Today: does parking on dirt damage a car?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Mar 01, 2011

Dear Tom and Ray:

At the age of 48, I am buying my first brand-new vehicle. I really would like it to last for a good long while. I've heard that parking on the ground is not good for a vehicle. I have a dirt, and oftentimes muddy, driveway and parking area. Is this really bad for the vehicle? If so, is there some type of platform (inexpensive) that I could purchase to park on? If I buy something to park on, will it make much difference, since I'll still be driving in a muddy driveway? Oh, by the way, paving the driveway is out of the question. Thanks!

-- Kelly

RAY: I would hire a crane, Kelly. Have it lift up your car when you reach the beginning of your driveway, and then the crane can bring you and your car up to the house, where the car can be suspended overnight so as not to get dirt on it.

TOM: No, there's nothing wrong with parking on dirt, Kelly. You'll get some mud and pebbles in your tires, but they'll fly out once you reach highway speed.

RAY: And on muddy days, you'll fling some mud onto the undercarriage, but that won't do any damage.

TOM: So don't waste your money on a parking platform, Kelly. Save it for car washes. Those, you'll need. Good luck.

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