The Consequences of Living and Driving Near the Ocean on Your Vehicle

Living and driving in certain parts of the world exposes your vehicle to conditions that may be detrimental to its longevity and overall health. In fact, did you know that living near the coast has a greater negative impact on your vehicle than living inland?

Of course, most people would find that living near a beach has more advantages than disadvantages. Who wouldn’t want unrestricted access to fishing, watersports or great camping spots? Unfortunately, your 4X4 can be negatively impacted by being close to the ocean. 

There are numerous reasons why the beach is not your vehicle’s friend:
  • Exterior rust

Just like living in an area where there is a lot of snow, which brings salt to the roads, living near the beach means there will be salt. Salt exposure hastens the formation of rust. “If you live within 20 miles of the beach, your vehicle is probably exposed to sea spray in the air on a regular basis.” It is recommended that you wash your vehicle on a regular basis and keep it as covered as possible.

  • Internal rusting
Yes, rust can form inside your vehicle. Sand and salt can get into the braking system, rust nuts and bolts, and cause a variety of problems in the vehicle’s underbelly. The same recommendations as above apply here, as does getting regular professional check-ups to scan for any internal damage.
  • Damages caused by too much sun exposure

If you live near a beach or visit one frequently, you will undoubtedly have many sunny days. You may enjoy the warm rays, but your car does not. According to General Motor’s (GM) experts, “the sun causes the pores in your car’s paint to expand.” This allows it to absorb more saltwater, causing your vehicle to corrode even more.”

The sun is a powerful force; it can pass through windshields and even visors to cause sun damage to your vehicle’s interior, ageing and/or lightening the leather and other materials. Sand can also damage the interior of your vehicle. If sand gets into the internal parts of the car, you may experience damage to the engine belt, brake pads, and calipers. When sand gets into car sensors, it can cause them to give false readings.” That’s not good. Keep your vehicle as far away from sand as possible.

  • Unwanted substances on the finish

Living near the beach can cause a lot of natural materials to fall, blow, and careen toward your vehicle. Sand, insects, rain, pollutants, bird poop, and so on. Washing your car on a regular basis may not remove everything. GM recommends claying your car as a unique way to remove small impurities permanently.

If you live near or frequent the coast, the best thing you can do is keep your vehicle as covered and protected as possible. Also, regular washing and check-ups are highly recommended. You can have fun in the sun without worrying about the integrity of your vehicle if you do these important things.