Ice melt could be eating away at your car

State and local agencies spend more than $2.3 billion on snow and ice control annually, but billions more are spent repairing damage to motorists' vehicles caused by a common ice-melt solution.

State and local agencies spend more than $2.3 billion on snow and ice control annually, but billions more are spent repairing damage to motorists' vehicles caused by a common ice-melt solution.

The heavy coating of brine sprayed on roads and highways before a storm to keep drivers safe is not so safe for your car, reports CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues.

According to AAA, brine, a salt and water solution often combined with magnesium chloride, is the most effective tool for keeping people from losing control. While it's ideal for clearing roads, the acidic compound eats away at parts of a car faster than rock salt and can end up costing you.

AAA said drivers spend about $6.5 billion every year repairing damage caused by salt and brine corrosion.

Inspecting one vehicle, mechanic Christopher Charucksiri said the damage starts in the undercarriage and then spreads.

"This truck in particular is bad. I mean, like, the shocks are rusted, the frames are rusted, the exhaust that we were having to replace is rusted through, brakes get rusted over. Everything gets messed up," Charucksiri said.

Before a vehicle suffers damage, Charucksiri said there is a simple solution: After a major snowstorm, head straight to the car wash.

"This has been a tough winter. They do what they have to do, and you try to protect the car as best you can," said motorist Paul Arendal.

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