N.E. Ohio vehicles face increased safety concerns due to stepped-up calcium chloride use

Experts believe chemical promotes more corrosion
Posted at 10:48 PM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 23:15:55-04

Some Cleveland area auto body shops believe the increased use of calcium chloride for northeast Ohio snow and ice removal is creating stepped-up vehicle corrosion and attacks critical safety components.

Emily Hall, Service Manager at Terry's North Coast Automotive, told News 5 calcium chloride is more corrosive that standard road salt, and can damage critical braking components, key suspension parts and a vehicles frame.

Hall said the use of calcium chloride has made it even more important that motorists get an under body wash during the winter more often, and obtain an under carriage safety inspection at least once a year.

The Ohio Department of Transportation District 12 office confirmed the use of calcium chloride, in addition to road salt when temperatures drop into the teens, frigid temperatures that can render standard road salt ineffective in melting ice and snow.

The City of Brunswick is now using a calcium chloride coated salt mixture called "blue salt," a road treatment that is now being considered by the City of Berea.

Hall said she is seeing more and more vehicles that are unsafe to drive due to profound vehicle frame corrosion.

"Calcium Chloride can eat away at a car," said Hall.  "It's just really bad."

"A girl even stopped by today, where part of her car was broken, because it had just rusted off the frame, this bracket that she had."

"The woman's car had to be towed away, it wasn't safe to drive."

"I would say at least once a week during this type of weather, do the under car spray.  That's really the only way to help out with the salt."