Dealing with unwanted salt seasoning on your vehicles
Salt may make driving safer in winter by helping melt ice and snow, but it is no friend for the body of vehicles.
The reason is because salt corrodes and can accelerate the rust formation and spread on your vehicle.
Because salt makes highways so much safer it’s unlikely its use will change anytime soon. Instead those who work on vehicles say owners should take steps to prevent the corrosion.
Larry James an employee of Fix Auto’s location in New Glasgow, N.S. said that while most cars come with a chip protection coat when they’re new, but over time that wears away and it’s important to take steps to protect your vehicle.
He said undercoating is the best option for protecting against rust and recommends it be done annually. He believes it’s best to do it in the summer when the weather is dry and the cars are at their cleanest.
Dave Koughan, of Bill Koughan Auto Body in Donagh, P.E.I. agrees, but said as long as it’s done in the fall it should be ok. He said anytime before November is acceptable.
James said they often work on newer vehicles and try to reapply the chip protection when they’re working on vehicles.
“It’s a process,” he said. “The surface has to be prepped and primed.” Then the chip guard is put on followed by paint. That’s something most people aren’t going to do unless their vehicle has been damaged in an accident.
If people pay attention to small spots though, they can save themselves problems down the road. James said it’s when you get a chip in the car or scratch that you usually have rust spots start although rust will build up naturally throughout a car as it ages.
“We can’t seem to get away from it,” he said.
Another practice that the experts both suggest is washing your vehicle on a regular basis in the winter.
“It helps keep the salt off,” James said. He recommends particularly spraying in around the wheel wells.
Koughan said that can feel like a futile effort in long stretches of storms but if you can get a break in the weather, he believes it can help.
Another step that people can do to help protect their vehicles is to lubricate hinges and also to put rubber care products on the weather stripping of doors to keep them from freezing up.
This should ideally be done in the fall before cold temperatures come, but if you’ve procrastinated you could also take it into a garage or somewhere warm to treat it.