7 Tips for Preventing Vehicle Damage Caused by Road Salt

Did you know that it’s not just snow and ice you need to keep an eye on if you want to keep your car in good shape for a long time? In case those are the two you’re mainly concerned about, it’s time you paid close attention to road salt, as soon as winter comes and you find yourself driving on snowy or icy roads.

What exactly does road salt do?

In terms of its pros, road salt helps drivers avoid slick roads in winter. It does that by lowering the freezing point of water, and when it does so, water won’t easily freeze on the roads. Salt is often applied to roads before a snowstorm to help keep them safe for drivers. Because road salt allows vehicles to keep a firm grip on roads, it helps lessen the risk of car collisions.

In terms of cons, road salt is corrosive—meaning it can cause your car to rust. If your car is repeatedly exposed to road salt, you could be looking at damage to your car’s brakes, fuel system, and other components.

How to protect your vehicle from road salt damage

Unless your location and work situation offers you great alternatives to using your car in winter, you really have no choice but be on the road in winter. 

However, you do have a number of things you can do to prevent vehicle damage caused by road salt. Here are 7 ways to do that:

  1. Let a professional take care of your vehicle maintenance.

Just because you don’t see any damage doesn’t mean there isn’t any, and that certainly is the case with the parts of your vehicle that you can’t see. Your trusted mechanic can. So have a professional check your car’s undercarriage for rust and corrosion because the brake lines, fuel lines, and wheel wells all have metal components that can easily get corroded if neglected. Your mechanic will also inspect other parts that can easily trap moisture, like the doors, hood, fender, and tailgate.

  1. Wax and seal your car.

A coat of wax on your car’s exterior just before winter comes will keep it shielded from damage caused by snow and salt. Just be sure to the manufacturer’s instructions. Or you can take your car to an auto detailing professional who do it for you.

  1. Constantly wash your car.

In winter, one of the most effective things you can do to prevent road salt damage is to run your car through the car wash as often as possible, making sure to clean the spots that are most susceptible to rust like the hood and the top and rear decks, where salt tends to settle. You can also prevent rust damage under your vehicle with car wash steam and undercarriage cleaning.

After each wash, be sure to re-wax and re-seal your car.

  1. Clean your tires as often as possible.

Pay extra attention to your tires in winter: make sure they are clean all the time. Clean in this case includes being free of any trace of salt. 

  1. Steer clear of puddles and deep snow. 

Road salt and debris can accumulate in puddles, so always keep an eye out for large puddles. 

Deep snow is also another thing you need to stay away from. Driving over or through deep snow could cause the road salt that is packed within the snow to end up in your vehicle’s undercarriage. That’s in addition to the risk of getting your vehicle stuck in the snow.

  1. Keep your floors clean and dry.

Clean and dry floors prevent the slush and salt on your shoes from creating floor rust. Winter is the time to put in those heavy rubber floor pads.

  1. Keep your distance from salt spreaders.

Give any salt spreader a wide berth. When you drive too close behind a truck spreading road salt before a snowstorm, you run the risk of having large amounts of road salt getting stuck on your car.

Damage caused by road salt can be easily prevented. That means unnecessary expenses for road salt damage can be easily prevented. Keep your vehicle and your finances in great shape!

If you’re shopping for extended warranty or a vehicle service contract in anticipation of an expiring manufacturer’s warranty, why not take a look at what we have to offer while you’re here.

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