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Every winter drivers should take active steps to protect
their car from road salt.
Road salt is necessary for safe transportation when snow and
ice accumulate on roads and highways and cause dangerous
Salt was first used in the 1930's in snow and ice control to
make roads safe and passable by creating a lower freezing
temperature of the water. It is the most available and
cost-effective de-icer. It is easy to store, handle, and
Some 15 million tons of de-icing salt is used each year in
the U.S. and about 4-5 million in Canada.
Salt keeps snow and ice from bonding to the pavement and to
allow snowplows to remove accumulations quickly and
Studies show that salt use reduces accidents by 88%.
Washing your car during wintertime is one of the best things
you can do to maintain the value of your car. Mud, salt,
rain, sleet, and snow can damage your car's clear finish.
Mud and salt caked on the undercarriage promote rust,
especially in older vehicles, and can also affect how well
your car drives.
To prevent winter damage, it is recommended that you wash
your vehicle every 10 days. Wash your vehicle whenever the
temperature is 40 degrees F. and above. Do it during the
day so that it dries completely before freezing evening
Immediately after washing the vehicle, open and close all
doors, the trunk, and other parts of the car with locks
several times before parking it to prevent locks from
Always wash your car right after a snow or rain shower.
Rain and snow collect pollutants in the air and drop them as
acid rain which can damage the cars protective finish. Snow
and sleet also include the corrosive road salt.
Wash the underside of your car often during the winter
months in car washes that do not use recycled water.
Avoid driving through large puddles of standing water which
is saturated with road salt.
Any paint chips that are larger than the tip of a pen should
be taken care of immediately.
Wax your car at least every six months. Put a good heavy
coat of wax on your car before the winter storms hit. This
heavy coat will protect your paint from the corrosive salt
and cold temperatures.
More frequent waxes are needed if your car is red, black or
white because these colors are more susceptible to acid rain
and UV rays.
When spring time rolls around, treat your car to a good wax
job again. Be sure to remove all road grime and salt off of
the car before you begin waxing.
For more information:
About the author:
Author: Marilyn Pokorney
Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.
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