The Damaging Effects of Mag Chloride
Magnesium Chloride, or Mag Chloride, is a compound commonly used to de-ice roads. It is very effective in making roads safer by lowering the temperature at which ice melts and clinging to roads’ surfaces to avoid getting washed or brushed away. The adhering qualities make mag chloride a very effective de-icing compound; however, these qualities also make it difficult to clean off the exterior of your car.
As you can see in the infographic, Mag Chloride can have damaging effects to your car’s body paint, windshield, underbody, chrome trim, and any exposed metal. Here’s some more information on the damaging effects to all of these parts of your car:
If left on your car’s exterior, Mag Chloride can dull and tarnish your car’s body paint. To avoid this damage, wash your car thoroughly with hot water from a high-pressure hose and use soap liberally. You’ll have to scrub hard to get the Mag Chloride from the surface of the body paint. Sometimes applying a wax finish can help to keep the compound off of your car during the next snowstorm.
As noted in the infographic, Mag Chloride doesn’t chip or break your windshield, but it can adhere to the glass and cause severe visibility problems. Wiper fluid can help with this, but a proper car wash will ensure that all the Mag Chloride is removed from your windshield.
Any exposed metal can rust after exposure to Mag Chloride. If you have any areas without paint on your car, removing the compound from these surfaces should be your top priority. This can go from a small problem to a big problem quickly.
This is tough to see and can be even tougher to clean on your own. Full-service car washes can take care of possible corrosion of electrical wires, brake shoes, and ball joints.
Chrome or aluminum trim
“Soft” metals can be scratched or warped by harder metals and materials. Mag Chloride can pit soft metals, such as the chrome or aluminum trim found on many vehicles. Carefully clean these areas after snowstorms to avoid corrosion.
The bottom line is that you should get your car thoroughly washed after exposure to avoid the damaging effects of Mag Chloride. A few minutes in a car wash could prevent many problems with your car’s exterior and underbody in the future.