ROANOKE, Va. -

Much of our viewing area dealt with snow on Tuesday and now the forecast for this weekend will warm up to temperatures in the 50's.

The Department of Motor Vehicles offers helpful information when it comes to keeping your car in good condition during the winter months.

While road salting helps people travel safely, it has drawbacks. It can cause major body and undercarriage damage to your vehicles unless you take extra care and precaution.

If you're one of the many who must travel the saline streets in the land of the ice and snow, we have some great tips to help protect your vehicle from the ravages of road salt.

Plan Ahead:

The best time to prevent salt damage to your vehicle is before the first snowflake falls; a little car maintenance will help keep the rust away.

In late autumn, thoroughly wash every inch of your vehicle, including the underside.

Apply a meticulous coat of wax, followed by a wax sealant to help keep the wax adhered to the vehicle's paint.

Seal the undercarriage, paying closest attention to the brake and fuel lines, as these are the most susceptible items for rust and corrosion and make your vehicle unsafe if they fail. You can buy a product to do this, or you can have it done professionally.

Keep a Clean Machine:

Keeping your vehicle as clean as possible during the winter will go a long way to cut down the damage done by salt and sand.

Take your vehicle to the car wash as often as possible. Many car washes in the "snow belt" offer steam cleaning and undercarriage cleaning as well as traditional car washing.

Have your car re-waxed and sealed when you have it washed.

Check out a mobile automobile detailer who can come to your workplace and do several vehicles at once.

At-Home Car Washing Tips:

If you can't get to any of the above, you'll need to brave washing your car at home. Try these tips.

Wear a pair of waterproof gloves.

Begin by spraying down your vehicle using a garden hose equipped with a high-pressure nozzle, moving from top to bottom.

Be sure to get as much mud and muck from beneath the wheel wells, under the bumpers, behind the fenders and in any other areas prone to salty slush splashes.

Follow with a warm, bubbly scrub down, using soap made especially for car washing. Dish soap strips your car's wax. Use a wash mitt or a sponge, never a shop rag, which may have metal bits in it.

If the vehicle is really salty, add a couple of tablespoons of baking soda to the wash water to help remove and neutralize the salt.

Don't neglect to scrub all the rubber, trim, outside door seals, tires, and the wheel covers.

Rinse thoroughly, making sure to remove all traces of soap.

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