The effects of road salt on your car and environment

Salt can eat away at the undercarriage of your car

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – There’s a lot of salt on the roads. 22News found out what it’s doing to our cars and the environment.

Salt and sand are on the roads to keep drivers safe, but they’re also damaging our cars.

“I take regular trips to the car wash. I try to keep the salt off it,” said Frank Commisso of East Longmeadow.

We usually think of salt damaging the paint of the car, but it’s actually the undercarriage which is closest to the road that’s affected the most. Mal Brothers Autobody Shop told 22News once the salt starts corroding the metal, it won’t stop.

“Most critical and totally unknown to the driver are brake lines and fuel lines. If they can rust then all the sudden, you’re coming off a ramp, you hit the brakes hard and it lets go…That pedal goes right to the floor.”

Cars lined up waiting for a turn through FL Roberts Golden Nozzle Car Wash.

“If you wash your car with a wax, a good wax, at a good car wash, you actually notice a difference,” said Steven Roberts, President of FL Roberts.

However, there isn’t a wash and wax for the environment. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, rock salt, or sodium chloride, is corrosive to roads. Sand can clog drainage structures.

As for your health, Bay State Medical Pulmonologist Dr. Douglas Johnson said he hasn’t heard of any breathing problems caused by all the unavoidable salt blowing around this time of year.

As damaging as they may be, salt and sand are necessities to minimize danger on the roads.