Salt and sand are typically spread over roads before or after a snow or ice storm. Salt lowers water’s freezing point, helping ice to melt even when the air temperature remains well below freezing. Sand helps keep the salt in place, while adding a degree of traction to wet and slushy roads.
Though salt and sand make the roads safer, their effects are anything but safe for your car and tires. The corrosive nature of these substances can damage paint finish, and make hoods, doors, fenders and tailgates susceptible to rust.
Help protect your car this winter with these tips:
Wash early, wash often – Be sure to keep the car clean with frequent washes, every one to two weeks. It is important to wash your car early in the day, making sure it has time to dry before nightfall, when temperatures drop.
Don’t get in too deep – Driving into heavy accumulations of snow is a bad idea. Not only due to the danger of getting stuck, but because the snow is mixed with salt and it packs into the undercarriage of your car. It is difficult to remove and leads to rust problems.
Just brush it off – If you park your car in a garage at night, take a moment to clear off any snow that may have accumulated on your car before you put it inside for the evening. Rust forms when moisture and oxygen combine on the bare metals of wheel wells, chrome, and the undercarriage.
Remember that old adage about an ounce of prevention? Getting your car ready for winter will give it an extra line of defense. Wash your car and wax it with a good quality winter wax. A winter wax will provide your car with an added buffer of protection, and a fresh wax will make it much easier for the salt and grime to be washed off throughout the season.