Road Salt Causing Damage To Cars - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Road Salt Causing Damage To Cars

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CAMBRIDGE, Md.- Back to back storms have dumped a lot of snow on Delmarva this winter and as a result, a lot of salt has been spread on the roads.  While it may help clear roads, it could also be doing a number on your car. 

While many cars on the peninsula suffer from body rust due to the salt air near the water, during the winter it can be accelerated by road salt.  It's a problem Patrick Mowery at Eastern Auto Works in Cambridge sees all the time during the winter.

"Sometimes if it gets too bad, it needs to be replaced.  Or if it's caught early, it can be repaired." said Mowrey.

He says sometimes an entire body panel would need to be replaced if rust is let go for too long.  At Admiral Tire and Auto in Cambridge, body damage isn't the only problem they are seeing.

"You get water and salt into the component, it's gonna rust.  Rust is going to over time weaken the metal so overtime yes, it can make a ball joint break, a sway bar pop off, it can happen to a lot of things" says Tony Geer, manager at the shop.

He says ball joints, for example, are what helps the car to steer.  He showed us what a good ball joint looks like, as well as one where the rubber boot has torn, and one that failed due to salt water getting in the joint.

Tony says it isn't just body damage, but also electrical connectors.  He says a rubber piece which keeps water out can go wrong over time as salt gets into it, which would then allow water to pass through into the connector and ruin the computer.

But he says there is an easy way to avoid a big bill.

"Anytime there is salt on the roads and we have had a winter like we have had, you want to run it through a car wash as soon as the roads clear up." Geer said.

He tells WBOC that if you wash your car, you can avoid most rust before it starts.

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