal surfaces.

Anyone have any experience with these sprays?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,912 Posts
Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant, and Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor.
I haven't used either of these products, but I believe the "Water Resistant Silicone Lubricant" is intended to be a lubricant. I use silicone sprays similar to this to lubricate the rubber weatherstripping on my vehicles, the rubber seals on my garage door, and even to waterproof my boots. I would not expect this to work well as an annual rust protection.

The Long-Term Corrosion Inhibitor contains Distillates (Petroleum) according to the MSDS. Without seeing the product in person, I cannot comment on it's effectiveness. After seeing the longevity of Fluid Film, I cannot imagine anything being more effective.

In Ontario (and all of Canada) the majority of drivers install winter tires on their cars. To save money many people choose to install the winter tires on plain painted steel rims. These rims can develop serious rust over just one winter due to the salt exposure. Several years ago I sprayed my rims with Fluid Film. My rims did not rust that winter, and in the spring they were still covered in an oily residue, probably enough to protect over another season. Yes, the residue is messy, so it would only be used in areas that passengers would not normally make contact with.

When choosing a product remember this..... Oil creeps. If you spray an area with oil and miss a few spots, the oil will creep until the whole area is covered. You can spot a car that has been oil treated because as excess oil drips out of the drain holes on the bottom of the door, it travels UPWARDS on the outer skin of the door. (this stops after a few weeks when the excess has drained away).

This means that the oil will creep into seams where two pieces of metal are folded over on each other. None of the sticky tar/wax products will do this. Neither will silicone. Unless the sticky products totally close the openings to these seams (almost impossible) any moisture that does get in will be held in much longer, only worsening the problem.

So I would suggest that you only consider oil based products and nothing else. In order to get inside body panels (where rust normally starts) you will need to get the product professionally applied (at least once) as demonstrated in the Krown video.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I researched it some, narrowed my choice to Krown or Fluid Film, did FF recently and happy to far....time will tell. For many years this seemed unnecessary, but in Vermont they've started using brine on the roads which is terrible for undercarriages.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the information Rickl. I actually checked my local Autozone yesterday evening to see if they carried Fluid Film but they were out of stock.

My main concern about using Fluid Film is whether it will corrode plastic/rubber. There are some spots around the wheel carriage (support bracket for the shocks for instance) that I'd like to spray, but I know I'll accidentally cover some rubber or plastic components. Is Fluid Film safe for these non-metallic surfaces?

I was also thinking of opening up the plastic trim at the bottom of every door and spraying inside there, but obviously any overflow will drip through that plastic trim.

I don't have a lift, but if I can find Fluid Film today, I plan on giving some shots of that spray all around my car and whatever I can reach underneath. If you have a list of critical areas around the vehicle that need to be coated, I would really appreciate it!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
172 Posts
Hey, Thomas100: see all the posts on this subject. Aftermarket will be better and less expensive than a "dealer-applied" coating. Their job is to make money, not make your car better. Anything they do will involve a mark-up, even if it is part of the "deal". Bottom line: no. IMHO......:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,912 Posts
My main concern about using Fluid Film is whether it will corrode plastic/rubber.
You should read the FAQs posted on the Fluid Film web site (Click Here)

They warn that oil can be absorbed into rubber, causing it to swell. I experienced this myself several years ago (using oil sprays), but since that time Krown has recognized the problem and now treats rubber weatherstripping with silicone spray to prevent the absorption of oil. This problem only occurred on "sponge rubber" components like door seals and was not noticeable until after about 8 years of annual treatments. It did not effect more solid rubber.


If you have a list of critical areas around the vehicle that need to be coated, I would really appreciate it!
As I stated a couple of times, the most critical areas to treat are the ones you can't see. These would include the interior or doors and inner fenders. The problem is, if you can't see them you can't treat them without special wands and a pressurized spray system. I suppose a pressurized weed sprayer might do a half decent job if you really want to save a few dollars.

The areas that you can see, like the undercarriage, can easily be treated whenever you see rust developing. You might be "overthinking" this whole thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,912 Posts
I happened across this promotional video in another forum. Notice that they say several times "Fluid Film will not damage oil resistant rubbers".

It will however be absorbed into "spongy" rubber, such as door seals, and under-hood seals. A quick spray of silicone on these seals prior to treating the area with Fluid Film will prevent absorption.

 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top