Winter weather can be very hard on motor vehicles. But did you know that the salt and chemicals used to treat the roads for snow and ice in fact may wreak just as much havoc on your car as the winter elements themselves? A recent study conducted completed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA found that older model vehicles are especially vulnerable to winter road salt, which can lead to brake pipe corrosion and failure. Motorists who drive model year 2007 or older automobiles need to be aware of the damage that can happen after seven to eight years of exposure to winter road salt. Motorists also should familiarize themselves with the steps each person can take to prevent brake pipe corrosion from road salt. The following preventative measures can help protect your vehicle from brake pipe failure:
- Regular maintenance checks. Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or prefer to trust your automobile to your local mechanic, routine checks of your vehicle’s brake pipe system are key.
- Check your brake fluid levels. If you notice leaking brake fluid under your vehicle, that is sign of a potential problem.
- Monitor your brakes: If you start to feel a difference in your vehicle when applying the brakes that is a sure sign that you may have a problem.
- Keep your vehicle clean. While avoiding road salt is normally not a possibility, the next best thing is to keep your car clean. A few times each winter wash your car and include an undercarriage wash. This will help remove any accumulated salt and prevent damage.
If you do find that your brake system is starting to corrode, then it is time to take action. Take your vehicle to your mechanic to have him or her perform a formal inspection. Most often the best solution is to replace the entire brake assembly, not just the portion where a problem is visible. When one area of the brake assembly starts to fail, the rest of the system is at serious risk.
If you are driving and notice that your brakes “go out,” it is important to know what you should and should not do in this situation. First, do not panic. Second, do not pump the brakes. The best thing to do is to apply steady constant pressure when braking. When you do this, you may hear a distinctive sound—which is the anti-lock brakes activating. Do not be alarmed. This sound lets you know that the remaining brake circuit is working.
The good news for Oklahomans, is that while winter weather is not fun the amount of salt used by the state to keep the roads safe in winter, is far less than other states. The states with the biggest concern for road salt corrosion are Wisconsin, West Virginia, Vermont, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, District of Columbia, Delaware and Connecticut. However, keeping a vehicle’s undercarriage clean and routine maintenance checks of your vehicle’s brake pipe system are good tips, regardless of how much road salt your car sees each winter.
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in an automobile accident, it is important work with an attorney you can trust. Only experienced Oklahoma Accident Attorneys can help you make sure you receive the amount of compensation you deserve. Injury victims are entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and most importantly any pain and suffering related to the accident. The best way to determine the amount of compensation you may be entitled to is to speak with a skilled Oklahoma Injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact the experienced team of Oklahoma Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center today by calling (405) 295-1924. We provide free confidential consultations.