Road de-icing solutions could damage your vehicle, AAA warns

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With threats of icy weather over the past few weeks, trucks across DFW have pre-treated highways, bridges and overpasses with a brine solution.

The brine works by making it tougher for icy patches to form on the roads and make travel safer. But AAA warns it also comes with a hidden cost.

Just days after icy conditions prompted brine trucks to spray down North Texas roads, Stephen Dieb headed straight for the car wash.

"I think it's important to get it off because it just gets all in your tires and stuff,” he said.

According to AAA, the brine that can save you from sliding on ice can also do some damage if you let it sit in your vehicle. Much of what is spread on North Texas roads contains magnesium chloride, which AAA says can get up into crevices and other metal parts and cause corrosion.

Dean Griffin with Moritz Chevrolet says brine, salt, and sand can get up under a vehicle where it can’t be seen. He mostly sees damage from salt.

"You can tell when it comes from salt right off the bat,” he said. “Everything is you can't unbolt it. I mean it's corroded badly."

AAA chalks up $3 billion in vehicle repairs each year nationwide to damage from de-icing materials. Experts say newer cars are made of many different kinds of metal alloys, some of which hold up to corrosion better than others. Your best bet is to get a wash or rinse off your vehicle's undercarriage in the spring or as often as you can.

Many automatic car washes will have some sort of undercarriage spray or wash. Some will even power wash the undercarriage for an extra fee.

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