Posted on: Dec. 21, 2017 in Auto Maintenance

It’s the first day of winter! Depending on where you live, you may have already seen plenty of snow or you probably won’t see any at all. But if your uses salt on the roads to keep them ice-free, then this information is for you.


As temperatures drop, precipitation that falls to the ground can freeze and turn to ice. Applying salt to the road ways is a common practice and increases driving safety. Salt is used because it lowers the freezing point of water, creating a chemical reaction that turns the ice back into water. This allows your cars tires to get better traction on the road rather than sliding across ice.

Salt is considered by many drivers to be a necessary evil. While it certainly helps the road, it can do a number on your car. It’s extremely corrosive and can cause significant damage in many parts of the car.


If your car is covered in a white film, that’s salt, and it’s eating away at your paint job. There is a clear finish over the pigmented paint, and that finish helps to protect the paint. Paint isn’t just on the car to make it colorful, it’s also there to protect the body from rust. As you lose the finish and then the paint, the body of your car can rust, causing corrosion. Removing the salt from the body of the car is a must.


The underside of your car is virtually unprotected. As you drive, water and salt get kicked up into the mechanics of the vehicle. Think about how the car in front of you sprays water, sludge, and salt onto your windshield, your own tires kick those same substances into your car’s undercarriage. This is perhaps more dangerous to your car as you cannot see just how much of this corrosive material is present and you may be unaware of the damage you’re doing.

What You Can Do

In order to prevent unnecessary damage to your car, wash it regularly, especially in winter. Some experts recommend weekly or every other week as sufficient, but you can always clean it after a storm where you can see salt accumulations, too. There are differing opinions about how to best wash your car – whether to do it yourself or run it through an automatic car wash – making sure it’s clean top to bottom and underside can help your car last much longer.

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