Car Care in a Coastal City

June 6th, 2024 by

Coastal cities can be rough on the condition of cars. But there is plenty that owners can do to preserve their rides and keep the salty air from tarnishing a pristine finish.

The primary concern to be aware of is that exposure to salty and wet conditions will quickly ruin the paint job on your car. Also, humidity, dew, and fog can seep into your car’s body and corrode the nuts, bolts, and other components. This happens at a much quicker rate in coastal cities due to the salty air and the often high humidity. Here are the things you can do to help protect the condition of your car in this type of environment. The hot sun beating down on your car also increases the size of the pores in the paint job, making it more vulnerable to weather wear than it would be in cooler climates.

Park It in a Garage

Keeping your car in an enclosed space for most of the day is the best way to protect it from damaging environmental conditions. Outdoor parking decks aren’t going to be perfect for this, but are still better than nothing. A deck will also keep your car elevated in case of flooding due to excessive rainfall. If you can opt to leave your car in a parking deck when you expect flooding or high wind conditions in a downtown area, it is advisable. At home, if you can store your car completely inside a garage, this will provide the best protection. Humidity will still affect your vehicle, but it will at least be protected from rainfall or other hazardous weather events.

Use a Car Cover

If an enclosed space is not available, try a cover to protect your vehicle when it’s parked outside. Spring for one that’s custom-made for your model and trim to ensure that it fits appropriately and covers as many exposed parts as possible. Make sure you get an outdoor cover that is tough enough to guard against bird dropping and tree sap as well as coastal weather. Indoor covers are not as durable and made only to protect against dust and scrapes.

Wash Regularly

Washing your car regularly is one of the most important things you can do to protect it from the elements. In a coastal city, this becomes even more vital because salt and sand particles are constantly building up on your vehicle’s exterior, which will lead to corrosion over time.

Repair Damage Quickly

When a car is continuously exposed to the sun and sea air, it may develop rust spots in as little as five years. You can spot signs of this corrosion before then if you give your vehicle a quick visual inspection before every drive. Look also for areas with scratches or where paint has chipped off because they are more vulnerable to rust. If you spot anything, get the area repaired as soon as possible to prevent rust from forming.

Maintain the Interior

The interior of your vehicle can be just as susceptible to damage from beach activities as the exterior is to the sun and sea air. Preserve your cabin with all-weather floor mats to protect the carpet. Put a custom liner in your cargo area to shield against wet and sandy stuff. Rinse yourself and your footwear before entering your car to eliminate any sand and salt that are clinging to your body and clothes.