Keep Road Salt Off Your Vehicle

With winter snow and icy road conditions, local Department of Transportation workers keep the roads as safe for drivers as possible with plowing, sanding, and salting. Every year between ten and twenty tons of salt are used. Some of this salt will inevitably accumulate on your vehicle, which can cause corrosion and mechanical problems if it is not removed. Here are some tips for maintaining your vehicle to prevent problems associated with salt.

What You Need to Know About Salt

Salt is used on roadways during the winter to slow or prevent snow accumulation, because it causes a chemical reaction that lowers water's freezing point. Unfortunately this chemical reaction also causes rust damage to vehicles. In addition, salt can accumulate on your break lines, creating safety concerns.

Preventative Measures

There are a few habits you can establish that will protect your vehicle from salt-associated damage and mechanical failures. Wash your vehicle after every snow storm and frequently throughout the winter months to stop the corrosive effects of salt. Your vehicle wash should include the undercarriage, where salt tends to accumulate the most. Other preventative measures include avoiding driving through deep snow, waxing your vehicle every six months, and using a vehicle cover. Treat your windshield with a water repellant so water will bead up and run off, and salt residues have less of a chance to accumulate.

Remove Salt From Windshield

Salt on a windshield can leave a white or gray film that is not only unsightly, but potentially hazardous. To remove this salt buildup, fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water. Saturate the windshield and allow the solution to dwell, which will soften the residues. Rinse with water and then dry with newspaper. With excessive salt accumulation, you may need to use undiluted white vinegar. If the film persists, use a lime removal product, but do not allow this product to come into contact with paint or plastic.