The Effects of Road Salt on Your Car and How to Protect Against It
Salt is used on the roads because it helps to melt snow and ice on the road. On the other hand, it provides some extra traction when combined with sand. So, that’s why it’s important to remove the salt that accumulates.
Removing road salt is the best practice to help prevent rust damage. Brake lines are typically the other affected areas, so having them checked frequently is important.
Why does car rust from road salt?
Metal parts of a car come in contact with precipitation water, which contains carbon dioxide and oxygen. Road salt consists of free-radical ions and they come into contact with the precipitation water. After extended exposure to oxygen, iron oxide forms, which accelerates the rusting process.
How does road salt work?
Road salt makes roads safer for driving. It happens by a chemical reaction lowering water’s freezing point, melting ice, so tires can make contact and get traction with the pavement.
It helps the vehicle to avoid sliding when there is ice on the road. However, it’s highly corrosive to vehicles and over time causing rust. Road salt has an impact on the car’s paint causing corrosion, rust starts forming underneath bubbling up and the metal becomes brittle.
The Fight Against Road Salt Car Damage – What can you do?
- Wash your vehicle as soon as possible after each snow or ice storm.
- Wash your car when the temperature reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
- Try to wash your car in daylight hours. It gives it a better chance of completely drying before temperatures drop at night time.
- Try not to drive in deep snow. It packs against the bottom of the car. This can cause rusting and driving hazards.
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