Winter is coming. During icy conditions, salt is put on the road to lower the freezing point of water. “[Salt] chemically turns that ice back into water so the car tires can then reach the pavement for traction, instead of just sliding on top of the ice,” says Joe Roger, Manager of Vehicle Services at Firestone Complete AutoCare.

While beneficial for safe travel during winter conditions, salt can pose a huge threat to your vehicle. Repeated exposure to salt expedites the formation of rust, and the underside of your vehicle is most vulnerable to this. Hydraulic brake system leaks and corrosion of the sub-frame are just a couple examples of damage salt can have on your vehicle. In addition to salt in the winter, the exterior of your car can be damaged year-round by the usual suspects: sun, scrapes, and scratches. To keep these minor exposures from snowballing into major problems, it’s important to maintain the exterior of your car.

You can protect your undercarriage from salt with a pre-treating oil solution that offers a barrier between your car’s metal components and rust-causing road salt. Even if you don’t apply preventive measures, frequent washing can remove the road salt. “Go through a car wash that has an under-spray,” Roger says. Being conscious of – and taking measures against – road salt can prevent corrosion that harms a vehicle’s exhaust and muffler system, coil springs, frame and much more.

Aside from the obvious aesthetic benefits of detailing your car, it can also protect your car from the damage sun, salt, and abrasions can cause. This will preserve the value and longevity of your vehicle.

Scuffs, scrapes, and scratches on your car’s paint job may seem innocent and purely cosmetic, but beyond being unsightly, they expose metal surfaces that can rust and corrode, leading to larger and more expensive repairs. Fixing these abrasions quickly remedies this potential threat and gets your car looking great again.

Effects from the sun can be less obvious. During hot summer months, the load on your battery from the air conditioning system can be brutal. Using reflective sun panels can keep your car cooler and reduce the cooling load on the battery. This habit preserves your interior from the bleaching effects of prolonged sun exposure as well. It’s also important to wash your car often and apply protective wax at least twice a year to block out dirt and debris while locking in the natural oils of the exterior paint

Mighty Auto Parts is here to help. Sourcing the highest quality auto parts from the world’s leading OE manufacturers as well as a wide variety of exterior detailing products, Mighty Auto Parts supplies the nation’s top technicians with the best parts while providing above and beyond customer service and support.