Fluid film review (from a new user)

Messages
587
Location
Minnesota
I wanted to give my review/observations of Fluid film so far. I've used it experimentally on a few cars and did my most thorough coat ever this year on my wife's Chevy Spark. I have only used the aerosol cans since I think the idea of pouring the product out of a gallon can into a smaller container sounds like a total nightmare.

Prep: I think this is a spot where you choose how much time you want to spend. I personally took the car through an automatic wash (touchless of course) with high pressure underbody spray 2 days before. I wanted it to be sort of clean but not wet. I don't have a pressure washer with a fancy attachment so this is about as good as it gets for me.

Use: Right off the bat I would say I really like this stuff from a usage perspective. Basically point and shoot. The one thing I realized is that some sort of floor covering is ideal unless you don't care about the product dripping here and there. But since I don't want to roll in it later on I throw down a large aluminum drip pan that I use during oil changes. It's a little smelly but I've gotten used to it over time. I used my quikjacks to apply but you could easily do it with a ramp or jack stands. After an application I've found its helpful to get out on the highway and the air will smooth out the product, and force it into the cracks and crevices.

Observations after application: It goes on yellow, turns clear then collects dust and dirt and turns kind of a matte black. It sounds bad, but looks pretty good after it's been on there a while. Certainly better than rust. Longevity seems to be highly affected by location. Anywhere that gets water spray while driving in the wet will wear off faster. I've only used it for 1 full winter so I can't say it's long term effect.

Summary: If you've never used a product to try and slow down rust but you're thinking about it I can't recommend Fluid Film enough. Buy yourself 1 can and shoot it in a few inconspicuous areas and see what you think. It's worth the $10 buy in for 1 can.
 

JC1

Messages
6,044
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
I've been using fluid film for 5 years. Decided to get the gun with plastic wands and buy the 1 gallon pail. You can get the pails at Napa for around $40 purchase online and pick up in store.

To do the civic and caravan you need a bit more than one gallon of you are spraying in the doors and wheel wells. I remove the front wheel plastic liners on both vehicles and go to town. Insides look perfect. I don't get much dripping from the FF. Mix up the Pail with my drill and paint mixer for 5 minutes before filling up the plastic bottles.

It's a bit of a pain to get the fluid film in the bottles, I use a large red funnel and rubber paddle kitchen scraper from the dollar store.
I couldn't see myself using those tiny cans to do a whole vehicle.
 

JoelB

Thread starter
Messages
587
Location
Minnesota
I don't coat the entire underside of the car, I really see no point. I've never been under a car where the "floor" section between the wheels has rusted. So I just shoot the front and rear suspension and then body crevices that I suspect will catch and hold salt.

I would absolutely agree that the cans would be an awful way to coat everything. Probably need 8 or more for a smaller vehicle.
 
Messages
1,553
Location
WI
I think I used 6-8 cans each on both my Jeeps underneath. I don't spray the surfaces down, I just inject it in all the holes I can can find and do the wheel wells behind the liners. I touch up any surface rust with pain that I can see, I don't think fluid film is meant to replace paint. I find it better suited for going where paint can't reach and creeping into all the nooks and crannies where rust can start.
 
Messages
17,898
Location
NH
The spray cans are a different formula and that stuff will wash off faster than the stuff that comes in a paint can (or larger).

I have noticed that areas that are painted body color tend to hold up better, as opposed to anything painted chassis black. Body color panels tend to get the full rust treatment. As opposed to using the cheapest paint possible. I think FF helps on those chassis black surfaces, but it just slows down the rust, between washing off and a super corrosive enviroment coupled with lots of miles, I found that it just kept things in check. I also found that it doesn't prevent all rust issues: I removed a tow hook and could not reinstall the bolt back into the unibody mount. I did not see a way to paint inside the unibody channel but the bolt rusted from the other side and the captive nut had to be chased as it was full of rust.

IMO it's better than nothing but not quite a miracle in a can.

I do keep some of the spray cans around, they can be handy to use on the lawnmower or snowblower.
 
Messages
25,807
Location
Upstate NY
The places I go to get rust prevention products sprayed use a lot more than 6 to 8 aerosol cans worth. The aerosol cans are part product and part aerosol to push out the product. I believe the product is thinner in the aerosol cans. They are really made for a touch up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JC1
Messages
2,858
Location
DELAWARE
Have used fluid film for the last 10 years with good results also. This year, I actually tried Woolwax on the wife's Colorado and will give it a season to see if I go forward using it next year. The Woolwax is definitely thicker in application.

I bought the "Pro" spray kit a few years back to apply the gallon can product. Prior, had decent results using a cheap HF electric paint sprayer. Rattle Spray Canned the first couple of years but that got old and like others mentioned, is a way thinner product due to the carrier agent and being able to spray it.
 
Messages
993
Location
Under the Hood
I have always used some type of oil undercoating and have no rust (live in rust belt).
Oil is great for creeping around spot-welds and seams.
But after 18 years, my vehicle is an oily mess underneath / I admit to putting to much on.
For high wash areas, I have started using Cosmoline / does not wash off or collect dirt.

New vehicle: I would start with Cosmoline and after several years if rust did develop, start using an Oil (like Fluid Film).

Used vehicle: Light to moderate rust, an oil may be needed first.

Watch out for same vehicle as yours and see where their rusting.
 

JoelB

Thread starter
Messages
587
Location
Minnesota
I appreciate everyone's feedback. I didn't realize that the stuff in the can is thinner, but it certainly makes sense.

The way I look at a product like fluid film is by considering what a vast majority of drivers do to prevent rust (basically nothing). In that case even a light coat of something is better than average. Even if the product washes off in the first month of winter my car was still protected for a month from an hour of application time. I'm good with that.

I also believe the only way to stop rust is to store a car all winter. So anything other than that is just slowing it down and weighing your input vs reward.
 
Messages
1,858
Location
Danville, Indiana
Does Woolwax displace water like Fluid Film?

I pretty much just do the inside of the frame rails and a couple body cavities underneath my vehicles. I can get by with 2 cans per vehicle. Everything else gets Rustoleum Rust Reformer and Sealer. The only place with any concerning rust on my 08 Jeep is the gas tank skid plate, but it isn't close yet to needing replacement. But when it does get bad, it is a serviceable part and not too difficult to swap out with a new one. Ultimately, when I do put a new one on there, I'll hit the inside surface with either a top coat of Rust Reformer or that plus a coat of Fluid Film.

That old Jeep has been through plenty of winters and the frame/underbody looks like new, with the exception of spots on that skid plate. It goes off-road, too, so I think that's a prime show of what FF can do!
 
Messages
260
Location
STL, MO
Thanks for posting this. I too just did my first application of FF. Like the OP, I just hit the low hanging fruit suspension components. Really helpful hearing others approach and results with the product.
 
Messages
1,553
Location
WI
My 05 Liberty literally looks brand new underneath from just washing it once a week at the DIY wash and touching up small spots where they get scraped from wheeling etc...so it's possible to keep things looking good underneath in the snowy states. I just only started fluid filming it seriously this year.
 
Messages
613
Location
Joplin
I still use Fluid Film for some areas but now use more CRC 06026 Heavy Duty Corrosion Inhibitor. It goes on thicker and resist washing off much better. It might not flow as well but that is just a guess. I really like the CRC product now for underside rust protection


 
Top