I live in an area that gets a fair amount of snow and ice, and so the winter months usually have salt on the roads. Presumably, that salt stays around as a dry crust or in puddles until the next heavy rain washes it off. And as most of us know, salt greatly accelerates rust.
So, having spent almost $1000 this winter on rust repair and prevention (replacing a good chunk of frame that was almost completely gone, and then cleaning and coating everything), I'm wondering about how to keep the salt off. Of course, the easiest way is to have a second, sacrificial vehicle for this and not drive the good one, but unfortunately, that's not an option right now.
My two conflicting theories at the moment are:
- Hit a carwash often, mostly to blast the underside with freshwater. This carries the salt away...but then it gets right back on as I drive home.
Also possible for water to get into a crack somewhere and freeze before it evaporates?
- Don't wash it, but let the salt dry in place. It needs moisture to work, and so that dry layer can offer a small (perhaps false?) amount of protection if it's allowed to stay on. Also avoid driving through puddles or wet spots as much as possible, as that provides the moisture to start working again.
Then hit the carwash once, as soon as a good rain has washed the salt off the roads.
What do you guys think? Merits or drawbacks that I didn't mention? Am I all wet on both counts?