So, you’re living the dream in your favourite coastal hometown, or having a nice loooong holiday by the seaside? Unfortunately, your car doesn’t share your love for this majestic waters (which is not ideal, as you need your wheels). What a bumm(p)er! The fact is, your car and saltwater, really what one would classify as a ‘match made in heaven’ – it’s all about the ‘sea’ in ‘chemistry’! 😉
What happens when salt sticks to your car’s metal body?
When your car is exposed to the salty, humid atmosphere near coastal regions, it activates a chemical reaction in which the iron-component of your car’s metal, interacts with oxygen to form rust. Rust could take a few weeks, months or even years to develop, depending on the period and severity of exposure to the seaside’s conditions. The ‘vulnerability’ of your car’s bodywork (existing, untreated dents and scratches), also plays a role. The rust will also form faster in warmer climates, as the salt-components may be absorbed quicker in these conditions.
5 Tips to protect your car against the salty air
- Water and soap
Make sure to wash your car with water and soap at least once a week if you live in a coastal region or if you’re on a beach holiday. Regular washing will remove the salt and delay the unwanted chemical reaction leading to rust.
- Wax on, wax off
By treating your car to a nice polishing wax or protectant once in a while after washing, will create a barrier between your car’s body and the sea salt.
- Get a room (or a garage)
It’s always better to park your car in a garage or to a cover it properly when it’s not in use.
Buy a quality car cover 👉🏻 here.
- Get an expert involved
Make sure that your mechanic looks for traces of rust when your car goes for a service. If it’s not too advanced, it can still be repaired. Rather make sure that the problem is taken care of, sooner than later.
- Choose wisely
If you’re buying a used vehicle, make sure that it doesn’t have traces of rust.
Watch this video to find out what you should inspect before you buy a car:
Take note: Don’t buy a new car because you think it “won’t rust”. Although most new cars have plastic covers around the body to reduce wind resistance and improve fuel economy, the covers do not prevent rust. They simply prolong the period before oxidation (rust) develops.
Take care of your wheels and make sure to wash your car regularly to avoid rust from taking over the show. Don’t allow rust to spoil your car’s ‘beach bod’ or to pull the brakes on your holiday plans.
Outsmart the iron oxide beast.
Remember to get a car insurance quote in less than 5 minutes here.