Icy road salt mixture can damage cars

Icy road salt mixture can damage cars

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Several days after the snow and ice, there is still evidence of the salt mixture on streets and unwashed cars Wednesday.

This past weekend, Jefferson City Public Works crews put down about 400 to 500 tons of salt on the roads.

"Whenever we have ice, it does increase our salt usage, so it was a little higher than usual,” Operations Division Director Britt Smith said.

Apart from being a bit of an eyesore in the winter, experts say leaving the salt mixture on your car can  become a safety hazard. 

"The salt and the brine will lay between break lines and other metal components on your car and the frame and that's where you'll really have problems," Greg Rollins, Owner of Rollins Automotive said. "You'll lose your breaks--all those metal components rusting is what creates your issue."

Rusting usually begins on the underside of your vehicle where you may not notice, according to Rollins.

Even though it usually takes a long time for rust to form, brine mixture left on a vehicle can speed up the rusting process.

"Once it does that and starts to affect the metal, rust the metal, then it really takes effect fast," Rollins said.

The best way to prevent damage is to wash your car often and leave it outside.

"While warm is great on a body, it's great on a motor, it's great on transmission, it actually accelerates the rusting process," Rollins said. "The humidity in your home will increase the rusting on your vehicle."

Jefferson City Public Works typically uses about 3,500 tons of salt each winter, according to Smith.

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