In times of severe winter weather, there are countless motorists who are worried about their rides. While the cold season are harsh on people, it is much harsher on vehicles. This is because aside from snow, ice and frigid temperatures, cars are also affected by salt. The salt used to melt ice on roads during winter can do some significant damage, so owners must not forget to protect their vehicles. Read on below for some tips on how you can protect your car from road salt and brine.
Remember to wax and seal
Waxing is one of the best ways you can make you car winter-ready as well as salt-ready. Wax serves as a shield of sorts, one that protects the vehicle’s paint surface from the elements. Sealants have the same purpose. It is most ideal that you wax and seal before the winter season begins so that the car is properly protected from rust and corrosion. However, if you failed to do this, make sure to wax and seal every time the car gets washed.
Wash the car thoroughly
Speaking of washing, make sure the vehicle is cleaned thoroughly. Regardless if you send your ride to the carwash or you wash it yourself, ensure that the vehicle gets washed from top to bottom. Road salt can reach the undercarriage and other hard-to-reach areas (i.e., beneath wheel wells, the area behind the fenders, etc.), so make sure these are kept salt-free too. Otherwise, you might have to deal with rust, corrosion and the repairs and expenses that come with these.
If you send your car to the carwash, find out if it is equipped to eliminate salt from parts underneath the vehicle. If you do the washing yourself, rinse the salt using a hose.
Thorough car cleaning should extend to the inside, too. Eliminate salt from the carpets and mats with a vacuum.
Inspect the vehicle
Inspect your car after washing. Look for signs of possible salt-related problems like rust, corrosion or oxidation. These include paint flakes and chipping. If you see chipped paint, replace it immediately.
Avoid puddles and deep snow
If you can, avoid driving through puddles of water. These puddles not only have dirty water, but also a lot of road salt. By driving through them, you risk having your undercarriage exposed to salt and brine. Avoid driving through deep snow as well. Since the deep snow can pack salt into the undercarriage, removing the salt can be more challenging.