This article is from CAA Magazine Dec. 2019 Issue, page 66
Here’s how to keep salt and de-icing solutions from ravaging your car
Everyone knows that salt can cause your car to rust. But did you know that many municipalities in Ontario are supplementing the trusty mineral with de-icing solutions that can cause corrosion? These new liquids — while great for melting ice and snow — are thrown up by your tires and stick to your car’s underside, often penetrating deep into cracks and crevices. The chemicals are hygroscopic, which means they can pull moisture out of the air – a surefire recipe for lots of rust. But, thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your undercarriage from looking like the bow of the Titanic.
Above all wash you car regularly, making sure to clean the undercarriage. Salt and de-icing solutions can corrode your car year-round, so make sure to keep the cleaning regimen up through at least the early spring. If you’re not doing it yourself, choose a car wash that uses low-pH solutions. These can help break up and neutralize salt and de-icing liquids. Be careful with power washers.. They’re a popular home remedy for removing caked-on salt, but be warned: they’re not an ideal solution. Sometimes, even powerful pressure washers will leave behind corrosive deposits and, in the worst case, they can drive the offending chemicals deeper into the bowels of your car. Consider rust-proofing your car. A professional job – one that includes asphalt undercoating and an oil or wax cavity spray — can be helpful, especially if your car is new. One thing you should definitely do is repair all chips and scratches in your paint. This will prevent rust from taking hold, You should also regularly wax your car; that will give your vehicle an extra layer of protection. Finally, don’t forget to have your undercarriage routinely checked. Rust can compromise vital components, like fuel and brake lines, which can, in a worst-case scenario result in a fire or a crash.
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