If you live in a place where it snows in winter, you can attest to how sloppy the roads can get during the season. Between the snow, ice, dirt, and salt on the roads, your car can get pretty dirty or even become damaged during winter. Road salt, in particular, can be detrimental to your car. Read on to discover how road salt affects your tires.
Road salt is used on snowy or icy roads to make the roads less slippery. While salt does this quite well, it can also wreak havoc on your car, especially the wheels. Since tires are made of rubber, road salt doesn’t have a significantly negative effect on them. Wheels, on the other hand, are made of metal and are therefore prone to corrosion and rusting. When salt mixes with the winter moisture on your wheels, it speeds up the formation of iron oxide, which is what rust is made of, and therefore speeds up the formation of rust.
With the proper maintenance, it’s possible to prevent road salt from damaging your wheels. Here are a few tips for keeping your tires and wheels in good shape during the winter:
Water and salt can accumulate on your wheels while you’re driving, and if left on the metal, can result in rust. To avoid this, wash your wheels with soap and water frequently and regularly, especially if they’ve gotten particularly wet or salty. It’s also a good idea to wash your entire car every few weeks in the winter to avoid other areas getting corroded.
Avoid driving through puddles and deep snow whenever possible. Puddles on the road often contain a higher concentration of salt compared to slightly drier sections of the road. If you avoid deep snow, your wheels will be less wet, giving the salt less chance to mix with the water and cause that chemical reaction on your wheels.
When you’re done driving your car for the day, take a moment to brush excess snow off your entire car. Otherwise, your car will be sitting in moisture until the next time you drive it, which won’t do the wheels any good.
Now that you know how road salt affects your tires, take preventative measures to keep the road salt combined with snow and ice from wearing down your tires. If, even after following these tips, you still notice your vehicle’s wheels are damaged or deteriorating, don’t fret. The WheelerShip carries replacement Jetta rims and replacement wheels for many other popular makes and models, and we’re happy to help you find the correct replacement wheels for your vehicle.