Keith Tedford
Apr 30, 2012
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Ontario
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Some people want the underside of their cars to look as nice as the top. The main problem is bare metal such as drive shafts, and brake parts such as rotors will rust. This rust really shows when you have the open wheels as we have on our 2005. When do they rust most, in the spring and fall like right now when it is cool and damp. An unheated garage is equally cool and damp causing rust. If you are fortunate enough to have heat in your garage, it is a good idea to keep the heat on during the damp seasons to drive the moisture out. Once winter hits and things freeze up, rusting isn't a problem. I have the furnace on, spring and fall. It doesn't cost much and if I want to work on the car, things are already cozy. Right now, I am in the middle of changing the oil and greasing all our vehicles to be ready for winter so the heat is more than welcome. During the summer a good dehumidifier in the garage helps too. Just a thought.
 
Other than stone chips, our no winters '97 Olds LSS looks pretty well new with 128K miles on the odometer. A couple of months ago a friend offered me $5K for the car. No thanks. Many of the '97s I see are rusted out pretty badly and heading for the bone yard. You really don't need to be fanatical to keep vehicles looking decent. We keep our vehicles garaged, wax them once or twice a year, change the oil and filter last thing in the fall and mid summer and grease any fittings on the car. Lubing latches and hinges is a good idea too and used to be part of a normal oil change at any garage. A little Rust Chek or similar in rust prone crannies doesn't hurt either. The Jimmy is our winter vehicle and gets undercoated every year. It collects a little dirt but still looks better than rust. Vinyl is an easy keeper if kept out of the sun but leather needs good conditioner to keep it from drying out. The Jimmy is getting cleaned up and waxed right now before winter strikes. That's all you really have to do to keep a vehicle looking reasonably good. Fanatics would go far beyond what I do but that's ok. We drive our cars and this old body objects to too much crawling around under the cars.
 
Great Post. My garage at this house is unfinished at this point. Next spring it's # 1 on the list. including heat and a lift.:canada:
 
I have a ceiling hung gas furnace that isn't all that big, takes up no floor space and can heat the garage to shirt sleeve temperature in the dead of winter in the time it takes me to have breakfast. It beats working outside and I have done my share of that too. Before I had the garage I changed the cam in a GTO in the middle of the winter. Pulled the cam on one mild day then installed the new one on the next mild day. Too old for that now. Just finished up waxing the Jimmy this evening and it doesn't look bad for something over 8 years old and sees the salt every winter.
 
I understand what you are saying but doesn't warm/hot air hold more moisture than cold air? Do you notice rust form more easily in cool temperatures? Is this because the air can't pull the moisture off the surface? I think the freeze/thaw cycle is the biggest killer for cars this time of year. Once winter hits, it's so cold there is barely any moisture in the air in this part of the country.....but dang it, I would love to keep my car in a warm garage.....maybe in a few years this will happen.
 
In cool damp weather you can sometimes wipe water off of things where it has condensed on the cold metal. With the garage heated, that doesn't happen. It would be tough on your winter daily driver in a heated garage. The salt and calcium chloride brine would work overtime. I just heat the garage until freeze up and again when spring thaw comes. People moving to Ontario often complain about the damp, humid air here.
 
Ahhhh! Right! Right! I forgot about how much more moisture you have in your air there. Very interesting to hear about how much moisture can collect on surfaces at colder temperatures. I've only really seen that here when my cousin would heat up his garage using a propane burner before we'd work on his stock car, the tools would be covered in moisture......really not good for the tools or anything else that was metal at below freezing before the work began. Most of the time however, I think we only get a light hazing of moisture on stuff......oh man, I could just imagine how destructive calcium chloride would be if you put your daily driver in a heated garage. Yuck!
 
Our one son-in-law is a heavy truck mechanic. He says that if you are doing brakes, don't touch anything electrical because, or as often as not, something electrical won't be working when you are done. The calcium chloride brine gets into electrical connectors. They coat some lines with a plastic coating these days and this stuff will get in behind the plastic and still rust the lines out. The brine, put down before a storm, does such a nice job that I doubt that they will be getting rid of it any time soon. We have our winter vehicle undercoated every fall then I get under there and hit any spots that they may have missed.
 
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