Road de-icers cost drivers billions of dollars each year. That's the gist of a new report by AAA.

Anyone who drives in places with winter weather (like HERE) knows first-hand what de-icing salts and solutions can do to the outside of your car.

But AAA says that stuff is also doing a number on the inside of your car - causing brake lines, fuel tanks and exhaust systems to corrode.

They estimate that rust damage alone from de-icing chemicals cost drivers $3 billion a year to repair.

So what can we do to prevent winter damage to our cars and trucks? AAA recommends:

  • When possible, limit driving immediately before, during and after winter storms when salt and de-icing solutions are being applied and are at their highest concentrations.
  • Frequently wash your vehicle, paying particular attention to the undercarriage. This will loosen, dissolve and neutralize road salts. Many drive-through car washes offer an undercarriage rinse as an option.
  • Always use a high-quality car wash solution, not a household dish detergent that will strip the wax from your vehicle.
  • Repair any body damage and touch up paint scratches and chips that expose bare metal which could lead to rust.
  • Before the start of winter, thoroughly wash and clean your vehicle prior to the start of winter and apply a coat of wax to protect the finish.
  • Give the entire vehicle and undercarriage one last cleaning in the spring. Any deposits left over from winter can continue to cause corrosion year-round if not properly removed.

Source: AAA

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