Niagara Gazette

Columns

April 11, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Spraying oil as a vehicle undercoating and other questions

Niagara Gazette — A few questions from readers this week:

CHERI FROM BUFFALO: I just got a 2009 Chevy Colorado and I had it undercoated at a place that sprays oil on the underside of the vehicle. It is really messy. Is this a good undercoat?

TOM: I do not like oil spraying for vehicle undercoating because of what the oil can do to rubber when it comes in contact with the oil. I have seen vehicles that have been sprayed with oil end up with swelled window and door gaskets to the point that the door or windows would not close. Not to mention the mess (as you pointed out) and the fact that when oil comes in contact with hot exhaust parts it can combust and thus is dangerous. Next time get a Carwell application. It’s safer, lasts longer and does not adversely affect rubber.

•••

PETE FROM JAMESTOWN: I own a new 2013 Honda Accord. When I get the first oil change would it be all right to use synthetic oil? If so, should I continue to use it? Also, it seems to have a lot of road noise for a new car. Will undercoating help?

TOM: As for changing to synthetic oil, run the new engine until 1,500 miles with the factory oil then change over to synthetic. Use full synthetic unless the owner’s manual specifies a semi-synthetic (or not to use synthetic at all). As for the road noise, ask the dealer to check for body or glass air leaks. Sometimes a gasket or body panel allows air into the vehicle’s cabin thus making it noisy. If there’s no air leaks, then ask the dealer if they have road noise insulation products available. I don’t like to apply a hard undercoating to a vehicle because it tends to lock salt and moisture so it cannot drain out. If you’re going to get a rust protection applied, use the Carwell system.

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