Avoid Being Salty Over Road Salt Corrosion
February 21, 2019
By Sanel NAPA
When ice and snow begin to blanket New England streets, so too do salt and sand. While this saline combo works wonders at making road conditions safer, driving on salt and sand covered roads has an underlying effect on your vehicle’s undercarriage. However, if you follow these winter maintenance recommendations, you’ll be able to protect your vehicle from salt corrosion and prolong the life of your vehicle.
The Science Behind Salt and Sand
During winter months, the U.S. uses over 20 million tons of salt to treat roadways across the country. Tried and true, all of us understand that salt and sand help improve driving conditions, but not everyone understands how. It all boils down to simple chemistry. The sodium and chloride in the salt break apart water molecules, lowering its freezing point and melting treacherous ice. While the sodium dissolves after coming in contact with water, chloride remains and is highly corrosive to the metal that makes up 90% of your vehicle.
Risk of Corrosion
As highlighted above, road salt can seriously affect the performance of your vehicle by corroding exposed metal on tires and the undercarriage. In addition to salt-induced corrosion, rust is another contributing factor to deterioration. At risk parts include the muffler, exhaust system, brake systems, and more. It’s no secret that weakened pieces increase the potential of part failure and are extremely dangerous if not addressed.
Car Care: Minimize Corrosion
Aside from scheduling routine maintenance and inspections, there are several small things you can do that make a big impact on protecting your vehicle from corrosion.
- Wax your vehicle to protect the exterior paint and frame.
- Avoid driving behind plow trucks as your vehicle will come in contact with the highest concentration of salt and sand.
- Wash your vehicle after snow storms to wash any salt. Use a car wash that sprays under your vehicle to protect the undercarriage.
- Treat your vehicle’s undercarriage with an oil solution spray to prevent salt and other residues from sticking to any parts.
For more information on all things automotive, contact or visit the knowledgeable professionals at a Sanel NAPA location near you.
About Sanel NAPA
Since 1920, Sanel NAPA has been a leading auto parts, heavy-duty truck parts, and body shop supplies distributor with over 42 store locations throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. We deliver quality car parts, heavy-duty truck parts, automotive paint and body supplies, and tools and equipment that are durable, dependable, and long-lasting in order to provide our clientele with the best products and services possible. For more information, call (603) 225-4000 or click to find a store near you.