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Don't Forget About the Undercarriage!

For car wash owners and their customers, the value of maintaining a vehicle's appearance extends beyond the aesthetics. A comprehensive car wash should encompass more than just cleaning the exterior and interior; it should also include undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor treatments. These two features can help your customers protect their vehicles from the damaging effects of salt, dirt, moisture and corrosion and can significantly impact a vehicle's longevity, safety, and resale value. In this article, we will explain what the undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor are, how they work, and why they are beneficial for both car wash owners and customers.

clean undercarriage example

Understanding the Undercarriage Wash

An undercarriage wash. The undercarriage of a vehicle is often exposed to some of the harshest elements, including road salt, mud, dirt, and debris. These contaminants can accumulate over time, leading to corrosion and accelerated wear and tear. An undercarriage wash is a service that uses high-pressure water jets to provide thorough cleaning of the vehicle's underside, eliminating harmful substances and preventing potential damage. An undercarriage wash can also clean out the fender wells, which trap moisture and mud that causes rust. Car wash owners who provide this service offer their customers peace of mind, knowing that their vehicle's vital components are protected from harmful corrosive agents.

Regular undercarriage washes serve multiple purposes:

Vital components of the undercarriage
  1. Corrosion Prevention: An undercarriage wash is especially important during the winter months, when roads are treated with salt and other chemicals to prevent ice formation. One of the most significant benefits of an undercarriage wash is its ability to prevent corrosion by removing those chemicals. These substances can stick to the undercarriage and eat away at the metal over time. According to a leading consumer magazine, rust can start when a vehicle’s built-in protective underbody layers are breached. By removing corrosive substances like road salt, car wash owners can help extend the life of a vehicle's chassis and vital components, such as the exhaust system, suspension, and brake lines.

  2. Enhanced Safety: A clean undercarriage ensures that essential systems, such as the brakes and suspension, can operate optimally, reducing the risk of potential malfunctions or accidents due to rust-related failures. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration has publicly recommended the use of an undercarriage wash to prevent deterioration of underbody components like brake lines and exhaust pipes .

The Benefits of Rust Inhibitor Treatment

In addition to undercarriage wash, car wash owners should offer a rust inhibitor treatment. This protective coating is applied to the undercarriage after it has been washed and acts as a shield, creating a barrier against moisture, oxygen, and corrosive elements that may come into contact with the vehicle's surface. Rust inhibitors are designed to seep into small crevices and hard-to-reach areas, further safeguarding the car from rust and corrosion. This slows down or stops the chemical reaction that causes rust.

Rust in the undercarriage

Customers who opt for a rust inhibitor treatment enjoy several advantages:

  1. Prolonged Vehicle Lifespan: Rust inhibitor treatments actively work to slow down or prevent corrosion, leading to a longer-lasting vehicle. By preserving the integrity of the car's structure, critical components remain functional for an extended period. A rust inhibitor can also lubricate moving parts and prevent squeaks and noises. Some rust inhibitors also have anti-corrosive properties that neutralize the effects of salt and other chemicals.

  2. Increased Resale Value: For those considering selling or trading in their vehicles, the presence of a rust inhibitor treatment can be a strong selling point. Potential buyers will be more inclined to invest in a car that has been well-maintained and protected against rust-related issues, which dramatically improves safety.

Why are Undercarriage Wash and Rust Inhibitor Beneficial for Car Wash Owners?

As a car wash owner, you want to offer services that attract more customers and generate more revenue. An undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor can do both.

An undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor can:

customer loyalty
  • Increase customer satisfaction: Customers will appreciate that you care about their vehicles and offer a service that protects them from rust and corrosion. They will also enjoy a smoother and quieter ride after an undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor.

  • Increase customer loyalty: Customers will be more likely to return to your car wash if they see the benefits of an undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor. They will also be more likely to recommend your car wash to their friends and family.

  • Increase customer spending: Customers will be willing to pay extra for an undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor if they understand its value. You can also bundle it with other services or offer discounts for frequent users.

  • Increase customer retention: Customers will be less likely to switch to another car wash if they are satisfied with your service. They will also be less likely to skip car washes during the winter months when they need an undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor the most.

How to Offer Undercarriage Wash and Rust Inhibitor at Your Car Wash

If you want to offer an undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor at your car wash, you will need some equipment and supplies.

You will need:

  • An undercarriage washer: This is a device that attaches to your existing pressure washer system. It has multiple nozzles that spray water at different angles to reach every part of the undercarriage. You can choose from different models depending on your budget, space and preferences.

  • A rust inhibitor applicator: This is a device that applies the rust inhibitor solution to the undercarriage after it has been washed. It can be either manual or automatic, depending on your needs.

  • A rust inhibitor solution: This is the chemical product that forms the protective coating on the metal surfaces. You can choose from different brands and formulas depending on your preferences.

Rust inhibitor applicator

You will also need to:

  • Educate your customers: You need to explain to your customers what an undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor are, how they work, and why they are beneficial for their vehicles. You can use signs, flyers, videos or other methods to inform them.

  • Train your staff: You need to train your staff on how to use the equipment and supplies correctly and safely. You also need to train them on how to sell the service to your customers and answer their questions.

  • Monitor your results: You need to track your sales, costs, profits and customer feedback. You also need to maintain your equipment and supplies regularly and replace them when needed.


Car wash owners who prioritize undercarriage wash and rust inhibitor treatments play a crucial role in extending the life of their customers' vehicles and enhancing their resale value. These preventive measures not only protect against corrosion and rust but also promote vehicle safety and overall functionality. By educating customers about the importance of these services, car wash owners can empower them to make informed decisions that benefit their cars in the long run. It can also help you increase your customer satisfaction, loyalty, spending and retention. Ultimately, By offering these services at your car wash, you can create a win-win situation for both you and your customers leading to substantial savings for car owners and increased satisfaction towards your business in the years to come.

Learn how you can provide these benefits and more to your customers be contacting us here or through the form below!


Contact us and start optimizing your business today!

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Contact Us

Northern Alberta:

Murray Prescesky

Phone: (587) 385-8225


Southern Alberta:

Stuart Duff

Phone: (403) 462-7499


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