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De-Icing Causes $3-Billion in Rust Damage a Year

De-Icing Causes $3-Billion in Rust Damage a Year

Rust damage caused by road de-icers is costing Americans $3-billion annually.

According to a recent survey conducted by AAA, U.S. drivers paid an estimated $15.4-billion in rust repairs over the past five years because of de-icing methods. The association also said 22 million U.S. drivers have experienced rust damage to their vehicles due to salt and liquid de-icers, with repairs averaging almost $500 per occurrence.

Making matters worse for vehicle owners, many state and local transportation departments have shifted from using rock salt to liquid de-icers in recent years. While the newer alternatives are more effective, they are more damaging to vehicles since the chemicals remain in liquid form longer and are more likely to coat components and seep into cracks and crevices where corrosion can accelerate.

In addition, another AAA survey found that nearly 30 million U.S. drivers experienced pothole damage last year, with repair costs ranging from under $250 to over $1,000. The possibility of pothole damage increases as snow and ice melt and roadways begin to crumble.

“While the application of de-icing salts and solutions is critical to keeping our nation’s roadways safe every winter, it’s important that drivers pay attention to warning signs that their vehicle may be suffering from rust-related damage,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “This can be much more than a cosmetic issue, it can also create serious safety issues for drivers by impacting brake lines, exhaust systems, fuel tanks and electrical connections.”

This article first appeared on Auto Guide

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February 22, 2017 at 09:23AM

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