Every winter season our sidewalks and roads get covered in snow and ice and to prevent potential accidents salt crews lay out road salt to counteract the winter weather. The salt chemically lowers water’s freezing point causing the ice to melt which allows for the tires of your car to reach the road in order to gain traction. While road salt allows for safer traveling despite the winter weather, it also has some drawbacks.
The major negative to road salt is its effect on the exterior of your vehicle. Road salt can cause rust and corrosion on your vehicle, specifically the undercarriage. The bottom of your vehicle is completely exposed which puts your exhaust system, muffler, coil springs, subframe, and hydraulic brake system at risk for damages. Rust on essential parts of your vehicle can be very dangerous. Road salt, though very helpful during the winter months, can cause major body and undercarriage damage to your vehicle unless you take certain precautions to avoid these damages.
Yes, these damages can be alarming, but there are a few ways to prevent road salt damage.
• Avoid puddles and plow trucks: Puddles hold larger amounts of salt and driving right before a plow truck means your vehicle will be the first to drive through the freshly laid salt.
• Pretreat your vehicle’s undercarriage: Collision shops offer an oil solution pre-treatment than can be sprayed on your vehicles exposed parts. This coating with help prevent salt and water from sticking to your vehicle’s metal parts
• Wash your vehicle after a snow storm: Remove the salt off your car as soon as possible.
• Be aware: Have your vehicle inspected by your local mechanic after the winter season to make sure everything is still functioning properly.
As driving on road salt is pretty common in our area during the winter months, drivers should be aware of the potential damages it can have on their vehicle. If a red brake warning light goes on, it’s important to bring your car in immediately. This is a sign of low fluids and can result in severe damages to the vehicle. Keep in mind that a lot of these damages are not noticeable or obvious, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on your vehicle maintenance schedule.