By Kristen Johanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — After another winter that was tough on our cars, federal road safety experts are recommending a thorough spring cleaning for our vehicles to get rid of the road salts that accumulated.

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The guidelines come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after a five-year investigation.  Spokesman Gordon Trowbridge says they found road salt does a number on undercarriages — and on brakes.

“We found thousands of complaints from consumers of older model vehicles who have had this problem where the salt, over time, builds up and causes corrosion and causes the brake lines to rust and fail,” he notes.
NHTSA say drivers should have the underside of their cars washed to flush out any residual salt from winter storms.

Trowbridge says drivers should have brakes checked, and replace them if there are any signs of rust.

Most car washes spray the undercarriage to rinse away grime and salt, though there might an extra fee.

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Corrine, who was getting her car cleaned at the Wash N Lube, in the 1100 block of Spring Garden Street, says she will make sure the underside of her car is washed.

“If it increases safety, or decreases problems in the future, it’s not a bad idea,” she said.

Though the guidelines are specific to cars made before 2007, Trowbridge says all drivers should keep an eye on the condition of their brakes.


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