The roads are covered in salt and brine ahead of more snow expected late Monday into Tuesday. It is also coating many cars across the Midstate.
When you are driving on wet roads that have been treated with salt and brine, it sprays nearly the entire undercarriage of your car or truck. If that mixture is not cleaned off, it can cause some serious damage.
At the White Bridge Auto Wash, folks are getting the gunk cleaned off their rides.
“I've seen videos of what can happen, and I just got this car last month,” Nashville resident Austin Frisch said.
“The brine (TDOT is) using today is more effective melting the snow, but it's actually harsher on the cars. It's magnesium chloride,” said Paul Budslick, owner of White Bridge Auto Wash. “Also, the salt itself is abrasive. It rubs against your car and it's most likely going to cause scratches on your car.”
At Midas, automotive technician Justin Boldus showed just what happens under a car when the salt and brine does not get cleaned off.
“You’ll get a lot of buildup underneath the wheel wells,” Boldus said. “A lot of times, the brake lines are the first things to go. Some of them are rubber coated, but if they're not rubber coated and that rust starts eating on them, it'll start cracking and leaking brake fluid."
Boldus pointed out areas on a car's suspension that can take a hit.
“Under the car, it stays wet so long and that salt gets packed in there,” he said. “That takes a very long time to dry out.”
As for paint, salt has to go through the coating, through the e-coating, through the primer, and into the bare metal before it can have an effect.
Just to be safe, car care experts say the best thing to do is just go get your car washed. If nothing else, at least the undercarriage.
“The rust really starts on the inside and works its way out. A lot of it you can't see until it's too late,” Boldus said.
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