Like many other Rhode Islanders, I live by the water. I noticed my car has been having some paint problems so I did a little research on why that might be. Here are some things you should know if you live by the Ocean.
The Automotive Paint Handbook: Paint Technology for Auto Enthusiasts & Body Shop Professionals by John Pfanstiehl, states that the closer an automobile is kept to the water, the quicker rust can form. The closer you live to the shore, the more likely your car is to have salt water sprayed on it each day. This consistent salt wash can lead to more rapid rust formations. Vehicles that are about 10 to 20 Miles away from the shore are usually not affected by Ocean Air. These cars are at a distance where they do not face salty winds everyday. John Pfanstiehl says that it is significant to take care of the top portions of the automobile; specifically, the hood, trunk and upper edges of the doors. These parts have a lot of surface area and are the most exposed to the salt particles in the air. Inspect these areas frequently and try to keep your car covered and clean when you are not using it.
Continuous contact with salt and dew can lead to serious body damage on your ride. Corrosion is one of the most lethal effects, which can make car parts much weaker and almost unusable. Brake calipers, nut and bolts throughout the car can become corroded by too much contact with salt and dew. John Rintoul, an engineer and a San Diego native lives less than a mile away from the Ocean. In his free time he works on car, motorcycles and scooters, and has experienced this corrosion first-hand his entire life. John reports that salty humidity and dew are among the largest factors in progressing corrosion. Here in Rhode Island, the Ocean State, we face high percentages of humidity and a significant percentage of our population lives within a 10 mile range of the water. Obviously, the longer a car has been sitting next to the water, the more corrosion it likely has accumulated. If you live close to the water and have had the same car for a decent number of years, check it out. Replace any rusty parts immediately before they come to a point of failure. However, if your car’s body has serious corrosion, it is occasionally cheaper to just replace the car instead of attempting to fix and repaint it.
Coastal environments can negatively affect a car’s paint. Steve Ford ‘The Car Guy” says that “the combination of the sun and salt air near a coast can destroy a car’s finish.”The hot sun beaming down increases the pores in the paint results in more absorption of salty moisture and consequently more corrosion.
How you can Prevent Ocean Related Car Damage
- Park in a garage or use a vehicle cover
- Wash and wax the paint regularly
- Avoid driving on sand or into Ocean water, rinse the underside of your car with a hose if you do
With this in mind, you may be able to prevent further damage to your car or prevent any future damage if you ever reside by the Ocean.