Now that the cold weather is gone, erase the remnants it left behind on your vehicle.

Once the temperatures begin to go up, take a walk around your vehicle and look for signs of salt buildup or rust.

Here are some areas you should pay special attention to once the warm weather returns.

Undercarriage

While you can’t always see them, many parts under a vehicle ensure everything operates safely and efficiently. Unfortunately, the undercarriage is seriously impacted by road salt. When planning to clean your undercarriage, the Illinois Secretary of State urges you to pay special attention to these important parts, as they are most at risk to becoming compromised:

 Exhaust system and muffler;

 Coil springs and subframe; and

 Hydraulic brake systems.

If you notice signs of rust between your axles and brake system, have a professional inspect it for safety.

To clean your undercarriage, use a high-pressure hose or power washer to blast salt and other debris build-up. If you need to raise your vehicle with a jack or jack stand, be sure it is stable before crawling underneath the car.

Paint Integrity

Another area of your vehicle that can become damaged during winter weather is the paint. Most modern vehicles protect their colors with a layer of clear coat. It acts as a protective barrier to keep your vehicle’s paint job looking fresh. Unfortunately, once this defense is compromised, damage can quickly spread, resulting in a faded appearance. If spots are minor, you can find touch-up paint at your local auto parts store. For more serious damage, the helping hand of a professional may be needed.

Clean Up Battery Connection

Cold weather is harsh on electrical components in your engine bay. Pay attention to the state of battery terminals. If you notice corrosion, starting performance can be an issue.

Use a wire brush and a terminal cleaner to improve connections.