WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News, Weather & Sports

Winter Conditions Take Toll On Cars

By: Jaclyn Piermarini Email
By: Jaclyn Piermarini Email

January 24, 2014

Crews treat roads with salt and sand to help the ice melt.
It makes driving much safer, but it can also damage your car.

Settle Tire has been in the car business for over 75 years, and Service Manager Vincent Lewis says salt and road chemicals could harm your vehicle.

"It’s undercarriage damage such as brake hoses, fuel lines, it’s really imperative that its washed off as soon as possible. Even if there is still some left on the road if you can power wash it or if you can go to a car wash that has a hand held sprayers."

If you look at your car covered in salt and brine, you might think the worst damage is to your paint job.

But Lewis says that's actually the least of your worries....

"Paint is minor. That is cosmetic its more about safety issues, longevity issues, definitely the undercarriage needs to be addressed more so than the paint. Paint would be the last in my book."

It might also surprise you that the busiest time of the year for local car washes isn't the summer.

Clean Machine Car Wash President Matt Bascom says the busiest time of the year is wintertime after the snowstorm.

“Cars are a lot dirtier than they are in the summer after a snowstorm so that leads a lot of people to want to wash their vehicles."

The bad weather also causes potholes that can damage your car.

Luckily, this last storm wasn't as wet and the City of Charlottesville says they did not have a lot of reports of road damage.

But because of the extreme cold, they are waiting until next week to fill any potholes.

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