What Does Road Salt Do To Vehicles - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

What Does Road Salt Do To Vehicles

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DELMARVA - For people out there tired of seeing all the snow and ice we've had this winter...today's weather was probably a pretty nice break, but what does the road salt used to treat the roads do to your car?

Take a look at nearly every car and street across Delmarva and its covered in that white stuff.  No, not snow...road salt!

We asked Alison Tingle to give us one word to describe how the salt makes her car look "I mean obviously dirty."

What about Paige Davis? "It makes it look horrible."

Neither had cleaned the salt off their car, and they're not alone.  Many people argued we're in the middle of winter, so there's always the chance of more snow and inevitably, more salt.  

Mechanics at Lucky's Garage in Delmar say taking the time to clean your car now, might be help you save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run.

They've had their hands full this winter, replacing exhaust pipes eaten through with the help of the same stuff keeping the streets from getting slick.

"The road salt their applying and then the liquid solution they're applying is more corrosive than they anticipate," says Mack Malone, a mechanic at Lucky's.

Cheryl West's husband is restores cars, so she knows all too well how the road salt can impact cars.  "You leave it on em and it, for over a period of time," West says, "and the salt stays on em, it will eventually eat, cause rust and stuff."  West was one of the dozens out at a car wash in Millsboro Saturday afternoon.

While the folks at Lucky's say a quick wash and wax will help get the salt off the outside of the car, which can help protect against a ruined paint job, but it won't save the most vulnerable part of your car from the corrosive effects of the salt, the undercarriage.

"If they don't treat it with a road salt neutralizer...instead of it lasting 7 years, we're looking, you're not going to see it next year, but possibly one and a half to two years you're not going to see it next year, but possibly one and a half to two years.  You're going to see some failure whether its brake lines or exhaust systems, frame."

So, how much can some of that damage cost?  Mechanics at Lucky's say replacing an exhaust system at the low end could cost about $300, and $6,400.

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