Dealing with harsh Canadian winters involves all kinds of important measures and habits to optimize safety, maintenance, and more. One that we take for granted is road salt. It helps to mitigate the possibility of dangerous frozen surfaces, but how does it affect your BMW?
What Exactly Is It?
We see road salt every day during winter, but what is it made of? The material that is spread across roads during winter is typically a mix of halite (the unrefined mineral form of sodium), sand, and additives designed to provide consistency and traction that is favourable for application on roadways. In particularly low temperatures, additional chemicals are used to ensure that the salt can effectively do its job. The chemical makeup of halite allows it to melt snow and lower the freezing temperature of water it comes in contact with.
The Good and the Bad
Road salt and similar materials are necessary for winter safety, whether it’s on the road or on pedestrian surfaces. That being said, there are many reasons why it’s smart to stay aware of its effects and address them efficiently. Salt has a way of promoting corrosion in metals, particularly in the form of iron oxidation (in other words, rust) that can take a toll on many parts of your BMW. Driving kicks up a lot of this material into the exposed underside of your vehicle, leading to plenty of unpleasant cosmetic and mechanical consequences, such as exterior staining and damage to your paint, damage to your exhaust, subframe, coil springs, and more.
What You Can Do
These issues are certainly no picnic if they get out of hand, but if you’re diligent about maintenance then it should be a piece of cake to protect your vehicle from the worst of salt damage. Have your BMW washed and detailed professionally during winter so that you can ensure that the best care is taken to optimize its condition. You should look for not only a basic exterior cleaning, but also a check-up on the condition of the parts that are most vulnerable to corrosion caused by road salt. Be sure to talk with a local BMW expert to get tips for your specific vehicle!
Does your BMW show signs of staining or corrosion due to road salt? The Motorwerkes team would be more than happy to get your vehicle looking and working as great as ever. Give us a call at (403) 768-3168 to make it happen!