After the Storm: Salt May Be Eating Away at Your Car
All of that salt and brine dumped on New Jersey's roadways to prevent you from slipping and sliding can also kickstart a slow death for your vehicle.
Clearing your car of snow and ice is just half the battle in recovering your vehicle from last Thursday's storm, unless you're not interested in hanging on to your car for much longer.
Underneath, salt and liquid de-icers are making themselves at home on critical vehicle components, and inside cracks and crevices, ready to eat away at anything vulnerable to corrosion.
"The salt seems to corrode things a lot faster," said Jordan Urbinato, a technician with DeFelice Auto & Truck Sales & Service in Point Pleasant. "Cars in the northeast get rotted out and they're not on the road as long."
Without proper care, your vehicle's brake lines, fuel line and exhaust system are among the eventual casualties, Urbinato said. In fact, the life span of your vehicle could be reduced by up to 40 percent.
Approximately 22 million drivers throughout the country, over the course of five years, paid an estimated $15.4 billion for rust repairs related to de-icing methods, according to a AAA survey released last winter.
Urbinato said brake-line repair could cost a vehicle owner up to $700. And it's not an issue you can ignore.
The good news is, the impact of salt and brine on your vehicle is not instantaneous; the hidden problem takes a while to develop. So a thorough wash of your vehicle's undercarriage, as soon as possible, can limit the potential damage.
The days following a winter storm are typically the busiest for PJ's Car Wash Park in Spring Lake Heights. An undercarriage rinse is included in their "Gold Full Service Wash" and can be added to the cheaper packages for a fee.
"We do recommend that people get the undercarriage washed so it does not rust under there," said manager Amy Ramsthaler.