Road salt has proven to be detrimental to cars over time. People who live in states where road salt is used a great deal of the time are advised to wash the undercarriage of their cars to prevent rust damage to sensitive areas of the car such as the brake lines.
If There’s Salt,Your Brake Line Could Be Affected
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just finished an investigation into the matter of brake lines that have become rusty due to the salt exposure of road salt that is commonly used in winter months to protect drivers from dangerous icy road conditions.
The investigation yielded some serious results which include just about five million cars had rusty brake lines after exposure to road salt over time. U.S. safety regulators have now issued a statement for consumers. The message is “Wash the under carriage of your car.”
The cars included the models of Chevrolet, GMC trucks, and SUVs. These companies have not issued recalls on the cars that were investigated. Older model vehicles were found to be the ones at risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Commission deems it the responsibility of the owner to wash the underside of their vehicles to protect it from this kind of damage that occurs quietly over time.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that since the damage occurs from road salt that it is not the responsibility of the companies to act in changing the material used in the production of brake lines. However, it is the responsibility of the consumer to wash their cars in prevention of the damage that is a probability in vehicles from short term or long term exposure to road salt.
Sea Water Areas Need To Wash Too
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also states and advises that people who live in states that have snow regularly should wash the undercarriage of their cars. There were about twenty different states named by the agency. Salt is very corrosive to cars in states where sea water is prominent.
States that encounter sea water damage from hurricanes such as Florida, implemented state laws that demanded the destruction of vehicles that had salt exposure after hurricane Katrina. These cars were declared total losses as a result of minimal exposure to the undercarriage of the car. Total losses had to be destroyed and not resold under the pretense that the exposure had not occurred.The reason was simply because the resale of those vehicles turned up in many different states after the hurricane. The result of the vehicles minimal exposure caused serious damage to vehicles even after a small amount of time. Read more here about buying used cars affected by flooding. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises that cars older than the year 2007 should be washed regularly to avoid the damage and that road salt exposure damage can be avoided by washing the underside of the vehicle.
Car Washing Technicalities
There are many car washes that have facilities for the underside of the vehicle. The cars included have brake pipes that are made of steel materials with aluminum coating. Many manufacturers have made the switch to using different materials such as plastic coated and nylon coated steel lines to prevent as much damage as possible over time.
These vehicles are the newer models so consumers with later model cars are advised to go to car washes equipped with the necessary equipment to clean the undercarriage of vehicles properly. This is now considered a part of maintenance on older model cars to prevent this damage from occurring in winter months.