Can Parking Your Car in a Garage Actually Damage It?

When it comes to taking care of your car, parking in a garage can provide protection all year round. After all, parking your car in an enclosed garage will keep it shielded from the hot summer sun and clear of snow in the winter. But if you do happen to live in an area where it snows during the winter, then parking in a garage can actually have some adverse effects.

Salt does more damage than you think

If you do live in a state where it snows in the wintertime, then you’re probably aware that the roads get salted when it snows. And as you drive on the roads, that salt usually gets caught up in the fenders and other crevices in your car, which can end up causing rust. But what you might not realize is that when you make it home and park in your garage, the slushy ice that is filled with salt from the roads can melt from the heat of the engine – as well as the warmer air in your garage – and the water that forms can increase the rust-forming properties of the salt.

Believe it or not, this can actually end up causing more rust on your car than if you leave it outside. What’s more, when you leave the car in your garage, the damp spots on your car will not evaporate as quickly due to the lack of ventilation. So if your car is wet more than it is dry, like if you pull the car in and out of the garage multiple time a day, not only does the process start over every time, but the continued wetness leaves your car more susceptible to rusting.

RELATED: 5 Cars That Do Surprisingly Well in Snow and Ice

german man looking at snowy cars
(GERMANY OUT) Winter Februar 1968 PKW (VW Käfer) im Schnee – gesehen in Wolfsburg (Photo by Rust\ullstein bild via Getty Images)

How can you prevent rusting?

If you do park in a garage during a snowy winter, it’s suggested that you make sure to wash your car as often as possible. By washing your car, you can ensure that you get all of the road salt and other debris off the car in order to prevent rust and other damage to the body of the car. If you don’t have a garage, then it’s probably a good idea to at least get a car cover.

With a car cover, you can ensure that your car is as protected as possible in the elements. Also, car covers typically have breathable fabric so you don’t need to worry about your car getting enough ventilation when the snow melts.

RELATED: Are Snow Tires Useless on All-Wheel-Drive Trucks?

covered snowy porsche
Car (Porsche) parked on a snow covered drive off a London street covered in protective wrapping, to protect it against theft and bad weather. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

Are there any other hazards when parking your car in a garage?

If you park your car in your garage at home, the only dangers that your car might be vulnerable to are large objects like ladders or tools that you might place on the walls next to your car. It’s may sound like a no-brainer, but there have been times that cars have been damaged due to poorly placed items in the garage falling on top of it, or perhaps scraping the side of it when you open the car doors. Make sure to keep your garage clean and remember to wash your car as often as you can to make sure it’s in the best shape possible for as long as possible.