As the weather starts to cool, you might start to prepare yourself and your home for the changes the winter months bring. As you engage in these preparations, don’t forget to include your cars in your efforts.
Depending on your driving needs, you might opt for snow tires or buy a new windshield ice scraper. In your winter prep, you might realize a significant vehicle risk factor that comes up in the snow-filled months: winter salt damage.
Why Should I Worry About Salt Damage?
Salting the roads is a common practice in several US states. The snow salt helps to melt ice, which is a leading cause of winter car accidents. While the salt is helpful for the roads, it can cause devastating damage to vehicles if owners don’t take proper precautions.
Salt for snow doesn’t simply make your car look dirty, it can actually cause rust and corrosion in both seen and unseen parts of your vehicle. It can damage your car’s finish and even affect the mechanics of the vehicle if left unnoticed. This is particularly problematic for the undercarriage of your vehicle, which is hidden from view and largely unprotected.
What Can I Do to Prevent Salt Damage?
The fact of the matter is that salt is one of the easiest and most cost-effective solutions to icy roads, so it is not likely to be replaced with a more car-friendly alternative anytime soon. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect your vehicle from damage.
Wax Your Car
Before the snow starts to fall, wax your car to protect its exterior. The wax creates a buffer between your car and the salt, snow, ice, dirt, etc.
Wash Vehicles Often
During the winter, you should wash your car 2-3 times a month depending on the weather and use. Don’t forget to spray the undercarriage as well. If possible, wash your vehicle during the day so it has a chance to dry off before freezing.
After washing the car, don’t forget to open and close every door and your trunk. Unlock and lock your car a few times as well. This will help prevent doors and locks from freezing shut.
Watch Your Distance
Don’t follow snow plows or salt trucks too closely. They will likely kick up a lot of the dirt, grime, and salt. You can’t avoid getting any salt on your vehicle, but you can often avoid practically showering your car with it.
Small chips or scratches in the paint create a perfect opportunity for rust to grow and spread. Snow salt will agitate the area and make a small problem worse. If you notice small chips and cracks, get them fixed or touched up quickly to avoid more damage.