[2/24/17] From Potholes To De-Icer Chemicals– Winter Is Hard On Your Vehicle

Posted in Feature


As we begin our annual thaw from winter weather- it’s apparent to most commuters that the roadways took a beating this year.

Locally, it’s probably a good thing that the Department of Transportation has scheduled resurfacing for State Route 150 this year. The main route between Chelan and Manson has more holes and divots than a golf course.

A casual drive through the downtown area leaves little doubt that City of Chelan crews will be busy this spring patching potholes.

The City of Wenatchee is reporting above average damage to its roadways and Chelan County has set up a service request link on its website for residents to report potholes and crumbling asphalt.

Franklin County, surrounding the Tri-Cities , has declared a State of Emergency, as rapidly melting snow and ice has put road damage at more than $2 million. County officials say they will have to rely on reserves and insurance to repair that damage.

It wasn’t just the roadways that got beat up this winter. Have you looked under your car lately?

As the end of winter approaches, millions of Americans will face pricey vehicle repairs from corrosion caused by chemicals used to de-ice the roads.

In recent years, many state and local transportation departments, including Washington State, have shifted from using rock salt to liquid de-icer to combat the ice and snow on the roadways. These newer alternatives are more effective than traditional salt because they can be applied before a snow storm. They have a lower freezing point and melt ice and snow faster. However these same characteristics can be even more damaging to vehicles since the chemicals remain in liquid form longer and are more likely to coat components and seep into cracks and crevices where corrosion can accelerate.

There are some steps you can take to help prevent damage: frequently wash your vehicle- paying particular attention to the undercarriage and use a high quality car wash solution- not a household dish detergent that will strip the wax from your vehicle.

Remember those potholes we were talking about? A recent survey found that nearly 30 million US drivers experienced pothole damage significant enough to require repair last year- with repair bills ranging from under $250 to more than $1000. The winter of 2016-17 could end up being an expensive one.