Here's how road salt can damage your car

Staff writer

As soon as the weather dips below freezing, local authorities place salt and grit onto the road. These prevent ice from forming, and improve grip – and therefore safety – but they can be doing hidden damage to the underside of your car.

Salt prevents ice from forming by lowering the freezing point of water. It prevents falling rain or snow from freezing into ice, and is widely used across the globe throughout the winter months.

See also: Top five winter driving tips

See also: Meet the supercar that runs on salt water

But while salty winter roads may improve safety and traction, they can have serious impacts on your car. Garages warn that salt's corrosive properties can lead to significant rust to essential components on the car's underside – in some cases, eating away at vital chassis and suspension components and making cars unsafe to drive.

To combat this, drivers should take their car to a car wash – or get it up on a ramp at home – and ensure the salt residue is cleaned off thoroughly as soon as the weather warms back up.