Ladies and gents,
I’m moving to Cape Cod for the next six months (temporary gig), expecting a nasty winter with boisterous winds off the ocean, etc. I’ve lived in intense winter locations (the mountains of West Virginia, the subzero plain states), but this coastal living is new to me. Is there any special maintenance I should do (or problems that I should look out for) when living on the salty coast? Years ago a mechanic told me that the climate is tough on cars, but he didn’t go into specifics, and now I’m wondering. Or is this humbug? I’ll be just a block or two from the beach – during the time of year when nobody goes to the beach. Thanks for any advice.
I would give it a good coat of wax before you go, and I would probably not wash it all all while you’re there unless you expect several days of continuous +32F weather (or have a heated garage to park it in).
I live in NH. Have for most of my life. Many decades.
Good winter tires and the rest of the winter prep. Prep for sub zero temps.
A good wash & wax. When you get there, try to keep the surface from building up dirt and salt by using a hand-wash place when the temp is over 32F degrees. Don’t wash the underside, as you’ll drive water and road salt into cavities where it won’t dry out, and that will promote rot.
Welcome to New England.
Don’t wash the underside, as you’ll drive water and road salt into cavities where it won’t dry out, and that will promote rot.
GEE…I ALWAYS wash the underside. Theory being…dirt and salt will collect in those tight places in the fender well. Washing that area will remove the dirt and salt. Dirt and salt will hold moisture…and this will prematurely rot out the fenders.
I lived in Ocean City for a few years before I got married. I was 3 blocks from the ocean. I had a 1988 Chevrolet Beretta at the time. The salt spray was more of an issue for the paint, the car had to be waxed on a regular basis. Undercarriage rust was not an issue. The exhaust system on the Beretta had to be replaced at the 4-5 year mark. On the other hand, the exhaust system and both front fenders on my wife’s 1986 Dodge Colt rusted out within a few months of her moving down to the shore.
Depending on the condition of your vehicle, a 6 month visit might not present too many issues. Tidal and street flooding was more of a concern than salt spray for me. I suggest checking with the neighbors for a safe place to park when flooding conditions are present.
This may be splitting hairs, but I DO wash the underside of my car when I wash it in the winter, but I only wash it when I know it will be above 32 for at least overnight. Water gets into places and takes a while to drain out and evaporate, you don’t want it to freeze before it dries out.
For 6 months I would not worry much.
One thing to note is vehicles that are located near coast typically need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule as opposed to normal.
The issue you have is salt spray and if it is very windy perhaps some sand being whipped around by the wind.
A good coat of wax, not the car wash wax a real hand applied coat of wax, will help protect your paint.
Not much you can do if the wind whips the sand around other than avoid driving in such areas near the dunes or beach and parking the car in an area protected from the wind. You might consider one of those “bras” for the front of the car to protect the paint on the front of the car and hood. That is most likely area to experience “sand blasting” affect and the bra can offer some protection.
I know Mike. I’ve noticed in the past that we have different beliefs on washing the underside. There are definitely differing opinions on whether it’s bad or good.
We have a place on Cape Cod…Great place in the summer…In the winter…Forget it…Lot’s of rain, some sleet, very little snow really…Sometimes they get a big snow-storm, but that’s unusual…it usually melts in a few days…Fog, lets not forget the fog…But it’s 5 or 6 months of gloomy weather, cold, damp, windy at times…Some people love it…Half the businesses are closed “for the season”…The liquor stores all stay open…The exciting moments are when a big “Nor’easter” comes roaring up the east coast…Heavy rain and wind, some street flooding…The further out The Cape you go, the worse it gets…Power outages are common. The year’rounders all have backup systems of one sort or another…Cars require no special preparation, a set of good all-season tires and fresh wiper blades, perhaps a pair of fog lights and a GPS…have fun!
Have fun on the cape! P.S. Not true that people do not got to the beach in winter. I walked the beach last New Year’s Day… barefoot! As for washing the car… hmmm. ya… I agree… wait until there is a warm (above 32 degree) night coming and a few sunny days… at least you can enjoy seeing a clean car for a moment… otherwise… get used to ice/salt/grime on your baby. Caddyman is right… mostly rain on the Cape.
help no heat in a 1998 dodge stratus
i found a nest inside the blower side of the heater core which i believe burned out the heater control resistor i replaced that but still no heat??
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If Southridge be on The Cape tonight, he be getting a snoot-full of it…Heavy rain, winds gusting to 60mph…