If your truck is looking like it's been doing a tough mudder continuously, it's probably time to give it a decent clean. Washing down your truck is easy until tackling the underside which is easy to forget.
Don’t leave your underside looking a hot mess. Read on for some quick tips for cleaning up your truck real good, and why that mud under your truck could wreck your vehicle.
If you're thinking of leaving tackling the muddy underside of your truck to another day…
Hard-wearing and rugged vehicles like a truck or utility vehicle can cope with even caked-on mud, but leaving it to dry and build up over time can cause damage to your vehicle.
Leaving mud under your truck can damage it in a variety of ways
Mud is anything but benign as it holds large amounts of moisture, salts, and abrasive grits that can wreck your truck’s underside. Here are some of the key areas of damage from letting that mud just sit there:
Damage to your underside coatings and paint finishes: Moisture grit and dirt in the mud scratch paint and introduce rust and corrosion. If you leave the mud in place, this corrosion and abrasive damage only spread with time. Damage is worst if there are scratches on the paint or the mud has a high salt content. The presence of salt means that damage can become established within hours rather than days or weeks.
Your engine works harder: Caked-on mud can add a significant amount of weight to your truck meaning your engine works harder to shift your vehicle. The weight of the mud wears on the exhaust and other underside components too.
The suspension and frame of your truck can become corroded: If you’re regularly stuck up to your frame in mud. Extensive quantities of mud act as a humectant, drawing in water and generating rampant rust that can ultimately take out the truck’s frame, totaling your truck. Now that's a war story nobody wants to share!
Don't wear mud on your off-road ride as a badge of honor. Clean it off with these trusted techniques
If the underside of your truck is looking like the Grand Canyon, it’s time to do something about all that encrusted mud. Let’s get you through these tips from seasoned off-roaders and mudders for getting mud off from under your truck: Here’s how …
The lazy option - hit some decent puddles - if you have already been banned from the driveway with a muddy truck, get some of that mud off while you are on the way home. Find a bumpy road with some large puddles and splash as much of that underside mud off as you can.
Drive over your running lawn sprinkler - dried clods of mud will need softening up. Sit your ride over a couple of lawn sprinklers and let the water do the work over several hours.
Get the pressure washer out - while don’t want to do damage with the highest settings on a pressure washer, a good hose down is probably the best way of giving under your truck a decent clean. One veteran off-roader recommends duct-taping a bent spoon to your hose to target mud in the crevices of your underside.
Hit the gas station for an undercarriage wash - depending on the quality of the clean you will get you may have to do this more than once, but a coin car wash is definitely the most convenient option.
So as you can see cleaning up your truck is no big problem. Tackling the mud quickly makes the job even easier. Just don't let it sit there, it’s not worth wrecking your ride!