How to Rustproof Your Vehicle
Tuesday, 28 January 2020 | Admin
How to Rustproof Your Vehicle
There is a large selection of products and services within the UK to either help you DIY Rust Proof your vehicle, or have it done for you. Confusion comes from almost every vendor claiming they are the best, promoting themselves as the "Best Chassis Paint" specialist, or a plethora of other sales angles. In an ideal world every rustproofing job would be back to individual panels, the vehicle being fully dismantled, and a nut and bolt restoration. In practice some of these jobs can be house deposit money. So we Compromise- But how much are you willing to compromise?
UK Undersealing services
Services in the UK vary wildly. Many sellers of the services do not actually know the products beyond basic training, some don't clean vehicles prior to painting, and for others they won't start on your vehicle without a full body stripdown and sand blasting- so choose someone that is going to do the job you want, or that they know enough to show you how it should be done. As a general rule you really do get what you pay for. As a very rough guide here are your price points for UK Rustproofing on a standard sized car. Businesses doing this "should" have premises, insurance, equipment, staff costs etc etc, so a £500 treatment needs to cover all of that, product, preparation materials, fuel, electric etc and that doesn't give you many hours with the vehicle before you either make a loss, or have to cut corners.
Under £200. clear/ blacking service, usually not steam cleaned, often lacking insurance
Under £300. Cold washed and sprayed black, no masking, needle gunning, stripe coating, stripdown for mating faces. This price area does get you into the bottom end of "effective" treatments. This would tend to be treatments where inner arches and some basic parts are removed, and a clear protective coating applied.
Under £400. low overheads businesses start to fucntion in this price range for the potential to steam clean, a bit of sanding, and a basic/ budget product to be applied but its far from thorough unless they are making a loss. Don't expect much, but some out there do start to earn a reputation at this point.
Under £600. This is the most popular price point, where ALOT is usually promised. some treatments in this price range will claim 10 year warranties, big brand names, and more. Check reviews, find out what they do, and request to see work done, not just "before and after" photographs, because they do not tell you what you actually got for your money. Ask what they do if it doesnt work, how do they deal with it, do they check it in fututre to see for you etc etc?
Under £1000. Moving into the area of suspension parts being removed, paying for qualified staff to be doing jobs with the right equipment, insurance should the worst happen, big name brands, needle guns, stripe coating, options for dropping fuel tanks, inspections and more. As the budget rises it increases hours available for the job, attention to detail and more. This price point is still low on the end of having full parts stripped down, masking beyond just the body etc.
Under £2000. At this point Undersealing centres have freedom to offer more services such as dropping fuel tanks, sand blasting of parts, taking more time for preparation which is the biggest problem with rustproofing. You will see more thorough jobs that last longer, better warranties/ support if things are not up to standard, and other services being offered such as sound proofing, welding, modification etc.
Over £3000 you are into custom work, full underbody drop, possibly suspension refurb's, parts refurbishment, customisation, colour coding, specialist paints and more. A little low for chassis drops, and approaching replacement chassis money being around 4.5>9K with other refurbishing
DIY Rust Proofing
Before you decide you are going to do this yourself, there are several things to consider before you even get to the details such as the actual process of how to rustproof. Have a read of this guide - How to choose a chassis paint. Its not as simple as using the same paint your mate did, it needs to match your needs, budget, prep, what facilities you have etc etc.
So- you have now decided your going to do the job yourself. where do you start?.. Right here>
How to prepare and paint your chassis / Underbody
Once you have completed the work it is advised to periodically inspect it. No job is "perfect" and you may well of missed something. The stripe caoting step and the preparation of edges etc really helps here.