woman parked at the beachMany people dream of owning a home by the shoreline for the tranquility of waterfront views. Yet the shoreline area comes with specific conditions that can affect your car: More sun and salty air from the ocean. These factors can invite damage over time, from rust to fading paint. Here’s what you should know.

Paint Damage

If you live by or near a coastline and want to keep your car looking good, precautions are necessary. Throughout the year, your vehicle will be exposed to salty moisture and more sunshine.

In these conditions, a lack of vehicle care can result in damage to the paint, especially when parked in the driveway fully exposed. As a result of regular contact with UV rays, the paint develops a porous appearance up close and a faded look from a distance.

As the paint’s pores are now more likely to absorb salt water, this can invite corrosion and the metal underneath may start to rust. To combat this effect, keep your car in a garage, under a cover or carport.

Sun Damage

Another effect of leaving your car fully exposed outdoors by the shoreline, UV rays have potential to pass through to the interior. The internal plastic parts and upholstery can become faded or cracked.


It’s important to keep your car away from direct exposure to the beach. Should the undercarriage be exposed to abrasive sand, particles can cause damage to the brake pads, calipers and engine belt and can throw off how the sensors operate.

Salt and Moisture

Salt and moisture turn into a harmful combination for your vehicle. Inland, drivers run into these conditions during the winter months. By the shoreline, these elements linger throughout the year.

Corrosion is one side effect, starting with the body, migrating to internal parts and eventually affecting the brakes. Not only is this unsightly, but progressive corrosion compromises your car’s safety.

Generally, corrosion starts during humid times of year, particularly when dew settles on your vehicle. You’ll start to spot rust patches in these areas. Initially, it’s superficial but can weaken the vehicle structurally before eventually moving to the nuts and bolts.

Rust progression often begins with the vehicle’s paint. Winds and saltwater from the shoreline cause rust patches to form, especially along the hood, door edges and trunk.

External rusting eventually becomes internal and, along the shoreline, sand can accelerate this process. The brakes, undercarriage, nuts and bolts start to show corrosion over time, which affects its performance as you drive and if an accident occurs.

Particularly, corrosion can cause the brake pads to separate, affecting how well you stop your vehicle or seize up, which prevents the brakes from working at all.

In general, the closer you are to the shoreline, the greater the risk. However, homes at least 10 miles from the coast have a lower chance of experiencing corrosion, due to decreased exposure to salty winds.

To protect your vehicle, have it washed and waxed regularly and ensure the undercarriage is rustproofed. Along with garage storage during the year, also avoid driving by the beach if you can.
If you currently live near the shoreline or are planning a move, work with DaSilva’s Auto Body to prepare your car. We offer auto detailing, rustproofing and auto painting. To schedule an appointment, contact us today.