TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - Salt is of course a big part of helping crews clear the roads in this kind of weather. While it is helpful for travel, it can also cause a lot of costly damage to your car. Experts say that one of the worst things about road salt is that it gets into all kinds of places in your car and it's often too late before you realize what's happening.
Ken Rowe is the co-owner of Rowe Collision on Central Avenue,"You can rust suspension parts through, you can rust body parts through, the uni-body structure can be completely eaten away. Salt does all kinds of horrible damage to vehicles. Anything made of metal rusts, and anything made of aluminum corrodes.""
Rowe Collision is a busy place. While body repair work is the main focus of their business, Ken says they also see plenty of damage from rust, "We see cars in here with floorboards rusted out."
The damaged parts often need to be replaced, not just repaired.
Ron Rowe is a co-owner of the business,"Unless you replace the part that is rusted, you are really just putting a band aid on the problem."
But Ken says replacing parts is a costly fix, "Say you have a minivan and the rocker panels rust out. You are looking at an $1,800 repair for just one side, so often times it is just not worth it."
The Rowes say it's important to point out that rust and corrosion can affect any car, "The automakers have tried using galvanized steel and high strength steel but metal is metal and it will always rust. It gets in every crack and crevice in the car and it starts the process almost immediately. I don't care if your car is new or 10 years old, they are all susceptible "
So what can you to to try to keep your car rust and corrosion free? If possible, keep your vehicle in a garage. Make sure to get an underbody wash at the car wash frequently, and have an undercoating put on your car.
The Rowes say that can cost anywhere from $300-$800 depending on what you have done, but they point out that's a lot less than it costs to repair a rust or corrosion problem, "We had a woman in here a few days ago who wanted an estimate on a car that was rusted about a foot up the body of the vehicle all the way around. We told here with a $10,000-$12,000 repair estimate, it's not worth it at all."