Winter roads can be treacherous in an instant. Snow, ice, and poor visibility, can cause drivers to lose control. Many states use a combination of salt and sand as an effective means of keeping roads free of ice and slush. The salt does the work of keeping freezing temperatures down on the road, while the sand helps keep the salt in place and adds a little traction.

Salt is corrosive, this means that it can eat through your paint over time. If left unattended, salt could lead to paint damage and rust on your undercarriage over time. Yes, salt is bad for your vehicle.

Prevention is better than reaction. You should give your car a good waxing in advance of the winter season before it gets too cold to even think about being outside, you want to give your car a solid waxing. Just like waxing your car protects it from UV rays in the summer, it prevents corrosion from road treatments in the winter.

Even with a good coat of wax, you’ll still want to wash your car regularly. Many people do not wash their cars during the colder months due to frigid temperatures.  If it is too cold where you live to get out and wash your car, it’s a good idea to at least take your vehicle through a professional car wash every week or so. Depending on the driving conditions where you are, however, once every two weeks may not be often enough. Be sure to stay away from drive through car washes with brushes since they scratch your paint. We recommend you use self service car washes, touchless car washes, or have a professional take care of the vehicle for you.

Don’t forget the Undercarriage—the underneath your car is where most of the brine and slush splashes up into crevices and gets stuck. To take care of this, you may want to visit a car wash that’s specifically offers undercarriage wash. If you prefer to wash your car’s undercarriage at home instead of at a car wash, you can use a pressure washer and a good de-greasing agent to easily reach areas that you can’t by hand.

Don’t Forget Your Carpet —While it is true that the inside of your car is not going to experience corrosion as a result of salt or ash treatments on the road, these substances can also be very problematic for your carpets. The best line of defense for your carpets is the purchase of all-weather floor mats that have deeply sculpted channels designed to trap water, road salt, mud and sand. These can be easily installed and hold any drippings from your shoes until you can remove them and dump them out. They are a great way to protect your vehicles interior from the road salt

If you do these simple steps, your car will be in much better condition overtime and you can combat the corrosion of salt that devalues your car is left unattended.