Have you started to notice white stains inside or outside of your car? As you may already know, road salt causes build up inside and outside of your car, resulting in white stains. While they are unsightly, for many people it’s just a part of winter.
However, what some may not realize is that road salt can damage and rust your car if not removed or prevented from building up. Luckily, there are ways to prevent your car road salt damage.
How does Road Salt Damage Your Car?
Without getting into the scientific details, road salt accelerates the rusting process of metal. It is commonly known that water causes metal to rust, but what people may not know is that salt makes matters worse. And during winter, you can usually expect there to be a decent amount of snow, which melts into water, and salt on the roadways.
Now, this does not mean that your entire car is susceptible to rusting from salt and snow. Certainly the roof, hood, and most of the exterior of the car is spared from rusting. The worst you can expect on the exterior are some white stains that can be removed with a wash. The same goes for your car’s interior, especially the floor mats.
Where To Check Your Car For Rust
On the other hand, your car does have vulnerable areas, where you may not think to look. Your car’s undercarriage often accumulates salt and water from winter storms, causing it to rust. When driving on snowy roads, or freshly salted roads, your car’s tires kick up that snow and salt combo into the undercarriage.
Unfortunately, the undercarriage is not the only area that can rust. Suppose you have a crack or chip in the paint of your car. Well, that exposed metal can rust, which spreads the rusting around the exposed area. If you notice a chip or crack in your car’s paint, fix it before the rusting process starts.
Preventative Road Salt Damage
The first line of defense again salt stains on the exterior of your car is wax. When you apply wax to your car, you give it a layer of protection against road salt. In winter months, it may be difficult to do this on your own, unless you have a garage.
When it comes to preventing salt from rusting your car, your best defense is a regular wash. Since most of the salt and snow slush accumulates under the car, it may not be easy or even possible for you to clean it.
Unless you own a car lift, you will likely need to get this done professionally. How often you want this type of cleaning is up to you, but you should consider your area’s weather. If your area tends to get a lot of snow, plus the salting that follows, then you should clean the undercarriage more often.