A new survey by AAA shows that U.S. drivers paid an estimated $15.4 billion in rust repairs caused by de-icing methods over the last five years.
Those de-icing methods during the winter time caused approximately $3 billion in repairs to motorists annually.
That damage doesn't just cost drivers money in repairs, AAA says it's also a safety concern.
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“But the real concern here isn't only cost, but safety. so we're talking about rust, corroding, and eating away at your brake lines which can compromise the safety of your brakes, the fuel tank and the exhaust system,” said Mary Maguire, AAA spokesperson.
Elias Audy owns a Massachusetts repair shop and says the only way to prevent rust from happening to your vehicle is to get it washed right away.
“Once it sticks, it's not going to go away unless you wash it,” Audy said. “I usually do it when I get a few clear days in a row.”
In the AAA study, the average cost in repairs for damage caused by rust is about $500. A car wash would only cost between $15-20.