WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — This latest storm raises awareness of more than just staying safe on the road. The wintry weather can also take a toll on your car.
PennDOT began preparing early for the storm by using a mixture of salt and water to help make roads safer to navigate.
This mixture can also damage parts of your car, but there is a way to help prevent that damage.
As they have for prior storms, PennDOT hit the roads early to prepare for an anticipated system.
“The precipitation’s gonna start as snow, we will apply an anti-icing brine to our interstates and expressways prior to the storm,” said Jonathan Eboli, Assistant District Executive For Maintenance for PennDOT.
Yearly, PennDOT uses more than one million gallons of the salt and water mixture known as brine to help keep drivers safe.
“The brine is to prevent that initial bond of snow and ice to the roadway, so it is a very effective tool and it is necessary to keep our roads safe and passable,” said Eboli.
But, this storm essential can be both a blessing and a curse.
The salt brine that’s made to protect us while on the road, does not exactly have the same effect when the exterior of your car is exposed to the mixture.
Over time, the salt can be corrosive to the metal on vehicles but this can be prevented.
“If you want to prevent that rust from happening and that corrosion from happening, and to protect the investment that you have in your vehicle, is to wash it frequently,” said Jerry Orloski, owner of Orloski’s Wash and Lube.
Orloski says keeping the undercarriage of your car clean during winter months is critical to keeping it in good condition.
“Here at our car wash, three of the four washes that we offer, offer that under-carriage spray to continually rinse and try to keep that salt from getting a hold on the metal underneath the car,” said Orloski.
If neglected, the entire car can be compromised.
“It could be the muffler pipes, it could be catalytic converters. All these things get rusty and the things that connect them and tie them together over time do fail due to the corrosion from salt,” said Orloski.
Once the storm has passed and your car is clean, you can steer clear of what could otherwise be costly repairs.
“Once it is dry on the roadway, it is not going to stick to your vehicle. So, it’s only when it’s wet, that initial application is when the salt brine could stick to the vehicle,” said Orloski.
Penndot recommends staying home if you do not have to be on the roads and in turn, keep yourself safe and help protect the condition of your car.