RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Most people clear the snow from the outside of the car but neglect to focus underneath where the salt and brine accumulates.
“After the snow has accumulated and the salt has been laid down. As we drive over that it’s going to spread evenly over the undercarriage of the vehicle," Reid Schmidt said.
Mechanics Auto Shop Owner Reid Schmidt said the salt and brine doesn’t just break down the snow, but it also breaks down parts of your car as well.
“Salt is a massive accelerator of rust when it is distributed with water and is on the surface of steel,” Schmidt said.
Damages can cost from a few hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars.
This mechanic says rust can start to form in just one day.
“As you can see this is a break line where the ends of it haven’t taken abuse but where the salt was able to sit on the frame started to rust threw," Schmidt said.
Schmidt took us under the car as well.
“A lot of the rust will form on anything that is heavy duty metal," Schmidt said.
Car washes see an increase after a snow storm.
The line extends into the street at Rio Carwash on Midlothian. Just down the road, Car Pool is seeing business as well.
“Don’t think the rain is going to do it. The rain is not going to sufficiently wash your car,” Car Pool Chief Operating Officer said.
Many car washes have a device to wash underneath your car and make sure the area is spic and span.
Tyree Brown with Car Pool says rust can form on the outside of your car too.
“It can create blemishes, especially when you park in a parking deck, a concrete parking deck, you can get the sediment that drips down. The sediment from the concrete and you combine that with the salt," Brown said.
Many car washes say they expect to see more customers this weekend after the rain comes through.
Schmidt says you can also have your car undercoated before the snow comes and that will help protect against salt and brine.