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Protecting the floor pan. Not too keen on undercoating...

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#1
I’ve decided that life’s too short to leave my new car in the garage all winter. I’ve just purchased a 2016 Charger Hellcat. Currently has 18k on it and the underneath is mint! I can only presume that the previous owner only drove it in fare weather and I’d like to enjoy it, year round. Unless there is measurable snow on the ground, my puppers and I will be in it!

With that said, I’d like to protect it from the salt that the great state of Ohio love in the winter. I was going to tint Raptor liner red and shoot the underneath but now I’m not so sure... Are there any other realistic options out there for protection? Should I just run it through the car wash with the undercarriage cleaning, weekly?
 

BULL

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#2
Salt and Mag. Chloride might need more frequent cleaning than weekly if you're exposing it to them and you also want to try and prevent the affects of them.
 

SilverBillet

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#3
I would not do it. Just drive it. Are you just going to paint everything? You have exhaust system, suspension, fuel and brake lines, gas tank, rear end. It already has a protective coating on the floor pans and all the seams are well sealed. It’s not plain uncoated steel. A lot of the floor is protected by plastic covers. There are some natural metal finishes that would be hard to detail especially since they already have surface rust on them. It’s just a matter of keeping it clean. Anything you paint on it will look like crap.
 

HWDan

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#4
Don't bother with any undercoating, the factory dip is really good, as long as you keep it clean as much as possible in the winter months. I still have a 15 year old Dodge Magnum Hemi R/T, basically the sister car built on the same line as Charger/300/Challenger. Never been undercoated or oil sprayed and seen every Canadian winter since. The bottom is almost as clean as when new.

Just wash the car religiously in the winter and power wash the wheel wells and rockers at the do-it-yourself wand wash, or if it's too cold, touchless and trackless autowash; i choose the 'luxury' wash which gets the underbody/rocker spray and the funky tooti-frutty tri-color conditioner soap stuff. 15 winters and the touchless wash hasn't faded the paint at all either.

20171211_174201.jpg
 
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Mooster1223
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Thread Starter #5
Thanks HWDan. That's the real world stuff I'm looking for. I'll see if my local touchless washer has some sort of a winter package deal to wash the undercarriage weekly.

I sure wish they'd bring those magnums back...
 

Jungle Cat

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#6
Don’t do anything. If you are going to drive it in the winter chemical soup you have already sealed it’s fate so why bother? Not criticizing you that’s just the way it is. If you want a pristine car don’t drive it in the winter. If you do drive it in winter you are determining it will be a rust bucket. You can’t stop it.
 

parttimer

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#7
You can find a detailer that offers an industrial coating. The coating I use, IGL Eclipse is clear, sprays on, dries and ready to see the elements in 4 hours. I know another coating company also has an industrial coating as well but don't know anything about it.
https://iglcoatingsusa.com/product/ecocoat-eclipse/
 

Hemiride

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I agree with jungle cat
I live in Michigan. They salt the roads like they make money for every ounce they use.
Anyway, dry salt powder gets everywhere. In all the cracks and seems. You can't protect all of the car. It will turn into rust no matter what kind of attempts you make to keep it clean.

It's not the snow or cold that rusts cars. It's the salt. Have you ever seen a Florida car that's spent it's life near the coast? The back windows rust right out of them.
 

SilverBillet

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#9
Don’t do anything. If you are going to drive it in the winter chemical soup you have already sealed it’s fate so why bother? Not criticizing you that’s just the way it is. If you want a pristine car don’t drive it in the winter. If you do drive it in winter you are determining it will be a rust bucket. You can’t stop it.
Cannot agree with this. Of course the windshield and paint will be more subject to wear and tear from the sand and salt they put on roads in the Winter but these cars are not prone to rusting like older generation cars. You can clean them up and survive the Winters fine. Winter conditions may not be as severe around here as Ohio or Michigan but my 2013 is a daily driver and has been subject to some rough Winter weather around the N. VA. area over the last 6 years and over 134,000 miles on it. I also drove it more than a few times in the Winter to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, N. Jersey and other northern points on business. It has never been garage kept and has no signs of any rust other than some on natural finish suspension parts and some oxidation on aluminum parts in the engine compartment. I do have a Winter set of wheels and tires for it to preserve my original wheels. On the other hand, I would never want to drive my Hellcat in the kind of weather where you have heavy road chemicals and icy conditions. I did it with my Daytona but happy to say I don’t need to with the Hellcat. 3F396A49-2153-421D-84FB-A155561A1FCF.jpeg
 

Hemiride

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I'm sorry to disagree but I don't want the thread starter or anyone else to think these cars won't rust. Dodge sprays foam in the front of the rear quarter panels and this holds moisture and salt. Causing rust. I've seen pics of late model challengers worse than this. Screenshot_20191010-002257.png
 

SilverBillet

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Wow! I am glad the bottom of my rear quarters is not metal. The rear bumper wraps all the way around to the wheel opening.
 

motorhead

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Confuzed1

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#13
You can spray whatever you want underneath and hope it doesn't start rusting away....but it will - just a little more slowly. The salt gets into places these miracle sprays don't get into...above and in between brake and fuel lines, inside frame members etc. I have a 4x4 S10 that's seen many winters and salt over the years. I bought it to get around in the winter in the first place and it still runs like a champ, but the rust has taken over. I tried undercoating, WD40 etc. at first - Don't waste your money.

If you plan on getting rid of the car in within the next 5 years, don't worry about it. Chances are you'll have little to no rust. But - if you plan to keep the car longer than that, don't drive it in the salt!!

EDIT: And you Canadian folks....I don't know how you do it! I'm moving south!!
 

Jungle Cat

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My 2001 Tundra and 2010 F150 both were rusting bad at pinch welds and frames after 6 years and I drive through car wash with under carriage wash in winter. Rust was showing on body in spots as well. My 2003 VW Jetta appears to be almost immune to rust. VW used some kind of dip or under coating that is incredible. The exception to this is the front fenders in the middle above the wheel wells. They used a sponge there for some reason and they all rust there. There was a free fender replacement fir this up to a certain year. I just missed it. I bought a new fender I need to have painted for it. I’m not liking the Dodge Foam they used. Apparently sound deadening is more important than long term survival. I am hoping my dry garage preserves it. Salt brine getting in there with that foam is not a great thing.
 

Hemiride

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Wow! I am glad the bottom of my rear quarters is not metal. The rear bumper wraps all the way around to the wheel opening.
The area most prone to rusting is the (front) of the rear quarters by the doors. Not the rear of the fenders that is plastic 1/2 way up.
 

Confuzed1

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#16
My 2001 Tundra and 2010 F150 both were rusting bad at pinch welds and frames after 6 years and I drive through car wash with under carriage wash in winter. Rust was showing on body in spots as well. My 2003 VW Jetta appears to be almost immune to rust. VW used some kind of dip or under coating that is incredible. The exception to this is the front fenders in the middle above the wheel wells. They used a sponge there for some reason and they all rust there. There was a free fender replacement fir this up to a certain year. I just missed it. I bought a new fender I need to have painted for it. I’m not liking the Dodge Foam they used. Apparently sound deadening is more important than long term survival. I am hoping my dry garage preserves it. Salt brine getting in there with that foam is not a great thing.
Interesting about the VW. I have a '04 Pontiac Vibe (daily) that has somehow escaped rust, and I bought the car up here and it's seen every winter. I call it the best Pontiac Toyota ever built since it's basically a Matrix platform. Underside is still pretty clean! The only signs of rust I see is the brake lines in certain spots...but not horrible....yet.
 

Jungle Cat

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Interesting about the VW. I have a '04 Pontiac Vibe (daily) that has somehow escaped rust, and I bought the car up here and it's seen every winter. I call it the best Pontiac Toyota ever built since it's basically a Matrix platform. Underside is still pretty clean! The only signs of rust I see is the brake lines in certain spots...but not horrible....yet.
I am astounded every time I crawl under the VW and see the new looking floorboards. And car is 16 year old New England Winter car. Other companies should figure out how the do it. Maybe they don’t want to. Figure you will buy more often?
 

HWDan

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#18
4 door LX's don't have the same quarter panel insulation foam area as Challenger's. However, just about every make can have rust develop in the bumper joint lines front and back. I've seen plenty of early LX's now with that rust area. The key is, like regular power washing in general, is to keep those joints power washed, even if you have to push down and spread the joint area to get a good shot of water in there to push out any grit. I Don't have this problem on the Magnum, nor on my wife's Mazda 3 which are notorious for this rusting area. I also give those joints a shot of rattle-can Rust Check spray every spring and fall as well.

DSC06291 (320x240).jpg
 
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#19
Among my fleet, I have a black 95 Honda Accord LX 2 door 5 speed with 130,000 miles. NEVER garaged. It sees Connecticut salt and sand every winter. The underneath of this car is like a time capsule. NO rust whatsoever anywhere under or outside this car. Amazing!!!!! My 04 Ram 4x4 with 30,100 miles that I bought brand new in 04? Been fighting bits and pieces of rust in the lower drivers door since 06. Underneath? OMG, scale rust all over the frame and it sits in the garage on carpet.
 

Confuzed1

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Among my fleet, I have a black 95 Honda Accord LX 2 door 5 speed with 130,000 miles. NEVER garaged. It sees Connecticut salt and sand every winter. The underneath of this car is like a time capsule. NO rust whatsoever anywhere under or outside this car. Amazing!!!!! My 04 Ram 4x4 with 30,100 miles that I bought brand new in 04? Been fighting bits and pieces of rust in the lower drivers door since 06. Underneath? OMG, scale rust all over the frame and it sits in the garage on carpet.
Sounds almost as bad as my S10 4x4. The whole underside of the bed is rusted so bad, I'm afraid to put anything real heavy in the bed...might fall through! Corners of cab are rusted, bottom of both doors...I'll be selling it shortly to someone that wants to plow snow with it or something. The frame is solid, although it has a good amount of surface rust.

Just curious....anyone here have a Toyota pickup that's seen some winters? I wonder if they hold up better than the big 3...
 

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