Winter is here, protect your investment

road salt damage

It’s a familiar scene in the northern states of dark cars suddenly looking white or gray after succumbing to layers of road salt. We need salt on the roads in climates where winter brings snow, ice, and unsafe driving conditions. Most cities in wintery areas send salt trucks out ahead of storms to cover the roads and help ice and snow melt more
quickly. The problem is that salt can damage your car if it remains on the exterior of the vehicle for a long time. Thankfully, you can protect your car. Let’s look at how salt causes damage and the importance of cleaning road salt off your car.

Cosmetic Issues

The paint job on your car won’t fair well when subjected to road salt. Layers of salt that sit on the paint all winter can cause scratches and faded colors. After enough exposure, you may begin to see rust spots through the paint. You can’t avoid salted roads; however, you can remove the salt from your car whenever possible.

Safety Issues

Since salt is naturally corrosive, it can lead to rust in the undercarriage of your vehicle if left to sit for too long. That area of your car gets hit hard with salt on the roads. A buildup of salt may also negatively affect the vehicle’s brake lines and fuel lines, causing corrosion and rust, which will eventually cause safety issues.

How To Protect Your Car

Although salt isn’t the best for your vehicles in the winter, there are ways to protect your car during this time. Here are some tips for preventing salt damage. “Wax” (or seal) your car’s exterior in the fall before winter arrives, clean your car thoroughly and apply car wax. There are differences between waxing and polishing your car, so remember that right before
winter, waxing is essential. Car wax leaves a protective coating on your vehicle and acts as a barrier between the road salt and your paint job. Continue to wax the car a few times throughout the season after cleaning it.

rock salt

Wash the Car Often

There’s no need to skimp on car washes in the winter. Run your vehicle through the car wash on sunny days to wash the salt off its exterior. If you prefer washing your vehicle at home, begin by spraying the exterior with clear water to remove chunks of slush and other particles. Then, scrub your car with a soft cloth and car cleaner. Rinse with clear water and dry with microfiber cloths.

Avoid Salt Trucks

If you are driving behind a salt truck, stay as far back as you can. Your vehicle doesn’t need any extra salt blown on it from the trucks. Plus, salt trucks can accidentally send hard particles through the air, hitting your windshield and leaving a crack. Winter is tough on cars and trucks, and the salt on the roads makes it even tougher. If you remember the importance of cleaning road salt off your car, your vehicle will look like it skipped the frigid season come springtime.