As temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, we are all tensing up for those tough winter conditions. You are likely dreading cold mornings of digging out your vehicle, scraping off your windshield, and cleaning snow from windshield wipers. Not to mention icy roads, low visibility and slowed traffic. And icy roads mean road salt, which has the potential to do serious damage to your vehicle, on top of all the other winter woes!
How Salt Harms Your Vehicle
We all know that sand and salt (or combinations of the two) are crucial to highway safety in the colder months. No one likes driving on an icy road, and salting allows for better traction as well as easier plowing. But no one likes a rusty car or extra trips to the mechanics, either.
As salt is spread on icy roads, it melts through the ice and mixes in with the standing water and snow. As you drive innocently along, this mixture inadvertently is being sprayed on the undercarriage of your vehicle. And we have all been victim to the big slushy spray from the car ahead of us, coating the windshield, windshield wipers, and entire vehicle with a pale filmy substance. Between the salt coming from below us and the salt coming from ahead of us, the entire vehicle can be covered before you know it.
As it sits, this road salt can cause serious harm to your vehicle. It can ruin the paint job, cause corrosion and rust on the body, and even damage mechanical systems. Your exhaust, muffler, coil springs and brakes are all at risk as a little rusting or corrosion can make them stop working properly. And because the worst damage is on the undercarriage, you may not even notice until it’s too late!
Pro-Active Road Salt Maintenance
The best way to protect your vehicle from salt damage is to take a pro-active approach. Start by applying a wax and a wax sealant to protect the paint. Have the underbody and exposed parts (like brake lines and tire wells) professionally sealed. This pre-treatment oil solution can go a long way in keeping everything running as it should and fighting off rust and corrosion.
Continued attention throughout the winter is also necessary. Because warm temperatures activate the negative effects of the salt, try to hit the car wash before those warmer days. It’s best to get in the habit of getting your vehicle washed every week to get rid of salt deposit build up. Choose the under-spray and wax options each time to hit those really vulnerable areas and keep up on paint protection. Do a thorough vacuuming at the same time to get all of the salt and grime out of the interior carpeting.
And don’t be fooled into putting off a good washing because you can’t see any residue – remember that the worst of it is in places you can’t see and damage can take months to present itself.
Don’t Forget the Windshield & Windshield Wipers!
Just as salt can be harmful to the body and mechanics of your vehicle, it can be bad for your windshield and windshield wipers. As the salt collects on your windshield wipers, it can eat away at the rubber and speed up deterioration. Little chunks can also get lodged underneath the wiper blades, and could cause a chip or scratch in the windshield. A little wiper TLC can go a long way.
When you stop to fuel up, take a second to wipe off each windshield wiper with a paper towel and windshield cleaning detergent and clean the entire windshield. This gets rid of all the road grime that can build up, and will increase wiping performance as well as the lifespan of your wiper blades.
Fight Winter Woes with Heated Windshield Wipers!
Everblades can help you battle some of those winter woes of driving. Heated windshield wipers prevent ice and snow buildup while you are driving, putting an end to having to pull over to bang the wipers on the windshield or sticking your hand out the window to play wiper tag. And Everblades are made with quality materials that combat the elements, like salt, that lead to quick deterioration. Meaning you get a longer-lasting windshield wiper that you can rely on, no matter the weather!