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Q: Undercoating the car prior to inclement weather?

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This car was purchased in Florida and driven in Florida until may 2016. Now the car has been shipped to New York for my college aged daughter to use. My father in Florida is insisting that it needs an undercoating to protect it from snow and salt which it has never been exposed to. The dealership I called in New York knew nothing of this but my dad insists this process must happen prior to the inclement weather. I'm confused.

My car has 70000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. The undercoating you’re father is...

Hi there. The undercoating you’re father is referring to was a very common factory or aftermarket addition in the Northern United States from the mid-1950’s up until the late 1990’s. It was essentially a polymer spray that protected exposed steel undercarriage parts from being corroded with sodium or mag-chloride (or salt treatment) that most US states use for ice or snow melting purposes.

In recent years, automotive manufacturers have gone away from using steel in their vehicle’s manufacturing and typically use aluminum or other non-corrosive materials now.

In fact, many vehicles sold in US Southern States are protected with an additional clear coating applied at the factory to resist corrosion due to exposure to salt water (including Florida). If you want to have a more thorough assessment of your vehicle’s paint job, I recommend taking the car into an auto paint shop for a consultation.

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