While we have escaped the worst of the winter weather so far, we’ve still had a few days where driving conditions were less than ideal. Winter driving adds extra hazards to everyday driving and can increase the risk of damage to your vehicle. Snow and ice dents are obviously noticeable, but road salt damage is not quite as apparent. Without a plan in place to protect your vehicle, road salt can damage the paint job, car body, undercarriage, and most dangerously the brake and fuel lines. However, this damage is preventable. Learn more about what salt does to roads (and your vehicle) and what you can do to prevent this damage below.
How Road Salt Works
The sand and salt mix is spread by municipalities before and after a winter weather event (or if there is a risk of one developing). Salt lowers the freezing temperature of snow and ice, allowing the road to stay unfrozen at colder temperatures. It also provides extra traction for the tires of vehicles on cold, wet roads. However, it is important to remember that salt is a corrosive material. If you don’t take the proper precautions for your vehicle or give it the maintenance it needs, salt damage can end up leading to rust damage. Rust damage is not inevitable, though!
Wash your vehicle often. Some experts recommend washing it every ten days, but waiting until after a major weather event, when your vehicle ends up driving through salt-covered roads, is usually fine enough. The underside is particularly at risk for rust damage from salt, so make sure that you don’t neglect it when you wash your vehicle. After washing it, apply a coat of wax and sealant to protect the vehicle’s paint job. Check it for rust damage, especially the underside, and have a professional repair any rust damage to the brake or fuel lines.
You’ll also need to keep the floors of your vehicle clean and dry. This will prevent slush and salt on your shoes from causing rust on the floors. Heavy rubber mats are great at preventing floor damage. After driving, if there’s any snow that has accumulated behind the wheels, carefully remove it. Leaving it is a recipe for rust damage in a vulnerable spot of your vehicle.
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Auto Stop Limited Inc. is happy to service your vehicle and make sure all of your maintenance needs are properly addressed and resolved. Contact Auto Stop Limited Inc. online or give us a call at (410) 467-7600 to get your questions answered today. To get more vehicle maintenance tips, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.