Aaron Widmar
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How to Maintain Your Car If You Live by the Ocean

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live by the ocean sea car maintenance salt rust protect

Seasonal vehicle maintenance is important no matter where you live, though the region where you reside impacts the treatment your car needs. If you live along the oceanic coast, you should take certain steps to protect your vehicle from the salty air and seaside storms.

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If you live near the ocean, maintain your car by protecting it

Ocean breezes are invigorating for people but detrimental to vehicles. The salt-saturated air combined with the seaside moisture and direct, unimpeded sunshine adds up to faster deterioration of your car. Even if you live in a colder climate near the ocean, the sun will still reflect off the water and shine on the paint — causing it to absorb more salt.

To protect your car from accelerated decay, keep it out of the elements as much as possible. When you’re not driving it, store the car in your garage or wrap it in a cover. If you work right near the ocean and park it all day there, consider covering it then, too. Find a way to carpool or use public transportation so you’re not leaving your car out all day.

Remove salt and shield the paint by washing and waxing your car at least every month. Make sure you scrub the undercarriage too, especially where the metal components of the wheels and exhaust system are exposed. If ocean water or sand splash up on your car, wash it off immediately. Make sure you use soap, because a basic rinse won’t be enough to remove all the salt adhering to your vehicle.

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The salty air, morning dew, and humidity will eat away at exposed metal parts, causing them to rust and break faster. Have these inspected by a mechanic whenever you have the oil changed. Keep in mind that certain parts will need replaced often, too. The salty air can damage the rubber blades on the windshield wipers and clog up the air filters.

As much as living near the ocean can feel like a vacation, don’t take a break from maintaining your vehicle or else you’ll spend more time at the mechanic’s than the beach.

Source: How Stuff Works