Springfield, Mo. — A snowy weekend is in our future which means it’s time to bring out the salt. While salt is good for the roads, it can be very bad for the cars on those roads.

How does road salt work?

Salt—or in scientific terms, sodium chloride —lowers the freezing point of water. Water normally freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and water needs colder temperatures in order to freeze when it’s exposed to salt. The more salt that’s added the more difficult it is for water to freeze.

For road salt to work there needs to be a little water to activate the process. Sometimes, road crews will pre-treat roads with a mix of salt and water called brine. Salt brine can prevent ice from ever forming.

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What road salt can do to your car

While road salt is good for making the roads safer to travel on, it’s not good for your vehicle. In fact, it can cause costly repairs if you are not careful.

Salt creates chemical reactions that can corrode your car, according to local auto repair shop owners. Two car parts that are especially susceptible to corrosion and rust are the brake and fuel lines.

How to protect your vehicle during the winter months

  • Give your car a good wash and wax
  • Have any scrapes, chips or rust spots repaired before the first snow falls
  • Get regular car washes
  • Consider pre-treating the undercarriage
  • Give an older car some extra TLC
  • Keep your distance when driving behind trucks spreading salt or brine