Protect Your Car from Road Salt
The salt used on roads during the wintertime is corrosive and can damage your vehicle’s finish, increase rust, and even reduce efficiency of pipes and motors, therefore diminishing driving performance. Doors, fenders, hoods and tailgates are most vulnerable to rust because they retain a lot of moisture. Here are some ways to prevent damage to your vehicle caused by road salt.
- Get a good wax job before the season starts to protect the paint surface. You should wax your vehicle at least every six months.
- Avoid driving right after salt is spread on roads.
- Avoid driving through large puddles of water where salt collects.
- Try not to drive in deep snow, which can pack salt into the undercarriage where it’s difficult to remove, possibly leading to corrosion and drivability problems.
- Distance yourself from other cars. Even if the roads are dry, there is still salt residue. Unseen parts of a car may be wet, and driving to closely to another car may cause the powdered salt to rise from the road and stick to the wet parts on your car.
- After driving on salted roads, clean the salt off your tires to prevent them from kicking up the salt back into your car’s body once you start driving again.
- Park your vehicle off the road in a covered area to avoid snow plows and salt trucks. You could also use a car cover.
- Wash your car every 7-10 days. Do it during the day when the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
- Spray the underside of the car with a high-powered hose when spring approaches, if not more often. This will remove salt buildup from accumulating on the wheels, axles, and exhaust pipe. Salt sucks ups the moisture in humid air, therefore salt plus warm weather equals rust.
- Avoid parking in warm places like indoor garages. When salty slush is stuck to a car it can corrode much easier if the car is warm because the slush can melt and spread the salt. To reduce the spreading of salt, park outside where the slush can freeze.