Your car faces damage even when it is sitting in your garage or driveway. The elements and debris often seem to be conspiring to cause trouble for your vehicle. Understanding how the elements can affect your car can give you an edge on keeping your car safe. Recognizing the destructive force of debris can also make you more prepared to avoid any damage that debris might cause.Salt – most people only think about the salt from winterizing the roads. Although this salt does cause wear and tear on a vehicle, the salt from the ocean can be just as damaging. Salt attaches to the components of the car and promotes rusting.Tips for preventing salt damage – The most important thing you can do for your vehicle is clean it every few days (and when the temperature gets above 40 degrees). Be sure to give your vehicle time to dry before the freezing temperatures set back in for the night. Avoid driving through puddles of water where salt from the roads will accumulate. Wash and wax your car on a regular basis to help provide a protective barrier. Invest in an undercoating for the car that can help reduce the chance that salt will be able to cause a rusting problem for your undercarriage.Water – flooding happens in every region of the country and can be devastating to your vehicle, but even small amounts of water can do big damage. Water that freezes expands which means it puts pressure on joints and areas that are not supposed to be dealing with that pressure.Tips for preventing water damage – Be sure that you keep your car in a place where it is not effected by freezing temperatures or else get it some place where it can dry out before freezing temperatures occur. Roll down windows and open doors so that those areas have a chance to dry and can avoid freezing up. Pay attention to the sound of your brakes and listen for other unusual sounds when you encounter puddles.Mud – areas that do not deal with salt on the roads do experience a great deal of mud. It might be surprising to discover that the mud can cause many of the same corrosive issues that those face who have salt covered roads. Mud attaches to the undercarriage of the vehicle and promotes rust. Most people can prevent damage from mud with the same precautions that are used for salt.Debris – flying limbs, pot holes and other debris cause more damage to vehicles than just about anything else. It may be impossible to predict all the hazards that you will encounter, but there are some things you can do to prevent damage from debris.Tips for preventing debris damage – Start caring for your car by watching where you are driving. Drivers are often so focused on the destination that they miss the road ahead. An object lying in the road can cause major damage to your vehicle if you run over it. Try to go around obstacles in the road. Something as innocent as a stick can flip up to hit your car causing major damage if you run over it. Choose your parking location with care. Avoid construction sites, large trees and over passes. Any place that could become a drop point for debris should be passed up no matter how good of a parking spot it might appear to be. Choose a parking garage or covered area if at all possible.Damage can happen to you vehicle no matter how much care you take. Unexpected situations will arise. But being prepared can help you reduce the problems that your car does have to face and the ultimate damage the unexpected might cause. Start caring for your car by doing all you can to avoid those elements and debris that are the worst things for your car.