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How To Protect Your Car From Road Salt This Winter

Road salt makes streets and highways less icy and safer to drive on in winter. Unfortunately, the chemicals it contains are corrosive and can damage your vehicle. Here’s why road salt is harmful and some tips on how to protect your car from corrosion this winter.

winter car repair

What road salt does and why it’s harmful

Road salt contains sodium chloride, which lowers the freezing point of water. Road crews apply this product to streets after snowstorms to help snow and ice. It’s often mixed with sand for improved traction.

The downside is that sodium chloride is highly corrosive and will cause your vehicle’s metal body parts to rust. It can also corrode the undercarriage of your car, damaging your exhaust and brake system.

Tips for protecting your car

Taking these steps to avoid road salt will keep your car looking new and running smoothly throughout the winter. It’ll also help you avoid costly repairs down the road.

  • Wash your car. In winter, you should wash your car every 10 days and immediately after snowfalls. Use a car wash that doesn’t use recycled water, or do it yourself at home. Remember to wash your car’s undercarriage. Pick a sunny day so your vehicle can dry without freezing. Open and close all the doors after the wash so that they don’t freeze shut.
  • Apply wax. Waxing your car every six months is key as it protects the paint and body from road salt, sand and the sun’s damaging UV rays.
  • Don’t drive after a snowstorm. If possible, avoid driving immediately after a snowfall. This is when crews spray fresh de-icing products on the roads.
  • Avoid puddles. Try to avoid driving through puddles. The water in street puddles can be highly saturated with road salt and other debris.
  • Repair paint chips. If you notice a chip in your car’s paint job that’s larger than the size of the head of a ballpoint pen, then make sure to repair it as soon as possible. Even small paint chips can allow road salt to penetrate your car’s metal frame, and rusting can quickly follow.

 

Winter car service and repairs in British Columbia and Alberta

At Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres, we provide vehicle maintenance services so your car can keep running smoothly and you can avoid the need for costly repairs. During every standard maintenance tune-up, our technicians inspect your vehicle for corrosion and wear. We also offer winter tire service, so you can be completely ready for the road when the snow flies. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at a convenient location in British Columbia or Alberta.

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