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Wet grass rusting cars?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by acadian_carguy, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. acadian_carguy
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 792


    In the winter months I park/store my Acadian in the second driveway beside my house. The driveway is a combo of earth, gravel, and grass. A friend told me that he heard that parking a car on earth and grass can help cause rust under a car, as mosture comes off the earth and grass. Has anyone else heard this? I suppose it could be true, but it rains or drizzles most everyday around here in the winter. Even if I parked the Acadian in the cement driveway, it would be wet under the car. Would it make any difference if I put plywood under the car? Almost everything under the car is primered and painted.
  2. 61TBird
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 2,641


    When you park on cement/pavement the ground under the car ends to stay dryer.
    How many times have you moved your car after it started raining and it's still dry underneath it?

    Unless you have a downspout that directs the rainwater under the car,I'd keep it on the cement driveway.
    If you park it off the pavement and on a grass/earth(dirt) area,you'll have water collect under the car and around your tires.

    Take a dry sponge and put just one corner of it in water.
    It will still soak up the water.
    Now picture the plywood and rain soaked dirt doing the same thing.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2009
  3. 19Fordy
    Joined: May 17, 2003
    Posts: 5,294


    I think that any surface which absorbs or holds water will greatly increase rusting away of your undercarraige since the evaporation will cause the "fumes" to rise up into your car creating rust. Plywood won't help as it holds moisture.
  4. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,458

    Little Wing
    from Northeast

    Put it up on block teh more air that can get under it teh better,,,wet plywood would be just as bad if theres no air circulating under the car
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  5. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,103


    Way over here on OUR Island its a big problem!
    Anything I store outside I make sure its on crushed stone at least, and I also make sure that air can circulate around the underneith to keep it as dry as possible.
    I feel the biggest issue is the damp grass itself.
    Compared to damp earth and grass, a plywood covered area would be perfect!
    Obviously though...parking on a concrete pad would be best, next to indoor storage.

    Love those Acadians!!! :D
  6. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,479


    grass is bad, if you have to i would try and sit the car up on stands as high as i could get it to let air get in under, i have tried plastic in the past but it made puddles and i took it out, i have seen cars that sat inside a shop with a concrete floor rot the exhaust off in 2 years, it was new concrete, and there were no vent in the building.
  7. Everytime i go tin hunting and find a car in grass, you can bet the floor is toast.
  8. Ramblur
    Joined: Jun 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,103


    Grass is also giving off oxygen. Combine with moisture and vintage tin
    and you have the perfect storm for corrosion.

  9. X2 If the grass is growing in acidic soil,its even worse.
  10. jimi'shemi291
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 9,500


    Rust is iron-oxide, accelerated by a car sitting on a surface that holds moisture longer than, say, concrete. Crushed limestone better, if the car must stay outside. Generally speaking, sheltering a car the best way that's affordable to YOU is going to minimize rust better. If you could afford a rudimentary shed (just a roof over the car), sure would help tons!
  11. jimi'shemi291
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 9,500


    As Neil Young said: RUST NEVER SLEEPS!
  12. Preacher
    Joined: Dec 23, 2002
    Posts: 1,918


    I gotta agree with your friend... I would think just about any place drier than the grass would be better.
  13. woodlandca
    Joined: Apr 18, 2007
    Posts: 35


    spray kerosene on the under side of your car.
  14. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 4,622

    from Michigan

    As said, on cement, up on blocks. A car cover can be bad...that is, if it hangs to the ground. It'll hold in moisture. In addition...cement blocks can break. Short sections of large logs are safer, and inexpensive. Large jack-stands are probably best.
  15. jimi'shemi291
    Joined: Jan 21, 2009
    Posts: 9,500


    WoodlandCa has a good point. Old guy I used to work with said he'd been spraying kerosene on the underside of his vehilces, one a year, every since his first car, a '33 Ford. He swore that rust was NEVER a problem when he went to trade in a car! (Natch', don't get it on the exhausts system! LOL) This is an old trick that isn't mentioned often these days, but it works if you're willing to take the time.

    Rickbop also has some good thoughts. AND if you do tarp it, be SURE it's a tarp that breathes!!! If not, it'd be like sticking a plastic bag over your car, meaning it would HOLD moisture rather than allowing it to dissipate naturally.
  16. Grass is very very bad.
    Always giving off vapor and humidity, and oxygen
    If you have nowhere else to park it, at the very least, lay down a tarp and park on the tarp. If puddles collect, poke a few holes to let the water into the ground. Don't let grass grow underneath, and don't let it grow tall near the car.

    Long ago I used to let my brother park in the yard when he was out to sea. Two nice cars in the driveway, and two nice cars in the yard. I was always replacing rusted exhaust pipes on the "yard cars" much sooner than the ones that were picked for driveway parking.

    Dry concrete (or gravel) and a rain-shed over the car (which does not touch the car) is the best way.

    Many dry-looking concrete or gravel floors can still let moisture through, so be careful if you plan to fully enclose it later.

    If you want to check if a floor is safe for fully-enclosed car storage, throw down a rubber floor mat, or small tarp, or roll out some plastic. Let it set for a few days with something on top to keep it flat. If you see moisture under it when you lift it, then the floor is letting moisture get through. It still won't be as bad as grass but you will know that you need to keep that room or outdoor pad well vented in order to keep your metal safe.

    You may be surprised to find out how many dry-looking gravel or concrete floors still let water get through and head straight for your car.

    Farther down the list is closing the sides and protecting it from the rest of the weather and bright sunlight. (assuming you have a dry floor and won't trap humidity inside the enclosure)

    You would be amazed at how much longer a paint job, and the chrome, will last if you park in a dry indoor-shade area.

    My dad bought two of the same model car at the same time. Only one garage space, so one stayed out in the driveway. He took turns driving each.

    You would be amazed at how much difference there was between the two cars at the ten year point.

    The garaged one with the most miles still looked new. The chrome was perfect, the seats looked new, and the paint looked freshly applied.
    You could easily see that the car outside had the "normal" look of a ten year old car. The chrome trim had some of those faint lines that eventually show up in just about all chrome, the paint needed a good waxing, and the dash+seats looked ten years old.

    The outside car looked ten years old.
    The garaged car still looked brand new.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  17. senior fried
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 1,033

    senior fried

    Anywhere outside is bad.

    Attached Files:

  18. moisture is everywhere, even on a cement floor in a garage. if you park outside you need to obviously cover everything that you can with something that "BREATHES". wouldn't hurt o put tarps under the car(wider then the car, so the moisture from the grass and ground don't rust out the bottom. I've got my cars on tarps on the cement floor in the garage. the elements will kill any car, if not protected.
  19. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,632


    I had a rust-free OT (1992 Toyota) pickup truck that I drove about 3000 miles/year. About 3 years ago I started parking it on the lawn, since the kids got older and they use the blacktop to play on. The rust is attacking the driveline, the bumpers, suspension arms, every nut and bolt is ruined underneath.
  20. If you park your car on the grass in the Victoria or Vancouver area over the winter it will rust like crazy on the bottom. Generally one year the exhaust is ruined, 2 years the floor starts to come thru. Get it off the grass. Raising it in the air on stands won't help. Don't ask how I know. Plastic under it does help as it keeps the moisuture from coming up out of the grass. Any moisture on the top of the tarp will evaporate, well maybe not there in the rainbelt, but it won't hurt the car as much. If you value your car, get it inside out of the rain and off the grass. The other thing that it effects living where you are is wheel cylinders. They tend to seize up due to prolonged sitting and all the moisture. Another thing, don't tarp the car or put a car cover on it. It is better off in the rain. The tarp will only keep the moisture in and ruin the bodywork. Pat
  21. Kerry67
    Joined: Apr 11, 2005
    Posts: 2,606


    I would think this is a no brainer. Sitting a car on anything that is going to be damp would be bad. Sitting moister equals rust in my book.

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