The Dangers of Ocean Air on Your Car’s Paint

September 29, 2021 7:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Living by the ocean is wonderful, especially if you’re close to the beach. The smell of the ocean air can be sweet and soothing, but your car may have a different opinion. If you live by the ocean, you may have noticed the paint job on your car deteriorating faster than expected. You may be wondering, does ocean air corrode car paint?

The answer is yes, ocean air does corrode car paint—but there are other ways that living by the ocean can damage your vehicle.

Here are some things to keep an eye on, as well as some coastal car care tips.

Body damage

It’s fairly common knowledge that salty air is not good for a car’s exterior, but you may not know just how bad it can be. Compared to a dry climate, the humid, salty air near the ocean can corrode metal up to 10 times faster. This is true even if you don’t live right by the ocean, as the salty air can linger even 5 miles inland.

This happens because the damp humidity leaves water buildup on your car, and when it dries, the salt is left behind. That salt slowly eats at the paint and any exposed metal on your car. You may notice this first on the flat parts of the vehicle, like the hood or trunk. Exposure to the sun also increases the size of the pores in the paint, which gives the salt in the air more room to find its way to the metal underneath.

Other damage

Saltwater can damage other parts of your car as well. The brakes may be susceptible to corrosion from the ocean air, which could lead to them wearing out faster than normal. Nuts and bolts under the hood may also need to be checked more frequently than usual and replaced if there are any signs of rust.

How to protect your car against salty air

While the salty air can cause a fair amount of damage to your car, there are things you can do to protect it and minimize that damage:

  • Cover it up: Try to park your car in a garage—or at least in a carport—whenever possible to avoid exposure to the sun and salt air. You may want to consider using a car cover if this is not an option.
  • Care for the paint: Be sure to touch up any scratches on the paint right away. This will help prevent the salt from getting underneath the paint and rusting the metal.
  • Wash and wax: Regularly washing your car will help keep salt from building up, and waxing will help keep a seal on the paint to protect it from the salty air.

Whether you have damage from the ocean air that needs to be repaired or you just want to get a checkup and have preventive maintenance applied to your vehicle, reach out to the team at Tom’s Body and Paint, Inc. today for experienced and attentive auto care.

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