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RAM truck in Bismarck

How to Protect Your North Dakota Vehicle from Winter Salt Corrosion

Posted at Fri, Jan 10, 2020 2:40 PM

There’s a lot of salt on the road this time of year, especially here in Bismarck. Our local Department of Transportation is constantly busy using road salt to melt snow and ice, which helps prevent winter car accidents.

While this certainly keeps our roads and sidewalks safer, frequent exposure to road salt can cause corrosion and rusting on your vehicle. 

No matter what you drive — whether it’s a brand new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, or RAM vehicle, or an old clunker — you want to keep your vehicle in the best shape you can for as long as possible.

So, be diligent about protecting your vehicle from winter salt corrosion. After all, here in North Dakota, there’s salt on the road for nearly half the year!

How Does Road Salt Cause Corrosion?

It’s science! The chemicals in road salt lower the freezing point of water, which melts the snow and ice on the road. This helps tires get better traction with the pavement.

Road safety is of utmost importance, so while it can be damaging to vehicles, salt is the most abundant and cost-effective choice in keeping us safe in winter driving.

So, road salt is here to stay. And with your vehicle’s repeated exposure to it, it can cause corrosion on the paint. Then, rust begins bubbling underneath, and the metal will become flakey. Eventually, if untreated, the area will break off. Yikes!

Plus, your vehicle’s undercarriage is also at risk. Road salt can build up under there without you noticing, and this could cause pretty serious damage to things like your hydraulic brake system, for example. 

What’s a Midwest Driver To Do?

Thankfully, it’s not difficult to protect your vehicle from road salt. You just have to be diligent about it.

Wash Your Car Regularly

The most important thing you can do is to get regular car washes. It’s wise to wash your car after every big snow or ice storm. And, don’t skimp! Be sure to get an undercarriage wash, too.

It’s best when your car can dry thoroughly after each wash, which is harder to do when it’s so cold. We recommend getting your car washed during the day versus at night, to give it a better chance to completely dry.

Also, after getting a car wash, open and close all of your doors and windows to prevent them from freezing shut. (This is something many people don’t think of!) Lock and unlock your doors multiple times as well, so those mechanisms don’t freeze.

Protect Your Finish

In addition to the road salt problems, winter weather can cause other problems on your vehicle, namely from snow, ice, and the air pollutants they bring.

These pollutants can cover your car and cause damage to the protective finish. In addition to the regular car washes, there are other ways to take good care of your finish:

  • Avoid driving in puddles (even though it can be fun.) Road salt collects in this water.
  • Repair your paint chips as soon as possible, as this will prevent possible rust corrosion. 
  • Apply wax to your car every 6 months. 
  • Use a car cover for snow. 

This is a great time to visit the Eide Pro Shop to snag any protective items you need!

Need Help? Visit the Eide Service Department!

If road salt corrosion has already gotten to your vehicle, our certified technicians can help. We service all makes and models in the Bismarck-Mandan area, and we are dedicated to keeping your vehicle running in its optimal condition. 

Visit the Eide Service Department

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