New road salt could be causing more damage to your car

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - More than 50,000 tons of salt have been thrown down on local roads since October and it could cause major damage to your vehicle. 

With brutally cold weather, the State's Department of Transportation had to use two types of salt. Most times those plows put down rock salt, but during the extreme cold, the State DOT uses something different: Pretreated salt. It's a mixture of regular rock salt and magnesium chloride which is a liquid de-icer. But the store manager at Ziebart says it's causing more corrosion to cars.

"The problem is it has a lot of preservatives in it that cause it to stick to the underside of the vehicle, so a power wash on the undercarriage, or taking it through a simple car wash is not going to remove all the salt that's stuck to the underside,” said Brenden Ramsdell.

But the owner at Camelot Auto Service says salt is salt.

"All salts are the same thing, what they're doing is just dripping ions off the iron and turning it into iron oxide, which is rust,” said Doug McAvoy.

Though he does agree, the more salt, the more rust. And he said when you get underneath it that's where the real damage is,

“The rust can affect your brake lines and your fuel lines and things like your gas tanks straps. They'll break and your gas tank will drop,” said McAvoy.

Ramsdell recommends getting your car rust-proofed. Certified technicians say you could wash your car multiple times a week and it will help but it won't protect it. However, putting on an undercoating will and you only have to do it once year.

This year, Irondequoit was one of several towns that switched over to a new type of salt called "fire rock." They say it melts snow when temperatures are 13 below zero. It also does not corrode vehicles as much as typical salt.


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