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Corrosion heated garage vs outdoors debate

PapaRaptor

Tremor Maniac
Joined
Jan 22, 2020
Messages
4,772
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Location
Wisconsin
Current Ride
6.7 F350 Tremor "Velocity" Blue Lariat Sport
Current Ride #2
7.3 F350 Iconic silver THE SILVER FOX
I have kept my vehicles in my insulated and heated garage for years.

I seem to always have a conversation with somebody regarding corrosion. Yes we have aluminum bodies. great.


The debate is as follows:

Couple guys tell me, my cars will rust out faster keeping them inside a heated garage. We have lots of salt and other corrosive materials used on our roads to melt ice.

They tell me the heat accelerates the corrosion, aka, makes the salt activate more due to warmer temps. and I f I just keep it outside it will slow down the rust.

I always disagree, I think the warmer temps allow the oil to move better upon start up, the vehicles are warmer all the fluids are moving better, the battery always last me many years. Any ice or snow melts off when its parked at night.


So tell me what you think. I don't want to hear about moving south trust me I hate the winters here in Wisconsin, and someday I will move to a warmer climate. Just not for a while..

Do you think the warmer garage will cause rust ( not necessarily on the body but else where) faster than if I kept it outdoors.
 
I have kept my vehicles in my insulated and heated garage for years.

I seem to always have a conversation with somebody regarding corrosion. Yes we have aluminum bodies. great.


The debate is as follows:

Couple guys tell me, my cars will rust out faster keeping them inside a heated garage. We have lots of salt and other corrosive materials used on our roads to melt ice.

They tell me the heat accelerates the corrosion, aka, makes the salt activate more due to warmer temps. and I f I just keep it outside it will slow down the rust.

I always disagree, I think the warmer temps allow the oil to move better upon start up, the vehicles are warmer all the fluids are moving better, the battery always last me many years. Any ice or snow melts off when its parked at night.


So tell me what you think. I don't want to hear about moving south trust me I hate the winters here in Wisconsin, and someday I will move to a warmer climate. Just not for a while..

Do you think the warmer garage will cause rust ( not necessarily on the body but else where) faster than if I kept it outdoors.
I have never heard this or thought about this before. In my three minute Google sponsored education on the topic, it appears that the science of oxidation supports the theory that the garage would accelerate corrosion. The real world has a lot of variables and unknowns so I am not convinced it is true, but it is possible. My belief is that drier conditions and possibly even less oxygen availability will negate the rise in temperature, but im mostly just trying to sound educated. It's an interesting topic though.
 
Humidity (not heat or cold) is an accelerator for corrosion. If that was a big concern to you, you could just put a dehumidifier in the garage. It will also dry up your puddles from the snow melt much quicker.
 
Humidity (not heat or cold) is an accelerator for corrosion. If that was a big concern to you, you could just put a dehumidifier in the garage. It will also dry up your puddles from the snow melt much qui

Humidity (not heat or cold) is an accelerator for corrosion. If that was a big concern to you, you could just put a dehumidifier in the garage. It will also dry up your puddles from the snow melt much quicker.
This is what I thought too, but I found a research paper (I forget which university) that claimed corrosion is doubled for every 10 degrees Celsius the temperature rises. Of course the moisture has to be present as well. Beyond me, but interesting.
 
Horse bagels. I'm no chemist but I've taken enough to really doubt that the temp difference would cause any measurable difference in the corrosion rate. The benefit to the engine by being able to start with warmer oil would far outweigh any worries about corrosion. Besides, by pulling into the heated garage when the truck is wet it will dry out much faster and that would certainly inhibit corrosion. As a pilot corrosion is a major factor in airframe longevity. For that reason the really expensive rigs like the F-117, SR-71, and B-2 are/were hangared whenever possible.



True funny story sort of relevant:

I was touring a GE military engine plant. Stopped in a QC room with some nice ladies examining carbon fiber parts. I absentmindedly picked up a part about the size of my iPad and asked

"So how much is this little thing worth?"

They started laughing and I instantly realized I'd been really stupid because I saw they all had white cotton gloves on. In my defense this was just when carbon fiber was first starting to be used. The one answered

"Well, before you contaminated it with your skin oil it was worth about $2000!"

Ooops. She saw the look on my face and said

"Don't worry, we can clean it off."
 
Last edited:
My F150 was garaged for its first couple years of life and held up great. Then a move and a garage full of other projects pushed it outside and that thing rusted underneath, frame, mounts etc. worse than any vehicle I’ve ever had.
 
Horse bagels. I'm no chemist but I've taken enough to really doubt that the temp difference would cause any measurable difference in the corrosion rate. The benefit to the engine by being able to start with warmer oil would far outweigh any worries about corrosion. Besides, by pulling into the heated garage when the truck is wet it will dry out much faster and that would certainly inhibit corrosion. As a pilot corrosion is a major factor in airframe longevity. For that reason the really expensive rigs like the F-117, SR-71, and B-2 are/were hangared whenever possible.
I agree with all of this but the "horse bagels" i just can't get over my first visual when I read that.
 
I would much rather shelter a truck out of the elements if possible. The higher the relative humidity and salt, the more corrosion you will get. A heated garage will have a lower RH.
 
I live in NW WA state where it’s sunny two months a year and rains the other ten.

I bought my last truck, Buttercup, new 25 years ago and traded it in two weeks ago when I picked up the Tremor. It never set a tire inside a garage or carport. It sat outside in the pouring rain and was washed maybe 3 or 4 times in 25 years.

After 25 years it had one dime size rust spot and no other corrosion issues.
C262BA04-E551-46D0-87E4-C828175BFAAE.jpeg
 
I have kept my vehicles in my insulated and heated garage for years.

I seem to always have a conversation with somebody regarding corrosion. Yes we have aluminum bodies. great.


The debate is as follows:

Couple guys tell me, my cars will rust out faster keeping them inside a heated garage. We have lots of salt and other corrosive materials used on our roads to melt ice.

They tell me the heat accelerates the corrosion, aka, makes the salt activate more due to warmer temps. and I f I just keep it outside it will slow down the rust.

I always disagree, I think the warmer temps allow the oil to move better upon start up, the vehicles are warmer all the fluids are moving better, the battery always last me many years. Any ice or snow melts off when its parked at night.


So tell me what you think. I don't want to hear about moving south trust me I hate the winters here in Wisconsin, and someday I will move to a warmer climate. Just not for a while..

Do you think the warmer garage will cause rust ( not necessarily on the body but else where) faster than if I kept it outdoors.
Of course, the warm oil circulation has nothing to do with body corrosion from salt, so your response to the doesn't make a lot of sense.

Dryness is the biggest factor. Sitting wet, with salt, is going to cause corrosion much faster than sitting dry with salt. So where is it the driest? Inside or outside? If you are not sure, then inside would be much better for the truck in every other way. Less sun, warmer oil, fewer critters, less wind and direct rain/snow, etc. And much nicer to get into.
 
I live in NW WA state where it’s sunny two months a year and rains the other ten.

I bought my last truck, Buttercup, new 25 years ago and traded it in two weeks ago when I picked up the Tremor. It never set a tire inside a garage or carport. It sat outside in the pouring rain and was washed maybe 3 or 4 times in 25 years.

After 25 years it had one dime size rust spot and no other corrosion issues.
View attachment 15764
 
I live in NW WA state where it’s sunny two months a year and rains the other ten.

I bought my last truck, Buttercup, new 25 years ago and traded it in two weeks ago when I picked up the Tremor. It never set a tire inside a garage or carport. It sat outside in the pouring rain and was washed maybe 3 or 4 times in 25 years.

After 25 years it had one dime size rust spot and no other corrosion issues.
View attachment 15764
Papa is talking about driving on salted roads, and then letting it sit while salty.

Driving a lot in the rain, in a warmer climate is much better.
 
I have kept my vehicles in my insulated and heated garage for years.

I seem to always have a conversation with somebody regarding corrosion. Yes we have aluminum bodies. great.


The debate is as follows:

Couple guys tell me, my cars will rust out faster keeping them inside a heated garage. We have lots of salt and other corrosive materials used on our roads to melt ice.

They tell me the heat accelerates the corrosion, aka, makes the salt activate more due to warmer temps. and I f I just keep it outside it will slow down the rust.

I always disagree, I think the warmer temps allow the oil to move better upon start up, the vehicles are warmer all the fluids are moving better, the battery always last me many years. Any ice or snow melts off when its parked at night.


So tell me what you think. I don't want to hear about moving south trust me I hate the winters here in Wisconsin, and someday I will move to a warmer climate. Just not for a while..

Do you think the warmer garage will cause rust ( not necessarily on the body but else where) faster than if I kept it outdoors.
Maybe install a high pressure sprinkler system that squirts up into the underbody to get rid of the salt before parking it in the heated garage?
 
Maybe install a high pressure sprinkler system that squirts up into the underbody to get rid of the salt before parking it in the heated garage?
I actually thought about that. I'm moving to Missouri and was thinking about some kind of design.
 
My garage isn't heated, but it is attached, has insulated walls, ceiling and insulated garage doors. Even when it drops to 30s outside, our garage remains about 64 degrees.

On that note, I have never noticed any expedited corrosion.
 
I actually thought about that. I'm moving to Missouri and was thinking about some kind of design.

I just bought a 90 degree bend wand for my small electric power washer on amazon. It's not as cool as an automated system, but I'm able to spray my vehicles undercarriage with soap and give it a good rinse in just about 15 minutes. I was surprised how much debris rinsed out of the rolled edges of fenders. I bought it for my wife's new Tremor, which is build week 2/22/21, so haven't tried on that yet.

Is it worth it? I don't know, maybe, but it did make me feel pretty good to see all that sand and what not on the driveway when i was done. Can I stop the corrosion, idk, maybe the more severe pitting and crevice corrosion.

Here is a paper that describes some of the corrosion mechanisms specific to car and light truck frames and it describes some of the test conditions used to evaluate components. So it seems that humidity, temperature, salt, and time all are part of the mix.

http://www.wermac.org/pdf/corrosion4.pdf

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