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General E46 Forum
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:42 AM   #1
repoman89
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Salt spray on car. How long can I leave it?

Hi all -

This is my first winter owning my E46. Here in Boston, salt is everywhere on the roads basically all winter long, so when it's wet or snowy out, salt spray gets all over the car and it looks terrible. I don't really care that it looks like crap during the winter - but does leaving the white residue on the paint do any harm? I try to wash at least every couple of weeks, but it pretty much immediately comes back anyway. And it's gonna be between 0-20 degrees F for the next week so there's no way I'm washing it.

My paint looks fantastic in the summer for a 10 year old car. PO lived in NY. How much am I messing it up?

Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:47 AM   #2
klax
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They spray Mag Chloride all over the roads (salt basically with an adhesive) where I work in Northern AZ. Fortunately I only experience it a couple of times a season. More important than washing it off the paint is rinsing down the underside. As soon as you are able to, rinse down the whole car and especially the underside and wheel wells.

Last edited by klax; 01-24-2013 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:50 AM   #3
Zell
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Ah you'll be fine, they test these cars for this kind of stuff. When it gets warmer, just give it a good wash and it'll be good as new. Bird poop is more damaging than the salt. But yes, underside spray is definitely a good idea. You might wanna just go to a car wash for that (D: I know, goes against all BMW rules) because they have those underside sprays.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:52 AM   #4
HacksawMark
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It's not the paint you need to be concerned with, it's the components underneath. If the salt is on your paint, you can bet it's all over underneath. Personally, I wouldn't wait two weeks in rinsing off the underneath.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:08 AM   #5
wildirish317
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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=15022323

I have a vert, so car wash is not an option. See post above for cheap underbody rinse.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
trj
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OP, if you are concerned about the salt, wash the underbelly of the car when you take it to the wash or wash it at home. I mean take it to the manual car wash, not the automatic car washes at petrol pumps.

If you get a good day, wash it put a protective sealant wax on the paint.

I clay and seal my paint before winter and wash the car every 2 weeks or so during winter. We get a fair share of snow here in Colorado. My car looks like **** with white salt bits but I know the paint is protected with the sealant wax. If I get a good day of sunshine, I try to wax it one more time in mid winter.

And when the spring comes, clay bar and wax one more time.
Paint still shines like new(except for the rock pits on the hood and bumper).

However, rinsing the underbelly is always a good idea, salt or no salt.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:38 PM   #7
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trj View Post
OP, if you are concerned about the salt, wash the underbelly of the car when you take it to the wash or wash it at home. I mean take it to the manual car wash, not the automatic car washes at petrol pumps.

If you get a good day, wash it put a protective sealant wax on the paint.

I clay and seal my paint before winter and wash the car every 2 weeks or so during winter. We get a fair share of snow here in Colorado. My car looks like **** with white salt bits but I know the paint is protected with the sealant wax. If I get a good day of sunshine, I try to wax it one more time in mid winter.

And when the spring comes, clay bar and wax one more time.
Paint still shines like new(except for the rock pits on the hood and bumper).

However, rinsing the underbelly is always a good idea, salt or no salt.
+1 apply a good sealant after claying the car. After a sealant is applied, most dirt and stuff will come off with just a good rinse. Synthetic sealant is also superior to wax IMO (lasts longer and easy to apply, not that wax isn't easy).
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:42 PM   #8
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Go to a self service. Just get underneath the car with the high pressure hose. I try and wash my car every week or so. 4$ each wash
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:12 PM   #9
Kubica
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Salt + cold weather = ok

Salt + warm weather = rust

Wash it before it gets warmer.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:12 PM   #10
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you live in boston and it's going to be 0-20 for the next week? are you paying attention to the weather report in Minnesota or something?

I too am from Paul Pierceland and have paid attention to the weather reports. Warming up soon kid, by Monday you should be good to go. As soon as it goes above freezing, go to your nearest self car wash and spray the sh(t out of that salt. NEVER, under any circumstances ever wash your car with the temps we have been getting lately in the single digits and teens. It will make for a nightmare opening doors/windows, etc.
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