How to keep salt off your car in winter


Winter driving in the Midwest is synonymous with road salt. It’s just a necessity of life in sub-freezing temperatures to make driving on slippery roads as safe as possible.

Salt has its downside, however. It splashes up on the undercarriage of your vehicle and eats away at the metal. Specifically, it can cause rust to the following parts of your car:

  • Exhaust system.
  • Muffler.
  • Coil springs.
  • Subframe.
  • Hydraulic brake system.

So, what can you do? Here are some tips from

  • Wax your car before winter.
  • Avoid puddles, which can contain lots of salt, and don’t drive behind a plow, which could be spreading salt.
  • Pretreat your vehicle's undercarriage. A trusted mechanic can spray a special coating to help prevent salt and water from the road sticking to your vehicle.
  • Wash your vehicle after a snow storm as soon as possible, and add the undercarriage wash.
  • Get a pre-winter inspection: A quick trip to your mechanic for a once-over. He can point out any areas that may need attention.

Be vigilant throughout the winter season to look for signs of salt-induced rust. If you see a red “brake warning" light on your dash, stop immediately for safety’s sake and have your car towed to your mechanic and have your brake system inspected.

Douglas Automotive : 123 E. Virginia, Crystal Lake, IL 815.356.0440 : 417 W. Main Street, Barrington, IL : 847. 381.0454 : 416 Northwest Highway, Fox River Grove, IL : 847.639.4552 :

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