car near ocean

Does Living Near the Ocean Affect Your Car Body?

Most of us who live in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland know that living near the ocean has a lot of benefits. Being near a body of water can calm the mind and the cool ocean air feels great. Plus there are tons of fun activities that living near the ocean provides like swimming, fishing and boating.

But it’s not all fun in the surf, living near the ocean can be hard on your vehicle — the sea and the sun combined can begin to cause serious wear on your car.

Paint job

The summer sun in Vancouver can be harsh, and exposure to the sun’s rays can cause the pores in the vehicle’s paint to expand. This expansion allows the paint to absorb more salt, especially if you park your vehicle in close proximity to the ocean during the summer. Eventually, the paint is going to corrode under these conditions, and you might see cracking or dulling as the layers of paint begin to break down.

Corrosion can also occur on the mechanical parts of the car, including on nuts, bolts and other parts like brake callipers.

Living near the ocean often means that the air retains more humidity than in other parts of the country, so we have mornings and evenings that feel damp and dewy. Humidity and the dew that forms overnight can be difficult on a car because the moisture can stick to car parts, and salt helps accelerate that corrosion.

There are ways to protect your vehicle against the elements.

  • If you have spent the day or your holiday near the ocean, give your car a good wash. An automatic car wash is good, but if you can get your car to a wand wash, or if you have the space to wash your car yourself, you can make sure to get into all the small spaces. Dry the vehicle well and follow it by making sure to apply a coat of wax to seal in and protect the paint job.
  • If you can, store your car indoors or at least in the shade (but preferably not under a tree, which exposes it to things like animal droppings and tree sap, which can cause more damage).
  • Take your vehicle in to your favourite local auto body shop in Vancouver for regular checkups and maintenance. They will be able to track the progress of any corrosion that has begun to appear, or keep an eye any rust spots that need attention.

The truth is that cars age and the extreme weather changes in Vancouver’s seasons are tough on a vehicle. The good thing is that at least we don’t have to contend with salt on the roads like in areas of the country that have snowy winters, which have a much harsher impact on a vehicle than living near the ocean.

Nonetheless, it’s important to protect your vehicle as much as possible from the elements so that the paint job and the component parts of your car stay in good working shape.