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Road Salt And Paint

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Does road salt damage the paint job if left on for awhile? My car is pretty covered in salt now, and its supposed to snow again here this weekend so it will just get covered again in salt within a week. Should I wash my car, or will the salt not damage my paint job.

Its a 92, the paint is in fabulous condition other than a couple rock chips on the hood.

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it all depends on how good a wax is on top of the paint and under the salt. Salt is not good for cars in any amount but it is hard to say to what the extent.

When indoubt, wash it. If you don't like the big drive through type because the brushed touch the car, then find a automatic touchless high pressure washer. At least the major portion of the salt and dirt is removed.

We got this new touchless one in my area, called the Laser Wash 4000. It reminds me of Miami, cause it is all neon blue, green and coral/pink. It actually does a pretty good job.


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Thanks. I'll try and scrounge up some money and get it washed.

It isn't supposed to rain this week and will be snowing again on the weekend, but its really caked pretty thick in salt (180 miles of highway driving in someone's tire mist will do it nicely) and I don't want to see any paint damage, or metal parts rust.

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The Laser Wash is the creme de la creme of the touchless washes, it does a very good job. There is one in Ocean City, MD but none around here unfortunately.

We have two kinds here, one like the Laser Wash but it has two wands, and one conveyor type that uses rotating water sprayers.

The thing with road salt is that if the temp is below freezing, it cannot even corrode bare metal it becomes inert. Thats a big problem for treating the roads, but a plus for a car owner. If it wafts above freezing it is active and acting on your paint. The paint isn't as big a deal, but the undercarriage and wheel wells are. I would run your car through a touchless or at least pressure spray the undercarriage once a week during the winter. Remember that during the winter its not really about the car looking good, its about keeping it as salt free as possible.

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  • 2 weeks later...

~One mans opinion / observation~

As long as the temp is below freezing the salt/chemicals are basically inert (its only by adding water does salt become acidic) and won't react easily with the car components. Once the temp gets up above freezing, then is the time to thoroughly wash to remove the salt and sand etc.

~Hope this helps~

Experience unshared; is knowledge wasted…/

justadumbarchitect * so i question everything*

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