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How to Protect Your Car from Road Salt

So, what’s a driver to do? Fortunately, there are some tried-and-true ways to help protect your car from road salt damage.

  1. Take measures in the fall. Give your car a good wash and wax. For the best protection, apply a wax sealant over your wax. Modern ceramic coatings work best but, are also the most expensive.
  2. Have any scrapes, chips or rust spots repaired before the first snow falls.
  3. Keep your distance when driving behind trucks spreading salt or brine.
  4. Get regular car washes. Spray your car down at least once a week if you live in a snowy area. Invest in a wash that cleans the undercarriage of the car at least every few weeks or after a heavy bout of snow and/or ice hits your area. Consider a fluid film coating prior to winter for extra protection. Read more in this post about why winter car washes are worth the investment.
  5. Give an older car some extra TLC. Cars are especially susceptible to corrosion after being exposed to road salt for eight years or more, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Get more car care secrets in this post about how to keep a high-mileage car running.
  6. When spring arrives, consider a thorough exterior detailing job. Read more in this post about how to help your car recover from winter.

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How to protect your car from salt damage

While different salt formulations may cause damage faster than others, these general tips from are your best bet regardless of the type that’s used in your area:

  1. Wax your vehicle every year, right before winter weather begins.
  2. Get the salt off your car ASAP after driving through it. (Even if you’re someone who prefers to wash your car yourself, this is a good excuse for a trip to the car wash.)
  3. Don’t skip the undercarriage. Whether washing your car yourself or picking a car wash, make sure there’s a way to spray off the bottom/underneath part of the car.
  4. Consider pre-treating the undercarriage. This is something some auto body shops offer.
  5. Do a pre-winter check of the vehicle. Either slide under the car yourself (if you know what you’re doing) or have a professional do it. The aim is to spot any potential weak or rusting parts and take care of them before the winter road salt does.
  6. Stay away from puddles and plow trucks. This is good winter driving advice in general (you never know how deep that puddle is going to be), but also helpful in terms of salt. Puddles tend to have a lot of salt in them, and while it may seem safer, driving directly behind (or close to) a plow/salt truck positions your vehicle for maximum salt exposure
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**All Auto's are Photographed for Before and After peice of mind of customer and MHAD. Photos may be used for Advertisement on Web Page.