The Effects of Ice and Road Salt on Your Vehicle

Driving in the middle of a cold Alaskan winter can bring with it plenty of challenges, but we're used to it up here in Fairbanks. Rain, snow, sleet and ice are all hazards that make for difficult visibility and often-dangerous road conditions. It pays to be extra cautious when driving around.

Damage Underneath the Vehicle

However, there are other winter-related issues that not every car or truck owner keeps in mind. That's the effect of the moisture, freezing temperatures, sand and salt on the vehicle itself. Unless you have an older vehicle and can see the rust on the body, the hidden dangers are what these elements are doing underneath the car. As you drive, so much grease, grime, salt, sand and water get kicked up under the chassis.

Keeping Your Car Clean

One of the best preventative measures you can take is to wash your vehicle regularly to minimize the build-up of harmful elements that can lead to rust and corrosion. It's often a good idea to do a thorough wash (especially one that includes an undercarriage cleaning) immediately after any big storm. Otherwise, every 10-14 days is a sound recommendation for regular washes. Wash during the daytime and do your best to get things as dry as possible. Any remaining moisture will likely freeze up over night.

Why You Need Cleaning and Maintenance

If you don't take care of your vehicle during the winter, you can expect problems. Rubber seals and plastic parts can corrode quickly. Metal components can develop rust or seize up. Built-up grime and grease can impact the performance and health of your suspension system, brakes, cooling system, engine, transmission and all drivetrain components. Salt and sand may make the roads safer to drive on, but they can really do some damage underneath the vehicle!

At the beginning of any winter season, it's worth getting your vehicle "winterized" by a local automotive shop like Simard Automotive. This and other preventative maintenance steps like regular car washes will certainly help. Otherwise, we're here to help if you do experience any problems or have any questions about winter vehicle maintenance. We live here, too, so we understand what it takes to keep any vehicle running its best when the weather outside is so harsh. Be sure and ask about our specialized Arctic Maintenance Schedule designed especially for Fairbanks' unique climate.

Call Simard Automotive today at (855) 690-0889 (Aeronca Ave.) or (855) 639-5001 for all your automotive repair and maintenance needs. Or, you can schedule a service appointment online.


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