Why Salted Roads Wreak Havoc On Steering, Suspension, and Brake Lines

snow road

While salt is used melt ice and snow on wintry roads here in Louisville, KY, your ASE-certified auto mechanics at Tony’s Brake & Alignment know salt also takes its toll on your vehicle, which sometimes require auto repair. That’s because the chemical composition of salt promotes corrosion (think rust), especially when salt is in the presence of moisture, whether snow, ice or slush. In fact, salt turns water slightly acidic, which compounds corrosion. Knowing where to look for corrosion and how to minimize or remedy damage is crucial to the safe, reliable and durable operation of your vehicle.

According to AAA, road de-icing methods alone cause $3 billion vehicle damage annually. That’s a lot of auto repair in cold weather states. To keep your vehicle in tip-top operating condition, our Tony’s Brake & Alignment team of expert auto mechanics have the ongoing training, tools and equipment, as well as experience to help keep your auto repair costs to a minimum.

Even though automakers build vehicles with good rust protection nowadays, over time and depending on winter use, holes in the protective barriers can begin to develop. Drivers in the Louisville region are part of the 150 million U.S. drivers for whom road salt/sand mixes are a fact of life. AAA has several recommendations that can help minimize, but not fully prevent, the need for salt-related auto repair.

Here’s what you, as the vehicle owner, can do:

  • Schedule a pre-winter check-up at Tony’s Brake & Alignment. You deserve the confidence and peace of mind that comes with knowing your vehicle is winter-ready.
  • Consider waxing your car before the onset of wintry roads to add an extra layer of protection.
  • Limit your travel as much as possible immediately before, during and after winter storms, when salt is most likely to be freshly applied.
  • If you must be on the road at these times, avoid puddles, road slush mounds and following directly behind plows or salt/sand dispersal trucks: Puddles can hold larger amounts of salt, while driving behind the work trucks makes you the first to drive through a fresh layer of salt.
  • Following a winter storm, wash residual salt off your vehicle as soon as possible, making sure to clean your vehicle’s undercarriage as well, because that’s where much of the bare metal corrosion attacks is located.
  • Once storms pass, address any paint chipping so that corrosion can’t get started on your vehicle’s body.
  • If your brake warning light comes on and stays illuminated, contact Tony’s Brake & Alignment immediately. The problem could be a simple need for a small brake fluid top-up, or it could be a more serious such as damage to the electronic computer modules responsible for command and control of your braking.

Your vehicle is one of the biggest investments you make, and it provides mobility for you and your family. That investment and your family’s safety need to be protected and maintained. As your auto repair and maintenance partner, that’s where Tony’s Brake & Alignment steps up. Drivers in Louisville, Shepherdsville, Shelbyville, and other nearby communities count on our experience and credentials as a NAPA AutoCare Center and Michelin Alliance Dealer to care for their vehicles properly.

We understand that due to how your vehicle is built, most of the underbody is wide open, where salt damage can easily occur, yet be difficult to detect visually. When if comes to your safety and providing you and your family with dependable transportation, we don’t cut corners. Here’s what we can do for you and your vehicle:

  • Brakes, alignments, tires and the undercar systems they interact with are the sweet spots Tony’s Brake & Alignment specializes in. We service all makes and models of light-duty passenger vehicles, in addition to medium-and heavy-duty trucks, buses, fleets and even classic cars.
  • When it comes to corrosion mitigation, we’re the best expertise your money can buy. And Tony’s Brake & Alignment backs their work with our 3-year / 36K-mile nationwide warranty. Check out our website to see what customers say about the quality of our service.
  • Our auto mechanics have the training, tooling, equipment and expertise to inspect and identify where corrosion needs to be addressed before it results in a major repair being necessary. They know the parts on your vehicle most vulnerable to road salt and corrosion damage, such as your vehicle’s frame, axles, springs, suspension and steering, exhaust system, brakes and other exposed components.
  • Finally, the auto mechanics here at Tony’s Brake & Alignment understand how cold weather impacts the many types of fluids the safe operation of your vehicle depends on. Just as our personal circulation tightens up in cold weather, and more so in a winter storm, your vehicle’s battery, fluids and other components also react to cold. For instance, check out this image from our friends at Accuweather.

Neglecting vehicle maintenance until a major failure occurs can drain your wallet, let alone inconvenience you at the worst possible time. So as winter approaches, count on Tony’s Brake & Alignment to get your vehicle ready. Call us, schedule an appointment online, or visit Tony’s Brake & Alignment at 4800 Poplar Level Road, Louisville, KY 40213, Monday to Friday, between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

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