Does a car rust quicker, garaged

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Here in the western New York we use salt on are snow covered roads. True or False. Driving daily and garaging your car. Does a car rust quicker if garaged with the salt slush and moisture on it
(dripping on the floor)? Or is it better to keep the car outside the garage in the natural frozen winter elements? Of course the driver does routine maintenance on the vehicle. Maybe even a few commercial (undercarriage rinse) car washes from time to time…
Has there been any studies done? Will it matter if the garage floor is epoxy coated or natural concrete? Insulated and unheated garage and other combos...
TP
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The only issue I can think of is that if the garage is heated and if there is some humidity in the air, this will add to the rusting process on the car. Other than that, I do not think there is any real difference if its garaged or not. I'm not sure what the floor of the garage has to do with it either.
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The principal governing factor is that the chemical reaction occurs more quickly at higher temperatures. That argues against garaging and especially against heated garaging.
Other factors are second-order. If epoxying the floor allows you to clear out the slush often, that's good; else the difference is negligible during the winter. However, the salt absorbed into an untreated cement floor will have a small effect when the car is garaged wet in the summertime.
Some years ago I read that Rochester (western NY, for our distant readers) uses 7% of all the road salt in the US. To me that's a jaw-dropper. I wish I'd saved the newspaper article so I could attribute it here.
Brent
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I would think they're two issues as far as an unheated garage. First humidity would be higher as vapor would not be chased off and outgas as readily as in heat, result is comparitively higher humidity over a longer period of time but at slightly cooler termperatures. Second retention of water even if the floor is coated by definition is higher as it is a "closed environment" My two cents.... Doc
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I believe it. I live near there, and they salt like it's going out of style. Really amazing, and all the vehicles rust out rapidly.
--

Christopher A. Young
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TP wrote:

In general chemical reactions occur more rapidly with higher temperatures than they do at lower temps. So, if the garage keeps the vehicle warmer then it would be if left outside then the answer is probably yes.
John
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I've never seen any authority on this, but I would agree with John, that it would be worse in a heated garage. Not only do many chemical reactions occur faster at higher temps, but when you melt the ice/salt/slush, I would think it would give it more opportunity to get into cracks, crevices, etc. If you kept it cold and frozen till it could be washed off, I would think that would be better.
And the other question is, how much difference does it really make, as compared to the other benefits of having the car garaged, ie warmer/easier start so less wear on the engine, more comfy, no frozen doors, windshield ice, etc.
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Rust happens only above a certain temperature. Below that, it won't.
If you garage the car, the more likely it is that you'll hit that temperature.
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TP wrote:

warm, salty, wet - bad combo for cars.
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TP wrote:

There is no one simple answer.
Below the freezing point no rusting will occur, so outside may well reduce the rust. Driving a car into a garage means the warm car will warm the garage and stay warm longer allowing more damage.
Outside being cold does not bother the car, but it can slow rust.
In real life there is not that much of a difference.
--
Joseph Meehan

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Reason for rusting includes humidity trapped in places where rust then occurs. In he garage, those spaces would dry - rust process halted. Even better is to rinse salt out of those spaces with water - not the salt recycled water found in car washed. What does a car wash do? Wash that salt into places you don't want it. But more important is to get those 'deep inside' places dry.
TP wrote:

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"Even better is to rinse salt out of those spaces with water - not the salt recycled water found in car washed. What does a car wash do? Wash that salt into places you don't want it. "
Now this is an interesting point of discussion. I've wondered about this. Does a decent car wash have anything in it's water recycling system to remove salt from the water? Do they at least use clean water for the rinse? If not, I wonder how high the salt concentration would get and how long after the last application of road salt it would be before the car wash had eliminated most of it from the water in use?
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Its funny that no one here has really hit the nail on the head on this one yet.
Increasing the number of freeze-thaw cycles over a car's life along with the presence of moisture (and compounded by corrosion- inducing ions found in road salt) will certainly accelerate the pace of rusting. The moisture gets into seams and beneath undercoating and dirt and paint (even in microscopic size locations) and then freezes (which expands, causing minute but detrimental movements in the metal and paint bonding) and then thaws and allows the moisture-salt solution into even more new new places to repeat the process is what does the damage over time.
And by the way, a high pressure car wash in the winter will force that corrosive solution deeper into the seams and nooks and crannies and can do more harm than good. Worse yet, some car washes use water that has been recycled several times and has a very concentrated salt solution from everybody elses car before you use it - shooting this stuff all under your car a few times every winter is really asking for it. Sounds funny, but if you suspect recycled water after the carwash owner denies it, taste it for saltiness (have a bottle of good water handy to rinse afterwards in any case!)

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Tom Levigne wrote:

I think that it would be a bit safer and easier to just use an ohm meter. Recycled water with a high ion concentration should have considerably lower resistance. It might also save you from consuming a mouthful of hydrocarbons, antifreeze, and who knows what.
Eric
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Tom Levigne wrote:

I think the real "nail" here is how old of a car are we talking about? I haven't seen rust on any car that was less than 10 years old for a long time. Who actually worries about rust any more other than those that have "vintage" vehicles?
Keeping cars looking newer longer these days is almost entirely a matter of avoiding dings and dents and keeping the paint from fading/oxidizing. Rust is simply not the issue any more. About the only time a newer car is going to rust is after it has been damaged in a manner that exposes bare metal.
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Rick Brandt wrote:

I've seen some late 90s Chevy Cavaliers and Malibus with moderate rust along the edges of the doors and trunk lid.
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time.
"vintage"
of
Rust is

to rust

Chuckle. Which side of salt line do YOU live on? Yes, they are a lot better than they used to be, but I still see a lot of speckles on 3-5 year old rides around here. See my other post for details.
And no, I don't lose sleep over it- rust never sleeps, and is just a cost of doing business here in the frozen north. One of many reasons I don't buy new, so the relative cost of the rust to me is much lower. About once a year, I give the brown spots a quick'n'dirty with the wire wheel and spray can, and at most a little Bondo on the wheel arches. It gets bad enough to make the car unsafe, I just replace the car.
aem sends...
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ameijers wrote:

I live in the midwest (MO) so we do see plenty of snow and salt on the roads though I'm sure not as much as more northern areas.
Perfect example is my mother-in-law's car which we just inherited. This is a 94 Mecury Topaz that was washed every time nature rained on it, was never garaged or even under a car-port and a few years ago went through a severe hail storm that beat the living crap out of it. The car looks (and drives) like hell, but I would be hard-pressed to find any rust on it.
If I had to worry about rust in only 3 to 5 years I suppose I would opt for a car with plastic body panels.
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One of my cars is going on 16 years. No visible rust but there are some spots underneath on the chassis starting to go. I'm debating on whether or not to replace the original exhaust though as it is starting to rust out. I'm getting rid of the car in about 5 months. At that time it will have about no re-sale value to speak of so I'm trying to "use it up" this winter and then give it away. Engine is as good as new performance wise after 145,000 miles.
My other car is an '01 and has no signs of rust either. I'll probably keep that one another 10 years or so also.
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You don't need to be in the salted road areas to have rust. Some of the worst undercarriage rust occurs where a vehicle is parked on grass or dirt. Those brake lines go pretty quick. Air moving under a car to dry it out helps in summer and winter.
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