Close up of the tires of a car driving on a snowy road

Does Salt from the Road Damage the Paint on my Car?

How to Protect Your Vehicle’s Paint in Winter

When it gets icy outside during the winter, everyone who lives in areas like Wisconsin know that roads need to get salted. The salt helps melt ice and give drivers more traction. However, as you drive on salted roads, your tires will kick up the salt onto your vehicle. That raises the question of whether salt from the road will damage the paint on your car. Here’s some tips on how to protect your vehicle in winter.

[ READ MORE: What to Do for Driving in the Extreme Cold ]

Why is Salt Bad for Cars?

It’s important to know that salt is corrosive. What does this mean? This means that as salt sits on your vehicle, it will eat away the paint over time. Eventually, the damage will lead to rust forming on the bottom half of your vehicle. Not only does rust leave an ugly appearance on your vehicle, it can be dangerous. Important components like your brakes and transmission is in the undercarriage of the vehicle. If salt gets to those areas and causes rusting, you’ll be looking at expensive repairs.

How to Protect your Car in WinterRear angle of a salt truck putting salt on a highway

The best way to protect your vehicle from salt damage is to give it a car wash after every major snowstorm. If there aren’t any recent snowstorms, you should still give your vehicle a car wash every month. Make sure you get a wash that also cleans the undercarriage to prevent rusting on your mechanical components. We highly recommend you get this wash when the temperature is at least 40 degrees during the day, so the water has a chance to dry before the temperature drops.

In addition, it’s a good idea to give your car a wax before winter arrives. The wax will provide an extra layer of protection and give you more time to get to a car wash.

[ READ MORE: How to Drive Safely in Winter ]

Vehicles are huge investments and should be taken care of regularly. For more tips on how to protect and maintain your car, check out the Broadway Credit blog.