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Beware: corrosion could rub salt into wounds

ALRIGHT, so that horrible, horrible snow and ice have gone their way, but they've left a legacy that could damage your car.

The salt that was so widely used (when available) to keep roads passable can cause extensive damage to cars, as it speeds up the corrosion of vehicles. That's because the salt is what they term hygroscopic – in other words, it attracts water.

This is why car-care experts are advising motorists to combat the problem by washing their cars regularly during the winter period, especially around the wheel arches and sills.

The AA says that mud stuck to the underside of a car soaks up salt-laden spray and speeds up corrosion. For this reason it recommends hosing down the entire underside of the car if possible.

And when conditions are dry, says the AA, motorists should inspect underneath of their vehicle for any signs of damage to the underbody sealing compound, and have it treated, if necessary. If the vehicle is under long term corrosion warranty, the terms might specify how this is carried out.

The AA also recommends that car owners touch up any minor bodywork scratches in order to keep them waterproof and corrosion resistant. It also recommends the use of a polish to help protect bodywork.