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Says, 'Avoid costly, dangerous rust damage by washing your vehicle'
By AAA of Western and Central New York
Salt, snow, and ice can wreak havoc on your car. In fact, a buildup of salt on your vehicle can lead to rusting or corrosion. This is especially true if there are scratches or dents where the paint has come off. Regularly scheduled car washing can help. With warmer temperatures in the forecast, AAA is reminding area motorists to visit the car wash, which is of utmost importance every winter.
By spring, millions of Americans will face pricey vehicle repairs for rust damage caused by chemicals used to de-ice roads. Salt and other solutions are necessary to keep roadways safe in the winter, but drivers must make vehicle maintenance a priority to avoid damage and costly repairs. AAA warns drivers in this area, affected by snow and ice, to take action to prevent dangerous rust-related vehicle damage to brake lines, fuel tanks, exhaust systems and other critical vehicle components.
While some rust damage is unavoidable, AAA recommends drivers take the following preventative steps in order to reduce the possibility of vehicle damage:
√ Frequently wash your vehicle, paying particular attention to the undercarriage. This will loosen, dissolve and neutralize road salts. Many drive-through car washes offer an undercarriage rinse as an option.
√ Always use a high-quality car wash solution, not a household dish detergent that will strip the wax from your vehicle.
√ Repair any body damage, and touch up paint scratches and chips that expose bare metal, which could lead to rust.
√ Thoroughly wash and clean your vehicle prior to the start of winter, and apply a coat of wax to protect the finish.
√ Give the entire vehicle and undercarriage one last cleaning in the spring. Any deposits left over from winter can continue to cause corrosion year-round if not properly removed.
You should wash your car at least once a month throughout the year, but you may need to do so more often in the winter. It’s a good idea to wash your car after any big snowstorm, or when you believe your vehicle was exposed to salt, sand or other chemicals used to clean the road.
Don’t forget about the interior – make sure to wipe down and vacuum floor mats and seats regularly. Melting snow, road salt or chemicals can soak into the carpet. Help your car retain its value and prevent rust underneath the carpet by adding a set of rubber mats, which can better handle moisture.
When rust damage occurs, it is imperative to choose a reputable repair facility. The AAA Approved Auto Repair (AAR) network includes 7,000 facilities, which have met AAA’s high standards, including certifications, technical training, cleanliness, and customer satisfaction. To locate an AAR shop, visit AAA.com/AutoRepair.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 862,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.