What are the harmful effects of road salt on my vehicle?
Do you want to keep your car in good condition and maintain its appearance for as long as possible? Various factors can affect the body and mechanical components of your vehicle. In this blog article, your OCTO Auto Service Plus family mechanic explains the harmful effects of road salts and offers some ways to combat them.
Negative effects of road salts
Road salts contain sodium, a chemical element used to melt snow and ice on roads in winter. In addition to sodium, de-icing salts also contain calcium and magnesium, which can hurt the environment and your vehicle.
Firstly, salt speeds up the rusting process on metal parts such as your car’s body, chassis, brakes, shock absorbers and exhaust pipes. This can shorten your vehicle’s lifespan, affect how well it runs, make it less safe to drive and reduce its resale value.
Furthermore, when salt crystals hit your car, they can damage the paintwork, causing small scratches, cracks and chips. These tiny blemishes not only affect the appearance of your vehicle but can allow moisture and harmful substances to penetrate, accelerating the corrosion process.
In short, road salt can seriously damage many parts of your vehicle. Fortunately, experts are working hard to find alternative and gentler de-icing solutions that don’t impact cars or the environment.
Follow these expert recommendations to prevent or reduce the harmful effects of road salts on your vehicle:
- Apply a protective wax to your vehicle before the start of winter.
- Promptly repair scratched paintwork.
- Wash your car regularly. A good cleaning will remove de-icing salts before they have time to wreak havoc on your vehicle’s components. Pay extra attention to the undercarriage and areas close to the ground.
- When driving on heavily salted roads, reduce your speed and keep a safe following distance from other vehicles to avoid having salt kicked up at your car.
- Invest in a rustproofing treatment once a year or as often as recommended by an expert. Rustproofing is essential to protect your vehicle against our harsh winters.
Turn to OCTO’s expertise for an effective rustproofing treatment