Salt; Great on Popcorn, Not on Your Vehicle
Well it’s that time of the year again; most of the roads and ditches are free from the cold white stuff that winter brings and spring is just around the corner. That means it’s probably time to get the vehicle you drive to the car wash. Nothing is harder on a car body than the excess amount of salt we need to use on the roads during icy and snowy weather. A simple google search shows you that salt just so happens to create a chemical reaction that can and will corrode your car. That’s especially true for any exposed metal. Two car parts that are especially susceptible to corrosion and rust are the brake and fuel lines (I’m pretty sure you need those working correctly, right?). So far in the last two years I have had the joy of 2, count’em, 2 wheel bearing replacements at the price of just over 300 dollars each time; due to, you guessed it, salt, dirt, and sand getting past the seals. Once that salt touches the bearings, it will contaminate the grease, causing the bearings to wear down, eventually leading to an alarmingly terrible noise while driving and even complete failure.
No one wants to see their tire pass them while they’re driving on the highway.
So how do we fight the salt that makes us and our wallets so… salty?(see what I did there) First off wash your car as soon as possible after each snow or ice storm, but only if it is above 40 degrees. A high powered spray wash is best; borrow a neighbor’s power washer or swing by any carwash. If that’s not possible make a solution that’s half warm water and half white vinegar and neutralize the salt. Just spray that stuff everywhere, but make sure to rinse it off. Remember it is very important to get all the salt cleaned off from the underside of the vehicle as well. Rust can spread fast when pushed on by road salt, and you may not think of it at all since most of you will never look under your vehicle. In addition, I would advise AGAINST using a brush or rag to scrub the vehicle during the washing process. Why? Because the salt is an abrasive and we don’t want to “sand” the paint off our vehicle while trying to clean it. That will just provide more unprotected metal for the salt to corrode and eat away at. Finishing with a good wax can help prevent salt damage and future rusting. It’s like clear coat on a kitchen table, but for your car. Preventative steps can keep your vehicle looking newer, longer. Keep you and your car from being salty this year and avoid the rust; your wallet, and your vehicle, will thank you.