As winter takes hold on the Midwest, many of us are already looking forward to summer. If cars were sentient—thought for themselves, that is—they may be thinking the same. At best, winter weather and the chemicals applied to roadways are challenging for your vehicle’s exterior. At worst, the treatments on roadways, excessive moisture, and road grime may fade or destroy paint and weaken metal parts.
There are a few regions in the United States that are known for their mild climates and lack of extreme weather conditions, which can be beneficial for a car’s exterior. These areas include:
- California: Many parts of the Golden State have a Mediterranean climate, which typically means mild winters and warm summers. This can help prevent rust and corrosion on a car’s body.
- The Southwest: The Southwest region, including states like Arizona and New Mexico, also have mild winters and warm summers. The dry climate will help prevent rust and corrosion on a car’s body, but the near-constant sun may fade paint.
- The Pacific Northwest: The Pacific Northwest region, including states like Washington and Oregon, have mild climates and a lack of extreme heat. This can help prevent paint fading and other issues related to excessive heat.
If these areas have one thing in common, it’s less frequent extreme weather events. The tornados, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes and winter weather that plague other parts of the country, all increase the likelihood of damaging your car’s exterior.
However, it’s worth noting that some of the mild regions mentioned above do see heavy rainfall, which can cause rust on the car’s undercarriage.
Rust, your vehicle’s nemesis
Much like the chemicals used to suppress winter weather on roads, moisture can lead to rust and corrosion. Despite looking unsightly, this damage may spread and cause further damage to your car if not addressed. According to AAA, “rust damage can also cause serious and dangerous damage to a vehicle’s brakes, fuel tank and exhaust systems.” It’s little surprise, combined these issues may also make your car difficult to sell later.
Regularly inspecting your car for rust and taking steps to prevent it, such as regularly washing it and keeping it dry, can help to protect your investment and ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.
See you at the car wash
As our region clears away the most recent winter storm, it’s especially important to remember to wash your car during the winter months. Getting rid of the salt, chemicals and road grime will help minimize negative effects. Check out our recent blog post How Important is Washing Your Car in Winter? for details.
Not all is lost if you live outside the supposedly ideal regions for automobile exteriors, though. You just need to put a little more thought and time into maintaining your car.