There are two main types of salt that are used as deicers, sodium chloride and calcium chloride. Sodium chloride is used a lot by plow trucks on the streets and the calcium chloride is used a lot by homeowners. Most times the calcium chloride works better to remove ice and it also works down to a lower temperature, but it’s also more expensive.
In the wintertime, city plow trucks throw tons of salt out on the streets to act as deicers and sodium chloride is used the majority of the time. Sometimes the salt is mixed with a liquid and applied on the street before it snows. That helps keep the snow from sticking to the street surface and also helps to prevent ice from forming.
But that salt solution will be thrown all over your vehicle as you drive on the sloppy streets and here is what can happen. Body rust can form on your vehicle for a variety of reasons and salt certainly makes it worse. But there are also lots of metal mechanical parts under your vehicle and they are really susceptible to corrosion as well.
You can easily run into hundreds of dollars worth of parts that need to be replaced over time due to salt damage. Keeping salt from getting on your vehicle is impossible in the wintertime, so the key is to get it washed off as often as you can. Even though your vehicle is going to just get dirty all over again, you should still get it washed.
Make sure that you get a good under-the-vehicle blast to remove as much of that salt as you can underneath. This is where we see most corrosion problems, so spend a few extra bucks for the under vehicle wash. Wipe down the door jambs after the wash if possible to remove any leftover salt residue.
Even though there are a lot of concerns and we all complain about the mess that salt makes on our vehicles, we would be slipping and sliding and crashing into each other without it. So I guess you could say that the salt keeps us from getting “peppered” by another vehicle when the streets get icy.