Expert breaks down the damaging effects salt water can have on your vehicle

This week’s king tides are bringing salt water onto our roads. Salt is not good for vehicles, so what should you do if you drive through it?

Frank Young of K&Y Auto Service has seen the effects that salt can have.

“See all the steel lines that run under the car? These are subject to corrosion,” he explained. “If it gets bad enough, it’s going to get expensive. How expensive it is depends on where the salt got through the barriers that protect the metals.”

Damage could include leaking brake lines or fuel lines due to corrosion.

Over the next several days, roads especially along the south shores may also get inundated with water from the ocean.

If you drive through it, don’t rely on a simple car wash, Young warns.

“If by chance you run over any kind of water and you’re not sure if it’s fresh water or salt water, the best thing to do is go home and thoroughly wash down the undercarriage of your car,” Young advised, “and when they shoot the car down, they’ve got to shoot the middle of the car because there are a lot of lines running through the middle of the car.”

Young says if you’re not able to wash the undercarriage and wheels of your vehicle with fresh water immediately, that’s okay. The salt won’t do damage right away.

“A few days of salt on your vehicle isn’t going to do damage, so maybe next week after this whole king tide is gone, then people should thoroughly wash their cars, shoot water inside the brake drums, into your tires, wash down your aluminum rims,” he said.

If you don’t wash your vehicle, Young says the humidity will allow the salt to keep eating away at the metal.

To save you the hassle, the best thing to do is to avoid driving through the salt water, and take another route if you can.

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