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Winter Driving Tip: How To Protect Your Car From Road Salt

Despite the harsh winters here, we are fortunate to live in such an amazing part of the County!  However, there are a few things to keep in mind as we trudge through another winter and at the top of the list is our vehicles.  Just like we have to take care our house and landscape differently than somebody in the South, how we care for our car is also different. Experience has shown that colder temps can wreck havoc on a car for various reasons, but one culprit is still more damaging to the longevity of our cars & SUV’s than anything else……..Salt! Road Salt to be exact, the same miracle substance that allows us to get safely home after a snow storm is also the most damaging element to wash over our cars.

BMW M3 Winter Driving

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Salt is essential to human life. It provides vital nutrition for our bodies, gives fuel to rain clouds, and makes the flavors on our plates come alive. But just like our own bodies, too much of it is a bad thing! The same can be said for salt on the roads. Who knows how many lives those tiny crystals have saved over the generations or how man cars have rusted to the frame and towed to the junk heap from years of winter driving.

As cars and SUV’s get more and more advanced, refined, and easier to own, one thing has become evident. Today’s vehicles are not built to the same tank-like standards of years past. No place is this more evident than the frame and body work of a new car. Plastic bumpers, aluminium frames, cheap steel body panels, and low quality wiring all lead to vehicles that do not last as long as a car built even 10 years ago. These less durable parts are even more susceptible to the rigors of salted roads. In the end, I think we have to accept that this is the price we pay for safe winter travel.

Clean Salt On My Mercedes
Mercedes Driving Tips In The Winter

Mercedes Driving Tips In The Winter

That being said, let’s take a look at how we can lessen the damage caused by salt on our cars. Here are five tips to follow  to lower your vehicles sodium intake this winter:

5 Tips For Winter Driving

1. Make salt removal a priority this winter.

Even if we give you the best tips ever, they’re not going to work if you aren’t motivated to use them. And let’s be real: Winter salt care sounds easy now, but it’s a different story when it’s 10 degrees and windy in mid-January.

Choose to power through the lack of motivation that winter often brings. If you do, you’ll enjoy the payoff of having a beautiful-looking and beautiful-running car during any season, for many years.

2. Wash your car often.

The frequency of winter car washes varies depending on who you ask, but just about everyone agrees that regular washings is the single best thing you can do in the winter to get rid of harmful salt.

As ugly as a coat of salt looks on your car’s exterior, it does even more damage in the places we can’t easily see. Car washes help. Some have them weekly, some have them monthly. We prefer the middle ground; somewhere between two and three car washes a month.

3. Be conscious of what’s going on with your tires.

Make sure they’re clean before winter sets in and that they stay that way as the season progresses. If they’re dirty, they kick up all kinds of nastiness into those aforementioned hard-to-see places.

Speaking of nastiness, avoid puddles however you can. That’s where a whole bunch of road salt likes to hang out after the de-icing work has been done. Running through a puddle sounds harmless, but doing so instantly gives the underside of your car a salt bath.

4. Embrace the DIY tasks.

On top of keeping your tires clean, there are plenty more things you can do to make sure salt doesn’t ruin your car.

Wax often: It’s like body armor for cars.

Use an undercarriage cleaner: Start spraying those nooks and crannies.

Use all-weather floor mats: They save the carpeting inside the car.

If you need assistance with your BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, or Audi this winter, the folks at Autobahn Automotive Service are here to help!