So What Exactly is this Stuff They are Dumping on the Roads?

Magnesium Chloride

The go-to choice for road de-icer by most city governments in Colorado, this salt-based de-icer effectively lowers the freezing point on roads by around twelve degrees. This makes for safer roads and overall driving conditions, but the application of this substance does bring about certain risks.

One of the side effects of spraying magnesium chloride is that it must be removed fast from vehicles because of the corrosive impact it may have. The magnesium chloride can damage electrical setups, exposed nuts, brake components and potentially ball joints. Not only can this be an expensive fix on cosmetic issues, but damage to a ball joint is a serious safety issue.

Another overlooked effect of the overuse of magnesium chloride is that it has led to a substantial buildup of salt in waterways throughout the United States. This can lead to permanent damage of ecosystems and other fragile environmental facets.

To combat the vehicle side effects of magnesium chloride, we suggest that you make an active effort to routinely wash the undercarriage of your vehicle throughout the winter. If you see an active build up of the “gooey” substance that is a result of the slush and magnesium chloride mixing it is important to scrape away and wash this buildup. 

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