Hidden Danger: Road Salt
Posted January 2, 2023
Slick, icy roads in Walled Lake make it challenging to steer and stop on winter roads. As the snow plows remove freshly fallen drifts from the road, they can leave behind the hidden layer of black ice. This is why many of our roads are also treated with road salt.
The salt sprinkled over winter roads helps in two ways. First, the salt lowers the freezing point of water. When mixed with melting snow, the salt can prevent the water from turning into ice. It also helps to speed up the process as ice melts on the roads.
Salt also provides some amount of traction. The coarse crystals give your vehicle’s tires something extra to grab on to as it drives over slick roads.
Road salt is helpful for keeping your vehicle safe driving on icy roads, but it also poses a hidden threat.
The primary reason: road salt is extremely corrosive. Over time this salt can cause damage to your vehicle from repeated exposure and salt collected over the winter months.
Road salt can damage the exterior of your vehicle by eating away at the paint and leaving the body of your vehicle exposed. But it can also cause damage to the critical systems under your car.
The systems most at risk are the ones exposed on the underside of your vehicle. As you drive, tires kick up moisture, mud, snow and salt to collect on the underbody of your vehicle. Any components exposed may begin to corrode.
Most frequently damage occurs to the exhaust, muffler, coil springs, and the car frame itself. These components may rust. Oxidation is accelerated by exposure to road salt, and rust can form more quickly.
With rust, the longer it is left untreated, the more damage it can cause. Rust can lead to holes and leaks. When fluids start leaking from your vehicle they can no longer perform their job – especially dangerous for your vehicles brake fluid and engine oil.
At the first sign of a leak, have your vehicle inspected by our ASE-Certified technicians. We will thoroughly inspect the system and your vehicle to find the cause of the leak, fix it, and replace the fluid to ensure your vehicle can keep you safely on the roads.
This winter include regular car washes in your routine to remove the road salt from your vehicle and prevent damage from corrosion. Any time you notice a change in your vehicle’s performance, call us at (248) 668-1200. Our ASE-certified technicians will help you determine the best course of action to keep your family safe. Schedule a winter inspection and request an appointment online.
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