The benefits of using salt on our roads during the winter months are obvious, but the trade off is that this same mineral used to keep us safe on icy roads is also silently destroying our vehicles.
The bottom line is, when road salt gets on your car, you need to wash it off as soon as possible. The chemical reaction that takes place between the salt and the surface of your vehicle, including the underbody of your car especially, starts to happen quick. Not washing it off inevitably leads to rust problems which can affect the mechanics of your car as well as it's aesthetic value. Brake problems are one of the most common mechanical issues caused by road salt, but virtually any metal underneath your car is vulnerable to corrosion.
At Airport Auto Wash, we recommend to our customers that they wash at least once per week during the winter. Make sure that the wash package you are getting includes an underbody wash, ideally with a rust inhibitor. At our wash, the $10 Gold Package will get you what you need.
Other things to consider;
Wax your vehicle every six months, making sure to time it so that you head into the winter season with a fresh coat. This provides a strong protective layer that will help to repel a variety of contaminants, including road salt.
Avoid driving through large puddles of standing water where road salt collects. Some people think this is a quick and free way to rinse off the underbody of your car, however these puddles usually contain very high levels of road salt, and driving through them only forces more salt into hard to clean places.
Paint chips that have exposed bare metal should be repaired, even if it is with a simple DIY paint pen. Bare metal corrodes extremely fast, and not repairing these spots can cause major problems down the road.
Your vehicle is likely one of your biggest investments and protecting it from the ravages of life in the North East is a challenge. While many automotive issues are inevitable, when it comes to rust caused by road salt, that is damage that can be avoided.