Living near the ocean can offer a lot of perks. You get the cool ocean breeze, the calming sound of the waves and beautiful views of the sparkling sea. But, while life along the coast may seem ideal, it may not be easy on your car. In fact, certain environmental factors present in coastal locations may cause or accelerate vehicle corrosion and damage.

car driving next to oceanOcean Air and Paint Damage

The coastal environment can affect a vehicle’s paint. The combination of the sun and salt air near a coast can destroy a car’s finish. That’s because the hot sun increases the pores in the paint, which results in greater absorption of salty moisture — and ultimately, more corrosion.

Humidity, Dew and Corrosion

Other parts of the vehicle, including brake calipers, nuts and bolts, can corrode as well. Salty humidity and dew are among the largest factors in progressing corrosion, particularly during certain times of the year.

The longer cars have been exposed to the ocean, the more damage you will notice.

And if the body of the car is extremely corroded it is sometimes cheaper to replace the car rather than try to fix and repaint it.

Preventing Ocean-Related Car Damage

If you are moving to a coastal location or have recently purchased a new car that you want to protect from the coastal elements, there are steps you can take to help slow salt damage to cars. If you are just a few blocks from the beach we suggest the following practices to help you prevent ocean-related damage to cars:

  • Park in a garage or use a vehicle cover, particularly in winter.
  • Wash and wax the paint regularly.
  • Don’t drive on sand or into ocean water. If you do, rinse the underside of the car with a hose after it has cooled off.

Living near the ocean may have negative effects on your car, but if you understand why the damage happens and take the appropriate steps to help limit or prevent it, you can enjoy coastal living with minimal corrosion to your vehicle.