Thanks to salt, you can have a safer driving experience on roads during the cold winter months. Salt decreases the freezing point of water and prevents it from freezing as quickly and as often—which means you won’t be sliding around on black ice or slippery snow.
Unfortunately, road salt causes unwanted damage to vehicles—unless you take some precautionary measures to protect your car. Keep reading to learn about how salt can damage a car’s exterior and how to prevent that from happening.
2 Ways Salt Can Damage a Car’s Exterior During Winter
While salt keeps us safer on the slick roads during winter, it also causes unwanted damage too.
1. Destroy Its Finish
Salt damage to cars is caused by its corrosive nature, it eats away at your car’s paint job little by little. That’s why it’s important to keep the exterior of your car clean during the winter season to wash off any salt residue.
2. Create Rust
Along with destroying a car’s finish, salt also creates rust. In the wise words of Rachel Green’s dad in the hit 90s sitcom Friends, “rust is boat cancer.” Or in this case, it’s car cancer. Once rust forms on a car, it spreads quickly and causes serious damage. Car doors, fenders, hoods, and tailgates are especially susceptible to rust because they already hold in a lot of moisture. Ice, snow, and water during the winter only exacerbate that problem.
5 Steps To Protect Your Car Against Salt Damage
If you want to protect your car against salt damage this winter, consider taking these simple precautionary steps. Doing so will pay off in the long run.
1. Wax Your Car’s Exterior
Adding a layer of wax to your car’s exterior protects the finish from corrosion by creating a barrier between the paint and the salt. Be sure to apply it to your car’s undercarriage also to protect the engine and other parts that are susceptible to rust.
2. Keep the Tires Clean
Clean your car’s tires before winter begins, and clean them throughout the cold winter months to remove any road salt that sticks on while you’re driving. Dirty tires attract substances from the road and kick them up under your car. These substances can damage the engine and other parts of the undercarriage.
3. Wash Your Car
Giving your car a regular wash—even just a thorough rinse—will wash any salt off your car’s exterior. Be sure to wash or rinse the undercarriage also. Remember to clean your car during the day so it has time to dry before the temperature drops once it gets dark.
4. Don’t Drive Through Puddles
Water puddles during the winter are a cesspool of dirt and road salt. Avoid driving through them—when possible—to prevent the water from splashing on your car and causing damage.
5. Don’t Drive Right Before or After a Snowstorm
Avoid getting on the roads right before and right after a snowstorm. Your city is most likely to layer the roads with salt during these times.
Get Ready for Winter With CleanTools
As a family-owned business, CleanTools has been committed to quality, customer satisfaction, integrity, and community for the past 40 years. That’s why customers trust us with all their auto cleaning needs. Check out our tips for keeping your car clean during the winter to protect it from salt damage.