How to Care for Your Vehicle on Salty Winter Roads

This winter, the City of Edmonton joins other Alberta cities in taking a proactive approach to snow and ice removal by expanding its anti-icing pilot program on select roadways.

Anti-icing chemicals are sprayed before a snowfall and work to prevent snow and ice build-up on roads. This enhances traction and improves road safety. It can also save time, money and resources.

While effective for road safety, anti-icing chemicals can cause corrosion. The good news is that Edmonton will use a calcium chloride solution WITH a corrosion inhibitor, reducing the risk of damage to vehicles. In fact, it is expected that this will be no more damaging than the traditional road salt and sand mixtures.

What You Can Do

Regardless of whether a city uses anti-icing or de-icing chemicals, there are things you can do to protect your vehicle from damage:

  • Repair body damage that could trap chemicals.
  • Thoroughly wash your car before the first snowfall. For a step-by-step guide, check out: Washing Your Car in Winter
  • Touch up paint scratches and chips where bare metal is exposed.
  • Apply a coat of wax or paint sealant to protect the finish.
  • Frequently wash the entire vehicle, including the undercarriage and wheel-wells to loosen, dissolve, and neutralize and anti- or de-icing chemicals.
  • In the spring, thoroughly clean the vehicle undercarriage to ensure no chemical deposits remain.

Get Ready for Winter

Is your car ready to tackle the snow and cold? Review our in-depth checklist and watch expert videos on how to prepare your vehicle for winter.

Want a certified auto tech to check that your car is safe to tackle a tough Alberta winter? Make an appointment at an Approved Auto Repair Service (AARS) facility near you.

David Little is a digital copywriter at AMA. His car (2002 Chevy Cavalier, represent!) is so clean that it'll make you feel uneasy. Don’t even think about smudging those windows, friend.