How to Prevent Damage from Road Salt

If you weathered the winter in Pittsburgh, you know the kind of toll it can take on your vehicle. Road salt helps keep the roads clear, but it can wreak havoc on your vehicle by destroying the finish, increasing rust, and affecting how it performs on the road.

What Areas of the Car Are Most Vulnerable in the Winter?

During the winter, your doors, hood, fenders, and tailgate tend to be the most vulnerable to rust and other damage caused by road salt. These are the areas you should pay special attention to throughout the winter to ensure small issues are resolved before they can become bigger, more expensive problems.

Car windshield RepairTips for Preventing Damage from Road Salt

At Three Rivers Auto Glass, we’ve put together some of our top winter car care tips to help you keep your car looking great throughout the harsh season:

Avoid Automatic Car Washes

Typically, the water in automatic or drive-thru car washes is repurposed, meaning it could contain traces of road salt. To ensure that your vehicle is not being washed with salty water that can cause damage, we recommend that you use the DIY car wash. Be sure to use the high-pressure hose to clean beneath the wheel wells, behind the fenders, and undercarriage.

It is also important to wash your car during the day so it has time to dry properly. If you wait until the evening when the temperatures fall, the water can freeze on your vehicle’s finish causing a cracked windshield. Before you wash your car, make sure the outside temperature is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Clean Your Car Tires

To prepare for winter, you will want to clean your tires to make sure they are clean and free of salt. Make sure you periodically check your tires throughout the winter to keep them free of debris that can be kicked up into your vehicle’s body.

Avoid Driving in Deep Snow

For your own safety and to preserve your vehicle, it is strongly recommended that you avoid driving in deep snow. This action could leave you stuck and stranded. Additionally, it can cause slat to be packed into your car’s undercarriage. This can make it hard to remove, leading to corrosion and vehicle performance issues.

Stay Out of Puddles

Large puddles of water are full of road salt in the winter, along with dirt and debris. It’s best to avoid driving through large puddles when you can safely prevent yourself from doing so.

Avoid Fresh Road Salt

If you drive right before or right after a snowstorm, you are likely to run into fresh road salt that can damage your vehicle in several ways. Try to avoid driving right before or after a snowstorm to prevent damage to your vehicle.

Wax Your Vehicle

To add a layer of protection, you can wax your vehicle’s exterior. With a sufficient coat of wax, you can create a protective layer on your vehicle’s paint that will help protect it from road salt. You may also consider having your undercarriage sealed to prevent rust.

Add Paint Protection

At Three Rivers Auto Glass, our paint protection services provide an extra layer of protection for your car’s paint while also offering a new-car gleam. Our paint protection seals the paint, protecting it with a plastic seal. This prevents harsh chemicals or corrosive road salt from damaging the finish. Paint protection also protects against scratches.

To learn more about our paint protection services, contact us today!


Denny Toth