How often does your car look like this in the winter? Do you know just how damaging this is to your vehicle's exterior?
So, what exactly is road salt?
Road salt is used to create a lower freezing temperature on road surfaces, leading to less ice on roadways. What you normally see on the roads is a mixture of salt and sand. The salt does the work of keeping freezing temperatures down on the road, while the sand helps keep the salt in place and adds a little traction.
Why is salt bad for your car?
Salt is corrosive, this means that it can eat through your paint over time. If left unattended, salt could lead to paint damage and rust on your undercarriage over time. You should also know that salt and warm temperatures do not go well together. Yes, salt is bad for your vehicle.
If you park your car in a warm garage and the ice on it melts, you are at higher risk that salt is going to damage your car. Rust forms when moisture and oxygen combine on metal, and salt accelerates that process because it corrodes.
What can you do to protect your vehicle this winter?
Here are some tips & tricks to help keep your car looking brand new during the horrible winter months!
Have Your Car Protected – You should have your vehicle’s paint protected in the beginning of the winter months with a nice coat of wax or sealant. Going a step further and having a permanent coating installed is even better. This will ensure the you have a layer of protection between your paint and the corrosive salt.
A coat of wax on the exterior of your car is one of the best ways to protect the paint. As you drive during the winter months, your tires and the tires of other vehicles kick up water, sleet, and slush, which often contain the salt used to melt the snow. But if you’ve recently applied a wax coating, your paint job has a layer of protection that keeps that salt and grime away.
Wax does dissolve over time, and the harsh conditions of winter driving tend to make that happen even faster, so it’s also smart to continue to apply wax throughout the season. Take special care to wax the headlights, since this can keep water and snow from sticking to them for several weeks after the treatment.
Wash Your Car Monthly – This is the minimum you should wash your vehicle when salt has gotten onto it. Be sure to stay away from drive through car washes with brushes since they scratch your paint. You also want to make sure that your undercarriage gets a nice cleaning so the salt doesn’t hide in there and cause rust over time. We recommend you use self service car washes, touchless car washes, or have a professional take care of the vehicle for you. Be sure to rinse the salt off before you make contact with the vehicle, since the salt can scratch the paint if your a trying to wash the car with the salt on it.
Cover Windshield Wiper Blades – When it’s freezing cold outside, you’ll notice that your windshield wiper blades freeze to the glass, making it impossible to clear the windshield. Without being able to see out the front of the car, you put yourself and other drivers at risk. But waiting for them to defrost also takes time, something you may not have when you’re trying to make it to work. Save time by covering your wiper blades with a pair of socks each night to keep them from freezing to the windshield
Stay Away From Deep Snowbanks – If possible, try to avoid driving through deep patches of snow or slush, since these tend to expose the undercarriage to more salt. If you have to go through one to get somewhere, take your car for a wash as soon as possible to remove the grime. Winter driving doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your ride. Adding a few extra steps to your car care to-do list helps protect the exterior of your vehicle throughout the colder months.