Does my 2012 beetle purchased in Calif. need undercoating if I will be living in Pennsylvania?
No. Undercoating isn’t needed on modern vehicles regardless of where you drive.
Additionally, applying undercoat to a vehicle after it has been driven for several years means that you would be sealing existing contaminants underneath the undercoat, and that is not a good idea.
Plus, undercoating is sometimes applied in such a ham-handed way that they wind-up sealing drain holes, and that would actually accelerate rust.
When the body of a modern car is manufactured, it will receive a zinc coating.They immerse the structure in a large bath of liquid zinc.The zinc will prevent rust from forming.
Rust is going to eat it up eventually no matter what. I’ve related the story before but for the benefit of the OP here goes.
On the way back from KS with my son we came upon 2 car transport trucks. Both were carrying SUVs and pickups which all appeared to be approximately 5 to 6 years old. At first glance from a distance they appeared to be in nice condition.
As we passed them (my son driving) I looked them over closely. They all had MN license plates and all were eaten to oblivion by rust. along the bottom and rear quarters. It amazed me that some of them were not collapsing on the truck due to jolting.
And every one of these cars were headed (as many of them do) to warmer territory where someone is going to slap a barrel of Bondo on them and a quickie paint job over the Bondo. After that some sucker will buy them without looking underneath and their life will become miserable.
I completely agree with VDCdriver. My suggestion is that you underwash the car regularly in winter instead.
I fully agree with keeping the car washed underneath during the winter as that is the best option. That’s the only way to stop or slow down rust. I notice that some websites discussing this issue state that you should wash the car underneath when winter is over. Well, that’s after the horses have left the barn…
Don’t confuse undercoating with rust-proofing.
Undercoating is applied to the under-side of a vehicle to reduce road noise and vibration.
Rust-proofing is applied to body cavity surfaces to prevent rust.
When undercoating isn’t applied correctly, it can promote rust.
You are about 8 years too late.
It can also create problems of its own. My 1977 Corolla had been treated by Ziebart (which didn’t prevent it from rusting) before I bought it and the sealant had gotten into the trunk lock and eventually made it necessary to replace the lock.