Tectyl and tectylation, what is that?
Until about forty years ago, cars were much more susceptible to rust than today. The metal was of lesser quality, its processing and the paints used as well, factory anti-rust treatments were very limited and much less plastic was used. Valvoline introduced Tectyl before World War II. This enabled specialized companies – and later private individuals – to provide the underside of cars with an oily protective layer.
Tectyl is actually always applied in the form of a spray. Specialized companies apply the tectyl with professional spray guns, also in the cavities such as the sills and girders – for this they sometimes have to drill holes. This is called an ML treatment. You can read more about this below.
You can also protect the underside of your car against rust yourself. That is if you really want to, because it can be a dirty job. After all, you have to remove any rust first, otherwise it is pointless. You can apply tectyl with commercially available aerosol cans and with a brush from a jar. These are for sale for prices from about fifteen euros.
Remove old tectyl
You don’t just remove old tectyl. After all, it’s tough stuff. Companies can use sand steel or dry ice blasting, but that is not an option for a private individual. As a do-it-yourselfer, you can try scraping off old tectyl with a putty knife or screwdriver after heating the tectyl layer with a hair dryer. A wire brush or a round wire brush on a drill is a coarser method. But due to the friction of the wire brush, the tectyl quickly softens and you spread it out. You then have to remove that layer with (laundry) petrol.
When working with tectyl, always think about your health and the environment. Use protective gloves and face masks and dispose of waste (everything you have used is chemical waste) properly.
Tectyling car bottom or bottom
The floor of your car, the wheel arches, the fuel tank and components such as the wheel suspension and brake lines are not only exposed to moisture and dirt, but also to stone chips, speed bumps, manhole covers and, for example, fallen branches on the road. This can damage them and cause them to rust over time. Then – but also preventively – you can apply tectyl for protection.
It makes no sense to apply tectyl to rusted parts. Okay, you won’t see the rust for a while, but it will continue to eat away at the metal. After all, tectyl does not dissolve the rust. So you must first thoroughly remove the rust from older, rusty parts. Tectyling works best on still stainless, preferably new metal.
Tectyling the brake line
Brake lines are vulnerable metal components in the firing line of stone chips, moisture and dirt. Damage and corrosion are undesirable in the interest of optimum braking performance and safety. Since a layer of tectyl or other undercoating not only protects against rust, but also against damage caused by stone chips, it is certainly not unwise to include the unprotected parts of the brake lines in a tectyl treatment.
How much does tectyling a car cost?
So there can be no question of ‘letting your car be tectylated’. There is a lot of preparatory work involved. This applies if you do it yourself at home and if you have it done by a professional tectyling company. The costs for a professional tectyl treatment also depend on the size of your car and additional work. Prices can be seen on the internet that vary from about 250 euros ex VAT to about 1,200 euros.