Ram Truck
Mary Conway's picture

Why Ram Truck owners insist on undercoating and rustproofing their trucks

As the winter weather approaches, Ram truck owners are comparing notes on why they get rustproofing reapplied every year and what type works the best.

The discussion among Ram truck owners started when an owner named Reek asked the question “How much rust do you have under your truck?” Reek has a 2015 Ram and says “Just curious. I was taking pics of my rear spring mounts for another reason. I can't get over how much rust there is, surface stuff but a lot. Its a 2015. I don't remember my 2014 having much at all.” And with that the forum boards lit up with other truck owners comparing notes. Reek was from Sacramento, which seems odd. That isn’t where you usually think of heavy weather.

Another owner of a 1500 Rebel responded that rust on the undercarriage was “Unfortunately, pretty typical”.

Why have trucks undercoated
The truck owners then starting explaining why they shell out the money every year to have their trucks undercoated. “That looks about right. I had the same amount of rust the first year with my Jeep. I learned from that and fluid filmed my RAM and so far is holding up well.”

There are multiple forums about “what is the best spray to stop rust under the truck?”The answers range from the tried-and-true Ziebart, to more do-it-yourself sprays that you can buy by the gallon and apply at home.

The owner of a 2016 Ecodiesel says “I have been using fluid film for several years on at least 4 different vehicles. I spray it myself. It's not magic like many people claim, and it doesn't last forever underneath where the spray from the road can hit it. But, it works pretty well, doesn't smell like gear oil, doesn't drip, and it's a good lubricant for things like your door hinges. I try to spray it on when the weather is hot because it will "creep". And then I'll spray it again right before the snow starts. I like it, and it costs about $50 for a gallon. A gallon will thoroughly coat your truck 3 or 4 times. I use the fluid film brand sprayer that I bought for $35 I think, and I put a little pressure regulator on it. It's a pretty good setup.”

The owner of a Ram 1500 named Terra recommends a product that he says is military strength.” Corrosion Free, Great product used by US and Canadian Military.”Terra is from Ontario, Canada, and they get serious winter weather. A truck owner named Greg from North Carolina added “I have a friend that just used this stuff to coat the underside of his truck. www.kbs-coatings.com. “

The problem isn’t limited to Ram trucks, one guy who drives a 2014 Laramie says “I get my truck sprayed with Krown. No rust here. Been doing that with all my vehicles for years. If you want to see rust issues, there are many threads about GM trucks rusting frames while still sitting on the dealer lots. Not bashing GM here, I have just seen a LOT of complaints about rust under their trucks.”

Torque News reporter Marc Stern warns that the vehicle must be properly prepared for the undercoating to work, if not the coating can do more harm than good. Stern says " I followed them closely and they seemed great. That is until they started to be applied poorly because the vehicles were never prepared right. Vehicles have to be super clean and super dry before you can even think of putting that junk on there. All that happens is if there is any moisture, the moisture is trapped and it begins to eat away at the metal, after it has a nice dinner on the clearcoat, cover coats, primer, electrophoeretic paint and then yum, the bare metal."

The most interesting thing about the different answers is that they came from all over the United States and Canada. We usually think of rust occurring in the heavy weather climates, but drivers from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, North Carolina, Florida and California are having similar issues and concerns. When you are spending $40,000+ to buy any vehicle, you want it to last!

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When I got home from the dealership with my brand new 2018 Ram EcoDiesel I looked under the truck and was shocked at all the rust everywhere. I called the dealer who dismissed it as just “aesthetic” on the surface. I live in the desert and it has only gotten worse over the past 6 months. I have never seen this on ANY vehicle I have owned. I don’t think I’ll ever buy another Dodge or Fiat product again.
Paying 30 plus thousand dollars for a new RAM I would expect that it would be brand new and NOT pre-rusted. However, ALL RAM trucks come to you full of rust. No it is not on the pretty shiny outside. All you have to do is crawl under, or put it up on a rack to see an abundance of RUST. I bought a brand new RAM 1500 in March of 2019. I later installed running boards and was totally shocked when I crawled under the truck to mount the brackets and saw all the rust. It was so bad that one of the clamps on the exhaust pipe was deeply pitted with corrosive RUST. This is a brand new truck!!! It is my opinion that there should be a class action suit against Chrysler Fiat to compensate tens of thousands of RAM owners who buy pre-rusted brand new trucks. In addition, for decades the auto industry has produced stainless steel exhaust systems. These systems held up for decades. That no longer is the case. My brand new RAM 1500 has galvanized steel exhaust system. This like pre-rusted new parts is a deception to consumers not revealed to new buyers. Let's sue them and sue them BIG.
my 2017 has rust showing in the front corners of the hood. This truck is kept immaculate, undercarriage wash etc. This is total bullshit and something that must be addressed by Fiat
rot hole in muffler on my 2016 2500 ram/ ???