GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) — A new AAA report estimates U.S. drivers pay about $3 billion a year to repair rust damage from road de-icers.

AAA’s Northeast office said Tuesday that liquid de-icers are faster and more effective. But they’re even more corrosive than traditional salt.

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It says the fact that they remain liquid at lower temperatures makes it easier to coat vehicle surfaces, cracks and crevices.

AAA says rust damage to brake lines and fuel tanks can be deadly.

Drivers should heed brake-warning lights, a spongy brake pedal or the smell of gasoline. State vehicle safety inspections can help consumers detect rust damage.

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Frequent washing, especially the undercarriage, can neutralize road salt and chemicals.

There’s also the proverbial ounce of prevention: Try to stay off the roads before, during and right after winter storms.

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