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I live in an extremely brutal winter climate. If anyone here has been to Ottawa in January you know what I mean. -40 celcius temps, with lots of snow, which means salt, more salt than you can shake a stick at. Salt everywhere, on your clothes on your body, and on your dog. I have been told that I should undercoat and undercoat now, yet I dont know how much faith I have in the person who told me. So, for all you experienced RAV experts, would you recomend an undercoating? Any other advice for brutally cold climate would help as well.

Cheers!
 
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If you are going to keep your RAV(not leasing and giving it up) then undercoat is definately a plus. I have the sound barrier from ziebart on my RAV and I can tell you that where they undercoated, it is nice and black and clean and where there isnt any(trailing arms etc) it is nice and starting to rust from salt, debris etc. I would recommend if you do do it, you go to a specialty shop, ziebart, krown etc. They do rust proofing for a living and I would only trust the experts. They are more expensive then say Canadian tire and other garages but I like to think you pay for the expertise.

Just my 2 cents
 

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Not to flame Zeibart...

As they do have a rep (and despite what the consumer magazines say about the lack of a need for undercoating), it surely would mean something at re-sale to the buyer that you cared enough about the car to spend for it....

but...

Other possibilities aside from the "asphalt-like roofing tar" of Zeibart are the parafin or oil-based undercoats.

Can't recall the "leading" parafin folks - WaxOyl? - but the "advantage" was that it never "dried" to a skin, like an asphalt-based coating could. Instead, it would always stay "pliable".

The notion was that once the asphalt "skin" dried, it could crack here and there, allowing moisture to seep in between and beneath - effectively hiding corrosive damaging effects untill it was too far gone.
The parafin-based WaxOyl OTOH, was simply a thick coat of wax; never dried to a stiff crackle, always "self-sealed" and self-healed and as wax: water repellent.

Another popular alternative to Zeibart or wax was the "old used motor oil" undercoatings.

Yes, as the name implies, shops would literally spray the entire undercarriage with a voluminous amount of what appeared to be old motor oil. Allowed to drip and wiped off where needed, the oil was seeped into all the nooks and crannies effectively water-sealing the entire undercarriage. As goofy as it sounds, many old timers swore by this method for undercoating/rustproofing.

IIRC, "fish oil" was/is a popular rust-proofing used in Oz. We know it as WD-40.

And trust me, Pittsburgh is where Rust lives year round.
 
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