Is “paint sealant” worth it when buying a new car? No. [Cars]


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  1. Abusiveelusive says:


  2. Groovymarlin says:

    Of course it’s not worth it. This is just another way the dealer tries to increase their margin. It’s sort of replaced the old “undercoating” and rustproofing scams. I recently bought a new Scion and the dealer tried to sell me undercoating, paint sealant, and interior sealant (which I imagine is a Scotchguard type thing) as well! I said “Thanks, but no thanks.” :) The prices they charge for this stuff is astronomical, considering what it actually is.

  3. Asvetic says:

    Do they offer OTC paint and interior sealants?

  4. dtn says:

    Undercoatings are not a scam if you live in a coastal area. I’ve live around the Texas Gulf Coast my whole life and have see the difference between vehicles that have undercoatings and those that don’t. As for “paint sealants”, they are normally called clear coats. The more clear coats you have on a vehicle, the less likely an object such as a rock can harm the actual paint underneath. IF you have enough clear coats, the more likely any scraches or small chips can be wet sanded out. I have a classic show car and have 14 coats of two different type of clear. It makes the paint look wet and protects it as well.

  5. dtn says:

    Grooveymarlin… Do you live in a coastal region?

  6. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I never bought a new car before…but is this stuff that they do at the dealer? If you pick out a new car on the lot, and you want these things, do they take it in the back and spray it down? Are the cars on the lot without these things?

  7. venterminator says:

    This I know something about. I do premium detailing services, and I do believe that a new car needs a good acrylic sealant (or otherwise known as synthetic wax). I use Klasse, which is a premium sealent. You can do it yourself and get great shine and protection for 25.00 a bottle.

    In addition, you can get a bottle of fabric guard for 15.00 I believe, and that stuff is SUPERIOR to scotchguard.

    I buy from where i get premium stuff. I know that dealers offer this, but don’t know what they charge. This and a little time gives you more for the money with the same benefits.

  8. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Thankfully I don’t live in a state with snow or constant rain. So none of this applies to me. None of the dealers around here even try to sell undercoatings or paint sealants. Instead, they try to get you with add-ons like:

    * pin striping– which ruins the look of the car, in my opinion.
    * chrome wheels– usually a $2000 – $3000 mark-up
    * dealer prep fees– $200 for a car wash? No thanks.

    A lot of what the dealer tries to upsell are useless.

  9. LeopardSeal says:

    Thank you for yet another uninformed opinion. I always love how these kind of post always bring out all the “evil dealers trying to make profit” comments.

    The truth of the matter is that paint sealant, undercoat and fabric protectant all provide valuable protection for your expensive purchase. The problem is that dealers tend to treat these like a cash cow and charge way too much. The solution is to negotiate a lower price at the time of sale. That way the dealer still makes a few dollars and you get a quieter, cleaner vehicle.

    There is value in the treatments , especially when the produt they are using is made by the vehicle manufacturer (Mopar, Motorcraft, etc.), just don’t pay full price.

  10. WV.Hillbilly says:

    The truth of the matter is that paint sealant, undercoat and fabric protectant all provide valuable profit for your dealer.

    None of them are worth paying for.

  11. ekthesy says:

    When I brought my car in for service…the dealer told me that in addition to new brakes, I needed undercoating, two new Johnson rods, a flush of my blinker fluid lines, and that my A-frame was falling out (“I can’t legally let you drive this home, but…)

    Boy, they really know cars!


  12. Groovymarlin says:

    @venterminator: Thanks for the tips! I think Scotchguard was actually taken off the market a few years ago, but there are similar products, obviously. It makes sense to me to do these things yourself, when you can. If you pay a dealer’s markup on these services you’re getting ripped off. Labor is very expensive.

    DTN: I live on the East Coast (DC area). I had a 2001 Passat that I drove for six years. It had no undercoating/rustproofing/whatever you want to call it, and when I traded it in recently it had not a spot of rust on it.

    Aren’t cars nowadays made out of different, lighter materials that just don’t rust the way old American cars used to?

  13. Sudonum says:

    I believe that new cars are guaranteed against rust for a period of 5-10 years. At least the new GM truck I bought in 2004 was.

  14. acambras says:


    Johnson rods?

    Am I the only pervert around here who snickered at that?

  15. humphrmi says:

    Yah, but you know that TrueCoat, they put it on at the factory.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  16. Anonymously says:

    Yeah, the dealership “paint sealant” service is nothing more than a wax* job or wax contract. There’s no paint protection that will last more than a few months, I don’t care what it is.

    * Probably acrylic since they use the term “sealant”, although it could possibly be carnuba.

  17. TheBigLewinski says:


    Ditto on the “johnson rods” LOL

  18. 12monkeys says:

    @Sudonum: If you read the warranty on corrosion protection on ANY new vehicle,you will see that corrosion and paint is only covered if it happens from the inside out.It does not cover bird droppings, chemical fallout, hard rain,tree sap or paint fade.The paint protection does. I agree that most dealers sell it for too much money as the chemicals only cost the dealer between 50-80 dollars but you are paying for the warranty.If your paint is damaged by tree sap or bird crap they will repaint the affected area.If anything you can go demand a professional detail every time a bird craps on your car.