Even though it’s mid-March, we’re still somehow getting snowstorms throughout Virginia. As much as we’d like to ignore this harsh weather and pine for spring, it’s crucial to still take care of your vehicle.
One of the reasons snowstorms can be so bad for your car is because of all the salt that gets dumped on the roads to clear them.
According to the DMV, “a salt and sand mixture is frequently spread over roads before or after a snow or ice storm. Salt lowers water’s freezing point, causing any ice already formed to melt even though the air temperature remains well below freezing.”
This mixture most negatively affects the body and undercarriage of a car unless it’s properly prepped and cleaned. Because the undercarriage is exposed, it’s most vulnerable to being damaged, including parts like the brake system, coil springs, muffler, and exhaust system.
The chemicals that cause film and eventually rust are usually sodium chloride, calcium chloride, potassium acetate, magnesium chloride, and calcium magnesium acetate, according to JBS Industries.
Prevention methods to avoid rust can be beneficial, but once that storm hits, there’s no dodging salt buildup, so take your vehicle to a car wash as soon as possible. Make sure they can clean the undercarriage or use a hand spray yourself.
Getting the rust off your car will not only keep your vehicle looking fresh, it will also increase its lifespan. Selling a car with rust can be difficult because it lowers its value.
Also, it’s important to remember that rust damage to critical parts like the brake systems can put you and others at risk. Cleaning your car after a storm isn’t just about projecting your car — it’s about protecting yourself.
If you see a brake warning light when you turn on your car, don’t drive it and immediately have a professional look at it.
In general, it’s a good principle to always winterize your vehicle before snow comes, but if your area suddenly gets slammed by an unexpected snowstorm, visit any of our locations in the Greater Richmond Area to prevent rust from affecting your car.