Skip to Content

Are Plastic Bed Liners Bad?

Are Plastic Bed Liners Bad?

Plastic bed liners have poor quality but are inexpensive. Some people prefer them because of their affordability, but it is a bad option for your truck.

Are Plastic Bed Liners Bad? Plastic bed liners are bad because they can entrap water between liners and the truck bed and cause corrosion. These are made of low-grade materials and lack high molecular weight materials and high-density polyethylene, making them cheaper and less efficient. They are bad because they do not increase the resale value of your pickup truck. They can detach easily from the truck’s bed and become noisy due to faulty installation. Plastic polymers are prone to damage on exposure to UV rays and have a slippery surface that causes cargo sliding.

Unlike other liners, they require early replacement because of early damage. They also entrap dust and debris between them, affecting their efficient work and making them worse.

What are plastic bed liners?

These bed liners are made up of plastic or rubber material. They are installed in a truck bed as a protective coating to prevent damage.

Plastic bed liners are also called drop-in liners are it is easy to install them because they require limited preparation.

These fit into the bed to contour its shape correctly. It is easy to install them in the same it is also easy to remove them for cleaning.

Why are plastic bed liners bad?

Plastic bed liners are notorious for installing in your truck. They are considered bad for several reasons, and in this article, I will discuss some of the reasons people do not prefer them for their vehicles.

Poor manufacturing

The stability and durability of a product greatly depend on its manufacturing. The use of high-standard components and substances makes the items stable, durable, and long-lasting.

But, poor manufacturing with low-grade materials causes them to affect their standard, and they become invaluable.

Consequently, they are bad for those people who want to make their vehicles efficient.

Low-quality material

The quality of materials plays a critical role in determining the strength of your vehicle. The use of high-quality products means making your truck more effective.

But, there is the opposite case with the plastic bed liners because they are made up of low-grade products.

High-quality products are made up of high molecular weight (HMW) and ultra-high molecular weight (UHMW) materials.

But, low-quality bed liners do not contain these materials are, which also affects their cost value.

They also lack strong materials like polycarbonate and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), characteristic properties of the best quality plastic bed liners.

The lack of these high-standard products makes them cheaper, and most people consider it a bad idea to install them in their pickup truck.

Moreover, using a rigid bed liner for your truck is essential to develop a strong bond with the vehicle’s bed.

Effects resale value of the truck

People prefer to develop protective coating in their trucks to increase their worth in the market.

However, using high-grade protective coating makes your vehicle a more demanding product.

In addition, it increases the cost beyond your expectation level if you have some plan to sell your truck.

These are cheap compared to other protective coatings, which decreases the cost of your pickup.

Therefore, you will not get any advantage if you intend to resell your vehicle with a plastic bed liner on its bed. It decreases the resell value of the truck, and therefore, people think them bad.

Faulty installation

A faulty installation is one of the main reasons you think them bad. There is no doubt that installing them is easy, but it still requires the correct method to install them.

Most people install these liners themselves instead of calling a professional to do the same task. But, this can also be disadvantageous.

Over time, they can get detached from your vehicle’s bed, and this detachment makes them loose and unsecured. 

Noise can be inaudible at low speed but becomes audible at high speed because they start to vibrate in the wind. Therefore, they are not known to be quiet and cause disturbance during driving.

They are exposed to wear and tear and can damage the truck bed’s paint once they become loose. This wearing also exposes bare metal behind them.

Dust and debris accumulate under the liner between the truck bed and protective coating. This accumulation of dust will make your vehicle dirty and unattractive.

Slippery surface

Plastic bed liners are made up of various polymers of polypropylene and polyethylene. These materials are slick to reduce friction between two surfaces.

Therefore, the surfaces of most of these bed liners are slippery due to the nature of materials used in them. People think them bad due to this reason.

Your truck with these bed liners creates trouble down the road. This leads to the sliding of cargo loaded on your vehicle.

In addition, it becomes challenging to keep heavy objects stationary because they start to glide when your truck is in motion.

Susceptible to UV rays

It is not less than a natural fact that plastic polymers are susceptible to ultraviolet rays.

Plastic structures are unable to absorb the harmful effects of UV rays. Instead, they excite photons when they are exposed to UV rays.

This excitation of photons, in turn, produces free radicals, and degradation starts to occur in plastic materials. Polypropylene has a high rate of degradation as compared to other structures.

On exposure to the sun, the bonds that hold the polymer together become to start the break, and this weakens the plastic.

The same is the case with your truck having a plastic bed liner, especially if you park your vehicle outside for an extended period.

The plastic liners become brittle due to the harsh effects of UV rays, and it leads to cracking and ripping off the plastic liner.

These trucks cannot withstand the damaging effects of UV rays and become prone to cracking and ripping.

Require early replacement

It always becomes essential to replace a damaged part of the product to maintain its function for a long duration.

But, some materials need replacement before their suggested time. 

These do not have a long life and become prone to damage. They also require replacement only after a short time because of their shorter lifespan.

Frequent replacement of your vehicle’s plastic bed liner will also be disadvantageous for you in terms of expenses. 

When you take off the liner, the bed will not be precisely in the same condition as before.

It is also essential to replace old plastic liners because they do not protect the bedsides.

If not installed correctly, they can protect your bed but cannot protect the inner bedsides and require early replacement.

Do plastic bed liners cause rust?

When you install a protective coating on your vehicle’s bed, it will prevent damage, including rust and corrosion.

Protective coatings are designed to make a watertight seal to prevent water access. But, plastic bed liners fail to perform this outstanding job because they do not contain a watertight seal.

The water droplets tend to accumulate between your truck bed and liner, increasing the damage. In addition, water is a big enemy of metallic surfaces, and screws and nuts also become rusty.

These do not contain airtight seals, and the reaction between oxygen molecules and metal will cause the rotting of the bed.

A hard plastic surface on your pickup bed will cause the scratching of the entire bend, ultimately inviting rust.

In addition, these are a good source for the debris to sit under it, and the inability to escape the debris will lead to moisture trapping.

How to install a plastic bed liner?

It is easy to install a plastic bed liner on your truck’s bed, and you have to follow some simple steps for this task.

First, it is essential to clean the pickup bed from dust with a solvent and leave it for some time to let it dry to make installation easy.

Place your one-piece bed liner within the bed and adjust the corners of the bed according to shape to ensure correct installation.

Position it at the front and sides of the truck’s bed if you use a plastic liner with multiple layers.

Now, secure it with fasteners and wear goggles for eye protection when drilling holes. Finally, make sure to use an appropriate screwdriver to tighten the fasteners.

In the end, look at edges to confirm that they fit into space, and you can trim edges with a utility knife.

How long do plastic bed liners last?

When installed correctly, the plastic bed liners can last for 10 to 14 years.

It also depends on the quality of plastic materials which are the main factors to determine durability.

It will not stay more than 12 to 15 years if you do not take its proper care and maintenance. Therefore, you Should be careful in replacing the old plastic liners as soon as possible.

Related Articles:

How to Make HERCULINER Last Longer?

Do Leer Caps Leak?