If you’ve spent any winters here in Colorado, you’ve certainly driven your car over snowy roads. And these roads are often covered in magnesium chloride, thanks to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s road de-icer. Mag chloride is a powerful salt that reduces the freezing temperature of snow—and that means that the roads stay safe and free from black ice. However, magnesium chloride can be problematic for your vehicle. Here are the problems with mag chloride, and what you can do to keep your car in tip-top shape:

Problems With Magnesium Chloride

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) posts a warning on their site concerning the effects of mag chloride on vehicles:

“As with any form of winter road treatment including sand or salt, liquid anti-icer and de-icer residue should be removed from vehicles with soap and water following winter weather storms. Liquid anti-icers and de-icers are no more damaging to the finish of vehicles than conventional sodium chloride-based products and will wash away with a commercial car wash cleaning. Unlike sand/salt mixtures, the liquids will not damage your car’s paint job or windshield.”

Now, mag chloride seems fairly innocent in the aforementioned statement. After all, it won’t damage your vehicle’s paint or windshield. However, it’s doing some work on the undercarriage of your vehicle.

A Centennial-based car wash, Fox Hills, points out some of the real dangers that come along with a drive through mag chloride and snow:

“Magnesium Chloride is especially corrosive to metals, and therefore vehicles.”

What to Do

While mag chloride can be a nuisance, the solution to keeping your engine and undercarriage free from rust is simple. The same article from Fox Hills offers their solution to corrosion caused by mag chloride:

“To prevent the rust damage, clean off the salts. Wash your car after each snow or cold spell to stop the corrosion from that particular exposure. […] Thorough cleaning every spring is a good idea as well. Pop the hood and generously, but gently, spray down the motor and insides of the system.”

In addition, it’s wise to spray down the exterior of your vehicle to retain its paint job. While mag chloride isn’t a hazard for your paint, as CDOT states, any exposed metal will corrode when mag chloride and water are present. So, if you have a tiny ding or chip on the paintjob of your car, mag chloride can seep into the body of your car and begin to rust. Save the value of your car and give it a good thorough cleaning after every journey across CDOT maintained roads.


When Mag Chloride Has Harmed Your Car

When mag chloride has harmed your car, we’re here with the fix. We provide body repair and paint services, so that the exterior of your vehicle looks as sleek as it did the day you took it off the lot. Plus, we can replace and maintain any and all components under the hood of your car. View a full list of our mechanic services and cosmetic services, and schedule service for your vehicle today! Here at Avalon, we provide auto repair services for German vehicles, including Audi®, BMW®, Volkswagen®, Porsche®, and Mini®. Avalon Motorsports is conveniently located in Denver, at 6950 East Colfax Avenue.