Road Salt

Moderators: Sluggo, Amskeptic

Post Reply
User avatar
vwlover77
IAC Addict!
Location: North Canton, Ohio
Status: Offline

Road Salt

Post by vwlover77 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:15 am

I really would enjoy driving my air-cooled VWs all year round, but finally garage them for the winter when the road salt comes out. I don't drive them again until rain washes the salt from the roads.

The question: Is it truly a bad idea to drive them on dry roads with road salt residue?

My thinking is that the dry salt residue gets deposited on the car as dust. Washing the car and rinsing the undercarriage would make a corrosive solution out of that dust, similar to driving on wet, salted roads.

Is that correct, or would the dust make such a weak solution that a thorough rinse would not be a problem?
Don

---------------------------
78 Westy
71 Super Beetle Convertible Autostick

"When we let our compassion go, we let go of whatever claim we have to the divine." - Bruce Springsteen

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Status: Offline

Re: Road Salt

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:08 am

vwlover77 wrote:I really would enjoy driving my air-cooled VWs all year round, but finally garage them for the winter when the road salt comes out. I don't drive them again until rain washes the salt from the roads.

The question: Is it truly a bad idea to drive them on dry roads with road salt residue?

My thinking is that the dry salt residue gets deposited on the car as dust. Washing the car and rinsing the undercarriage would make a corrosive solution out of that dust, similar to driving on wet, salted roads.

Is that correct, or would the dust make such a weak solution that a thorough rinse would not be a problem?
It is truly a bad bad idea to drive on dry salted roads and/or still-wet salted roads.

Salt is salt, salt is bad.

Salt delivery to your car via wet roads or driving in a snow event is actually a bit easier on the car because water is heavier than air. You see the road splash stuck to the sides of your car and under the chassis, and it goes no further than the damp line. You can rinse off the car thoroughly (using dilution as your "neutralization" method. You know that you can rinse off the car more thoroughly than the application of salt from driving in wet conditions.

Driving on dried salted roads is far more insidious. Clouds of salt dust can permeate your car from top to bottom, it can fill the inside cavities readily, it deposits as a silt beyond the reach of rinse water, and it can re-activate in any humid condition.

Commercially available neutralizing solutions are not only ineffective in most cases, they *accelerate* the breakdown of paint bonding with steel. Soap and water also damages the protective layer on paint that prevents ions from reaching the surface of the steel that makes up our cars. Based on a Ohio Department of Transportation study, only Salt Away in a 30% greater than recommended solution, could provide any lasting corrosion resistance for instances of bare metal. Otherwise, it does not help painted surfaces hold rust at bay.

With this in mind, do not drive in salted environments . . . ever . . . like I did the day before yesterday.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

User avatar
asiab3
IAC Addict!
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Road Salt

Post by asiab3 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:41 am

I was about to move to the Northeast last year, and this was a huge dilemma for me. Are there any resources where motorists can check if road salt is in use? I might Need to drive to New York in early spring, and I will not be doing a cross-country excursion in an appliance.
1969 bus, "Buddy."
145k miles with me.
322k miles on Earth.

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Status: Offline

Re: Road Salt

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:04 am

asiab3 wrote:I was about to move to the Northeast last year, and this was a huge dilemma for me. Are there any resources where motorists can check if road salt is in use? I might Need to drive to New York in early spring, and I will not be doing a cross-country excursion in an appliance.
The weather forecast will tell you if a fresh application is due, but the roads get "seasoned" by early spring and there *will be* salt all over and in the shoulder dirt, intersections, against curbs until mid-May regardless of any individual day's weather.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

User avatar
vwlover77
IAC Addict!
Location: North Canton, Ohio
Status: Offline

Re: Road Salt

Post by vwlover77 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:01 pm

Yikes! I waited for a dry sunny day to move both cars to their winter storage locations, but the roads were already white with salt. Hopefully the length of the drive (2 miles / 5 minutes) limited the permeation! Thanks as always for your excellent advice.
Don

---------------------------
78 Westy
71 Super Beetle Convertible Autostick

"When we let our compassion go, we let go of whatever claim we have to the divine." - Bruce Springsteen

Curtp07
Getting Hooked!
Status: Offline

Re: Road Salt

Post by Curtp07 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:16 pm

There are so many questions about road salt. So many answers. We all know it's bad, but with all the variables involved, it's just a matter of "how bad". Will it eat your VW? Absolutely, this is proven. It eats all automobiles..look at the underside of a ford truck after just a couple years in New England.

Enter Fluid Film. I've seen the effects of this stuff on fleet trucks driven through the winters here, and it's absolutely amazing. The trucks have been through 10+ winters and look fairly new. Applications need to be yearly, and no undercarriage wash until spring. I do my own cars myself, and have had good luck. (Also see "corrosion free" a similar product).

I have a 1974 super beetle, and for years I've been waiting to run it winters here in Mass. I was going to properly give it a good prep...heat, heated seats, defog, snow tires, paint job, seals, and a solid undercarriage refresh and through Fluid Film job. Then run it a few winters and see how it fares.

But I haven't gotten around to it.

Anyone else out there running fluid film or similar? Even if you don't want to use the beetle all winter it could be a solution for the occasional drive...it washes off very easily in warm weather.

Curt

User avatar
Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
Status: Offline

Re: Road Salt

Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:31 pm

Curtp07 wrote:There are so many questions about road salt. So many answers. We all know it's bad, but with all the variables involved, it's just a matter of "how bad". Will it eat your VW? Absolutely, this is proven. It eats all automobiles..look at the underside of a ford truck after just a couple years in New England.

Enter Fluid Film. I've seen the effects of this stuff on fleet trucks driven through the winters here, and it's absolutely amazing. The trucks have been through 10+ winters and look fairly new. Applications need to be yearly, and no undercarriage wash until spring. I do my own cars myself, and have had good luck. (Also see "corrosion free" a similar product).

I have a 1974 super beetle, and for years I've been waiting to run it winters here in Mass. I was going to properly give it a good prep...heat, heated seats, defog, snow tires, paint job, seals, and a solid undercarriage refresh and through Fluid Film job. Then run it a few winters and see how it fares.

But I haven't gotten around to it.

Anyone else out there running fluid film or similar? Even if you don't want to use the beetle all winter it could be a solution for the occasional drive...it washes off very easily in warm weather.

Curt
Amazon reviews seem positive. But, it only protects what it can reach. Salt dust will go places Fluid Film has never dreamt of . . . yaah?
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

Curtp07
Getting Hooked!
Status: Offline

Re: Road Salt

Post by Curtp07 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:45 pm

Most definitely BUT Im looking at it as anyplace small enough for dust to accumulate will be bridged with the fluid film application...this stuff really adheres, and the corrosion free actually adheres even better, yet washes off in warm weather.

I use the air compressor/gun, but also have the aerosol cans...pick up a can and see what you think. Oreillys sells it too...

Post Reply