If you’ve lived in Minnesota for a while, you’ve probably heard road salt is bad for your vehicle. But do you know why? Because sodium chloride speeds up the rust-development process by reacting with the iron that forms your vehicle, the moisture sitting on that iron, and the oxygen in the surrounding atmosphere.

This process is a natural electrochemical reaction that can affect any vehicle, regardless of the location or the season. Unfortunately for us in the northern states, wet winter roads and copious amounts of road salt quickly accelerate the process.

Fortunately, preventing rust development on your vehicle during winter is pretty simple. Heed the rust prevention tips below, and you should be good to go!


Washing your vehicle isn’t just for aesthetic purposes. Making regular trips to the car wash is actually the easiest and most effective thing you can do to prevent rust from developing on your vehicle.

When dirt, road salt, and moisture stick the underside of your ride, the electrochemical reaction that forms rust begins to take place. But when you thoroughly clean the exterior of your vehicle, you wash that gunk off, thereby stopping the rust reaction in its tracks.

How often should you be washing your vehicle? If you drive frequently, it’s in your best interest to head to the car wash every couple of weeks.


One of the best things you can do to stop a major rust problem is keep an eye out for signs of minor corrosion spots. Rust spreads quickly. The more diligently you watch for it, the better chance you’ll have of catching it early and tending to the necessary auto body repairs that’ll stop the spread.

Here’s how to thoroughly inspect your vehicle for rust:

● Inspect wheel wells, tires, and bumpers frequently. Rust usually crops on wheel wells first.

● Closely examine any areas where two pieces of metal meet. Metal-on-metal contact encourages the electrochemical reaction that forms rust.

● Open all doors, your trunk, and your hood to check for rust in the crevices you don’t normally see.

● Thoroughly inspect the undercarriage of your vehicle for rust. Since the underside of your ride gets the most exposure to snow and road salt, it’s highly susceptible to corrosion development.


Yes, wax makes your ride look sharp, but it also does something much more important: it protects your vehicle’s paint job. Since wax prevents dirt, moisture, and road salt from adhering to your vehicle’s paint, it can significantly reduce your chances of dealing with rust issues and requisite auto body repairs during winter. And if you’re diligent about routine wax applications, you’ll give your ride enhanced rust protection all year long.

How often should you apply a coat of wax to your ride? Ideally, you should wax your vehicle once every 90 days, but some types of wax are formulated for more frequent use.


If you do find yourself with rust spots on your vehicle, visit our team at Minnetonka Collision for quality auto body repairs and precision paint color matching. We’ve proudly served Twin Cities drivers for more than 20 years and offer limited lifetime guarantees on our work.

To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, feel free to call our Plymouth, MN, shop today at 763-230-7805 or request a free estimate, and we’ll get in touch!