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Protect Your Car From Road Salt
by: Marilyn Pokorney
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 driving conditions.
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 apply.
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 efficiently.
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 temperatures begin.
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 freezing.
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.
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Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment.
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.