Cars subject to damage from sand/salt mix following snow storm

POSTED: 04:40 PM CST Feb 06, 2014    UPDATED: 06:49 PM CST Feb 06, 2014 
Cars Driving on Salt Roads in Snow
WICHITA, Kan. -

The sand and salt spread around the streets of Wichita may be doing more than just giving cars traction, it might also be damaging your vehicle.

Car body shops report a surge in businesses following snow storms like the one seen across Kansas on Tuesday. More drivers bring in vehicles for chips on the front end of their vehicles, whether it's chips in the paint or small dings in the windshield or headlights.

Jeff Oldenettel, manager of Steven Collision Repair in Wichita, said even after the weather dries up following a storm, any leftover sand on the road can still cause damage to your car.

"Really as the roads start to dry and you start to get sand sitting on the road, you'll see a lot of sand being picked up and then if we get winds that pick up, that'll blow and that'll also damage," he said. "It'll damage the paint, rock chip front ends and that kind of thing."

Problems caused by excess sand on the road can cause short-term problems, but the salt that's also in that mix can cause more long-term damage to cars if drivers don't take care of it soon.

"Once it warms up, get the car cleaned because that'll keep the salt from hurting anything," Oldenettel said. "Make sure you get the undercarriage. Do a drive-through car wash, something brushless and that'll take care of it."

Oldenettel recommends waiting until the weather warms up before drivers wash any of that salt mix off their vehicle. If drivers don't wait, it could freeze the car shut.