From the 1950s up until about 10 years ago, simple snow plowing and applying solid rock salt to roads was the preferred method of dealing with wintry driving conditions. But in the last decade, many communities have decided to switch to the cheaper, easier, more environmentally-friendly option of brine.
For those of us who drive in winter conditions, the anticipation of a coming winter storm is now accompanied by the telltale streaks of brine on our local roads. But, what is it? And how does it affect our vehicles? Let’s get into it.
What Is Road Brine?
Typically, road brine is a 20-25% salt/water mixture that (as you’ve seen with the streaks) gets applied to roads before a storm. It‘s estimated that 20-30% of dry rock salt was either bouncing or getting scattered off the road. Meaning it takes far less brine than dry salt to cover a road, making it a more efficient option.
Is It Bad For My Car?
It’s not great. While brine does a better job of helping to clear roads in the winter, some people think that it’s also more harmful to your vehicle. Like regular dry salt, the brine is corrosive and after time will begin to eat away at your vehicle. However because it’s a salt and water mixture, the brine may be able to get into spaces that dry salt could not. Regardless, almost any type of road salt is almost always going to be problematic for your vehicle. So it’s a good idea to both protect and fight off the corrosive effects of road salt.
What Can I Do?
The easiest fix is to simply wash your vehicle after a winter weather event. Washing or even just rinsing your vehicle after driving through both dry salt and brine will, generally, remove most of the built-up corrosive material. You can also apply corrosion or rust inhibitors for added protection.
Winter can be tough on your vehicle. Whether it’s fixing rust caused by road salt, or repairing damage from a winter weather accident, we’re here to help. Stop into any of the six Eustis Body Shop locations across Nebraska. Or contact us at eustisbodyshop.com if you have any automotive questions.