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3208 International St, Fairbanks, AK   |   (907) 312-1447

Summer Salt Corrosion is Big Business

DOT has been busy all winter keeping roads cleared. But summer is when the salts used in road maintenance get BUSY.

Your car, snow-machines, water haulers—anything that has been on a paved road since the first snowfall—needs your attention.

If you are not proactive you can look forward to 20-50% more on equipment repair than you would normally. 

Here are the numbers according to our data: Vehicles with 70-120k miles enter “maintenance” cycles in which parts need to be replaced.  Repair costs for passenger cars in this mileage range average between 2-3 thousand dollars annually under the PREVIOUS historical Fairbanks road maintenance practices. 

We are now seeing a 20-50% increase on the cost of many repairs due to the cumulative corrosive effects of salt neglect over the past decade.

What can you do?

  1. Contact your representative. Democracy is a remarkable tool for advocacy in both commerce and civics. Let them know that road practices are costing you an extra mortgage payment in transportation costs alone. Invite them to look into it. Request data.
  2. Spring Clean. Take this concept to anything metal. Commit to cleaning up after DOT with everything you’ve taken out the driveway since October 10. 

What does “clean up” look like?

Cars and Trucks

  • After Break-up, when the roads are dry, take vehicles to the car wash and request the full underbody wash. 
  • Ask if the carwash recycles their water. If so, they are slathering your car in winter salts.
  • If you cannot find a carwash that is treating the water for salts, use the coin-op sprayers.
  • Underbody, suspension parts in particular, need to be treated.
  • When it first rains after Break-up, go to the carwash again. Car washes until mid-June, post rain storms, is important. 


  • Use a chemical treatment to remove salts.
  • Snow machines, particularly older machines, need to be thoroughly rinsed and treated with solvents. Inside and out. Address track, engine, tunnel and all suspension parts.
  • Trailers can be treated post-cleaning with a rust inhibitor. 

Rims and Tires

  • It is CRUCIAL that rims and tires be cleaned with soap or solvent to remove salts before summer storage.

Summer Storage

  • Dry as a bone. Store all equipment in the driest climate. 
  • Do not tarp snow machines, four wheelers, trailers with ground contact. 
  • Elevate with dunnage and make certain there is tons of air circulation throughout. Best is storage in a building with a roof but not enclosed. 
  • Rims and tires must be removed from bags for summer storage. Keep them out of the sun, off the ground and open to air circulation. Behind the house or a shed, etc. 

Repair Geeks do an awesome job of vetting products out there that help to dissolve salt. We highly recommend this if you have a place that includes drainage like a garage. These are harsh chemicals that you don’t want leaching into soils on your property. 

Happy Cleaning, and Thank God it’s Spring!