Writer / Dave Barnett, My Baby Detailing

Spring is here, but the lingering effects of winter driving can still be detrimental to your car. While road salt helps melt ice from roadways, it is extremely corrosive to the metal components of automobiles, and unless properly neutralized, it is damaging your car right now as you read this.

Indiana is known to be the buckle of the Rust Belt for this very reason. Road salt attacks your car as salt water is slung over and under your car, reaching its way into unseen nooks and crannies. It can also work its way down to floorboards from the inside as salt-filled slush falls off shoes, soaks through carpeting, and finds its way to the steel underneath, where it can rust away the metal all year long. By the time rust becomes evident, major structural damage has likely already occurred. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize these harmful effects.

First, the outside of your vehicle should be thoroughly decontaminated with a solution that neutralizes the corrosive properties of salt. A simple soap-and-water rinse is insufficient to remove salt from all of the fine recesses where molecules collect. Chemicals designed to neutralize salt are necessary. These products can be sprayed on and under vehicles with special dispensers to reach the most difficult areas. These chemicals prevent salt residue from damaging metal surfaces.

Next, an extraction should be performed on the carpeted floors of your vehicle. A proper extraction service injects a heated cleaning solution into the carpeting and immediately vacuums the surface thoroughly to remove contaminants embedded in the fibers. These procedures can significantly increase the useful life of your car or truck, and have the additional benefit of making your vehicle look much better as well.

Old Man Winter doesn’t have to have the last laugh. With proper car care, you can enjoy living in Indiana while choosing to move away from the Rust Belt.

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