Road pre-treatment for snow and ice could be damaging your car


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – While brine and other mixes help protect us on the roads during winter weather, there is concern for the effects the mixture has on your car and even the bridges you drive on.

City and state officials said crews have put down pre-treatment of salt and saline in recent weeks ahead of winter weather.

While the brine helps in some ways, it could be harming our cars, too.

“We use a lot of salt brine,” said Tom Hein, Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). “Salt brine is saline and water. So yeah, that’s corrosive to cars. It’s corrosive to our bridges.”

Body shop experts said they’ve seen damage to cars that are only a few years old.

“In my 30 years in this business, I’ve seen a lot of corrosion, a lot of rust, especially on the rocker panels and rear body panels,” said James Wilson, owner of ICS Collision Center. “A lot of common signs of corrosion will be back behind the step boards.”

While the more luxury-type vehicles are likely protected, a majority of cars on the road are not.

“Many of the domestic manufacturers do not put wax or corrosion protection inside those panels,” said Wilson. “Once moisture and those materials get on the inside, it just works its way from the inside out.”

Officials said despite knowing the possible damage it could cause, they will continue using the pre-treatment on roads.

“That’s what beats the ice,” said Hein. “That’s what we have to use to get the roads in as good of a condition as we can get them in.”

One easy way to protect your car is to wash it after winter weather, including both snow and ice.

Local electric car washes do clean underneath your vehicle, which is where a majority of that damage can happen.

Some body shops will put the permanent wax on your vehicle to protect it from damage, too.


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