Why an $800,000 Heated Garage May Be Hazardous to Your Car's Health

More

Keeping a vehicle warm in the winter may not be as good of an idea as it sounds

tenner_carsnow_post.jpg

Dirk Ott/Shutterstock


Interested in buying a New York high-rise apartment with an attached heated garage? The New York Times describes a deal for you, at $7 million, including an estimated $800,000 for the square footage of an attached, heated,parking space serviced by an automated elevator.

Now I understand why the seller's car is called a Range Rover; he describes its enclosed space as though it were a luxurious doghouse:

Obviously, when you have a nice car, at least now you know you're the only one touching it -- it's safe, I don't think it needs views like this [overlooking the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building] but it does need heating and it wants to be inside. 

Automobile batteries may indeed appreciate year-round warmth, but the bodywork does not welcome it when it has picked up salt from winter roads. As Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka Click and Clack of the radio program Car Talk, write at cars.com:

Our advice is to skip the heated garage, which can accelerate your car's march towards its grave. Here's why: Heat accelerates oxidation, also known as rust. You drive in the garage with snow and ice on your car, it melts, and the water and salt mix in that nice, warm petri dish and, come morning, there's less of your car there.

In technology, too, George Bernard Shaw's dictum applies: "Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same."

Jump to comments
Presented by

Edward Tenner is a historian of technology and culture. He was a founding advisor of Smithsonian's Lemelson Center and holds a Ph.D in European history. More

Edward Tenner is an independent writer and speaker on the history of technology and the unintended consequences of innovation. He holds a Ph.D. in European history from the University of Chicago and was executive editor for physical science and history at Princeton University Press. A former member of the Harvard Society of Fellows and John Simon Guggenheim fellow, he has been a visiting lecturer at Princeton and has held visiting research positions at the Institute for Advanced Study, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy. He is now an affiliate of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy of Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. He was a founding advisor of Smithsonian's Lemelson Center, where he remains a senior research associate.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Breathtaking Tour Above the Moab Desert

Filmmaker Ian Cresswell rigs an HD camera atop a remote-controlled "octocopter" for some spectacular aerial views.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

From This Author

Just In