Should I rustproof my Mercedes?


Throughout the years, the Mercedes brand name has become a synonym for luxury and build quality. With such a prized but depreciating asset one needs to make sure that all the necessary maintenance is taken care of.

Decades ago, lots of Mercedes cars have been plagued with corrosion, and corrosion is for all intents and purposes a car’s greatest enemy. Newer Mercedes models also come with a dedicated warranty that covers rust and corrosion for up to 30 years for specific countries.

If you wash your car regularly, especially during winter when there is lots of salt on the road, and you don’t drive your car on unpaved roads often, there is no need for any additional rust protection. But, if you do opt for rust-proofing, the chances of rust accumulation are slim to none.

You can opt to either apply a dedicated rust-repellent undercoating solution, drip/dripless oil sprays, or a dedicated electronic module. Before opting for any of these, consult with an experienced professional just to make sure you are well aware of all the specific products available in your region.

Rust-proofing a new Mercedes

Newer Mercedes cars use a bunch of rust-repellent body materials like galvanized steel or specific protection solutions provided by a company called Permagard, both of which ensure that Mercedes cars are well protected even before leaving the factory.

Permagard is a French company in the business of rust and damp-proofing for decades now. Permagard solutions are constantly being used by Mercedes, and a bunch of aviation and marine manufacturers as well. Permagard offers an innovative paint protection solution that ensures that all the vulnerable panels are as rust repellant as they can be.

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This company is focused on creating dedicated plastic-like barriers that sit between the paint and the elements. This coating also offers a glass-like finish which ensures that Permagard protected cars also offer an amazing paint finish.

If you consider the thorough factory-applied rust protection solutions and the warranty itself, it seems like there is no need for any additional rust-proofing for a new Mercedes car.

Rust-proofing a used Mercedes

Some people would argue that rust-proofing a used car is a bit non-sensical. But that is far from true. A used car is actually a more reasonable candidate for protection because the car itself is more prone to rust after a couple of years of constant driving, especially so if all the warranties are expired.

One of the most popular rust-proofing techniques are undercoating, drip/dripless sprays, or a dedicated electronic module. If you opt for undercoating, it should cost you anywhere between $100-200, and these types of coating should last a few years in a best-case scenario.

Drip/dripless oil sprays are also fairly popular. A drip oil spray is sprayed onto all the vulnerable areas of your car, and if you wait for a few hours for the oil to drip into all the vulnerable areas, it should harden and offer a decent level of rust protection.

The dripless oil spray is similar, but the viscosity levels are different, and this solution is not able to drip into all the nooks and crannies. Such sprays might even require you to strategically drill into specific body panels which is never a good idea. Both of these should cost more or less the same as the undercoating method.

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Special rust-repellent electronic modules

If you think that your Mercedes deserves the most sophisticated manner of rust protection, a dedicated electronic module is slowly becoming one of the most popular ways of achieving the highest level of rust protection a car can get, in theory at least.

A rust-repellant electronic module is a small device that can (if placed strategically) send out a constant electrical current throughout the car’s body which should in theory make the metal resistant to any reactions containing moisture and oxygen which might lead to corrosion.

These electronic modules do usually cost more than $500, and they also have to be in a strategic place to be able to offer any kind of rust-protecting properties. Even though this method is slowly gaining traction in recent years due to the ease of installation, the effectiveness is rather questionable.

For these modules to offer a considerable amount of rust protection, they have to send a constant electrical current onto a panel that is either completely submerged underwater, or is almost constantly wet. That’s the reason why these technologies are not yet able to replace undercoating or any other kind of oil spray and are mostly used on boats.

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FAQ Section

Which rust-proofing method should I choose?

The best method to opt for is probably an underbody coating carried out by an experienced professional.  Either this or a drip oil spray, because these two are proven to offer a constant level of rust protection. You should avoid dripless sprays because they might require you to drill into a car’s panel or even disassembly it.

Electronic modules are not yet comparable to these two techniques, but in a few years, things might change. No matter what you opt for, consult with an experienced individual just to make sure you know all the specifics of the product you opt for.

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Is there any rust-repelling maintenance I can do by myself?

Yes, there is. If you wash your car regularly, especially the underside of your car, you are much less likely to experience any type of rust on a relatively modern car. If you also carefully remove any salt deposits from your car’s body as soon as possible, it should also significantly decrease the chances of any rust.

Furthermore, if you opt for a paint ceramic shield, or a transparent paint protection film, the chances of any rust appearing are also greatly decreased.

Can I undercoat a car myself?

Yes, you indeed can. First be sure that you got all the necessary equipment needed like a car hoist, protective glasses and gloves, a primer, a degreaser, fine grade sandpaper, and a can of black automotive paint.

You should first degrease the panels, and grind out all the rust you might come across, and after that, you should sand the panel down to the bare metal. After that, go ahead and prime the area and paint in as recommended by an experienced professional.

After the paint fully dries you can equally spread out the undercoat, wait for a few days before driving the car so the coat can harden. Try to avoid pressure washing the underbody of your car for a few days, and after that, your car is officially rust-proof. It’s also a good idea to let someone inspect the coating after a few days, just to be 100% sure.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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