We often get calls at Berkshire Auto Detail from customers that want to protect their vehicles and want to upgrade the exterior protection to a 1-year ceramic sealant or 3-7 year ceramic coating but "not until the spring," they say. The most important time to get protection on your vehicle is during the winter, not spring.
The presence of salt on a car's surface can significantly accelerate the rusting process, particularly in areas where the metal is exposed to moisture and oxygen. To protect against rust, it is important to keep salt off of your car's surface as much as possible, especially during the winter months when roads are often treated with salt to melt snow and ice. Washing your car regularly and applying a protectant such as ceramic, wax, or polymer, can also help to prevent rust from forming.
As we all know New England experiences rough weather conditions during the winter. Westernmassnews.com states in an article, "A car dealership in Springfield has been noticing a lot of corrosion underneath cars every year, especially during the winter time. Parts that have usually been affected are the control arms by the tires, the exhaust pipe, the whole brake system, and the sub-frame. Houser warned that this issue could bring dangerous consequences outside of failing a safety inspection. It could also put your family and other occupants at risk for something majorly going wrong while driving at high speeds. If you hit a pothole and you have the sub-frame that’s starting to corrode, it can break off. You’re talking major repairs, tow bills, and unexpected expenses. The damage caused by this excessive corrosion could also be a financial burden for drivers and families.
“A sub-frame on a vehicle could go anywhere between $500 and $1,500. An exhaust system, you’re talking the same ballgame. Brake system, you’d be talking between $300-$800. It can definitely pile up quickly. As a result of the corrosion, it's highly recommended drivers get their cars washed during the winter time, either once or week or immediately after a snowstorm. Salt pretty much gets deteriorated when you have water. If it’s on a dry road, then you could have that continuously go up in your wheel wells and the under-components of your vehicle."
There are several factors that can contribute to the formation of rust on the paint of a vehicle. One of the main factors is exposure to water and moisture. If water gets trapped on the surface of the vehicle and is not allowed to evaporate, it can cause the metal to rust. This is especially true if the water contains minerals or other contaminants that can accelerate the rusting process.
Other factors that can contribute to rust formation on a vehicle include:
Damage to the paint: If the paint on a vehicle is scratched or chipped, it can create a pathway for water and oxygen to reach the metal surface, which can lead to rust formation.
Salt: If a vehicle is driven in an area where roads are treated with salt during the winter months, the salt can accumulate on the surface of the vehicle and promote rust formation.
Age: As a vehicle gets older, the paint and other protective coatings may start to break down, which can increase the risk of rust formation.
Preventing rust on a vehicle is important for maintaining its appearance and value. Some strategies for preventing rust include washing the vehicle regularly to remove dirt and grime, waxing the paint to create a barrier against moisture, and applying a rust inhibitor to the metal surfaces. It's also a good idea to repair any scratches or chips in the paint as soon as possible to prevent water and oxygen from reaching the metal surface.
Reasons to maintain vehicle during salty winter conditions
Improved safety: Properly maintaining your vehicle in winter conditions can help ensure that it is in good working order and ready to handle the challenges of winter driving. This can help reduce the risk of accidents or breakdowns while on the road.
Extended vehicle life: Regular maintenance can help extend the life of your vehicle by keeping it in good working order and preventing wear and tear on its various components.
Reduced repair costs: Proper maintenance can help prevent costly repairs that may be necessary if your vehicle is not properly cared for in winter conditions.
Increased resale value: A well-maintained vehicle is more likely to hold its value when it comes time to sell or trade it in.
Improved reliability: Properly maintaining your vehicle can help ensure that it is reliable and ready to go when you need it, whether you're commuting to work or embarking on a long road trip.
Enhanced comfort: Maintaining your vehicle can help ensure that it is comfortable to ride in, especially in the cold winter months when you want to stay warm and cozy while driving.
Enhanced visibility: Maintaining your vehicle's headlights can help improve visibility in adverse weather conditions, which can be critical for safe driving.
Peace of mind: Knowing that your vehicle is well-maintained can give you peace of mind and confidence while driving, which can be especially important in the challenging conditions of winter