Viewpoint: Brine Time/Corrosion For Cash – UnderhoodService

Viewpoint: Brine Time/Corrosion For Cash

It is not the adverse driving conditions that scare me. It is a truck with a large white tank strapped to the back spraying brines on the roads as a new strategy called "anti-icing."

Nothing is worse than having a brake job take longer because of stuck bolts, rusted dust shields and bleeders that have welded themselves shut. If you live in a state that does not get snow, you can stop reading now. If you live in the snow belt, you are about a month away from what they are predicting to be on of the worst winters in recorded time.
 
It is not the adverse driving conditions that scare me. It is a truck with a large white tank strapped to the back spraying brines on the roads as a new strategy called “anti-icing.” When I see these trucks, old wounds on my knuckles start to ache and I can smell WD40 for no particular reason.
The solution, or brine, is composed of Magnesium or Calcium Chloride.

On paper and in laboratory testing, these chemicals are typically 50% less corrosive on steel than road salt. This is a strong selling point when you consider that the same people who operate the salt trucks also maintain the bridges.
 
But, the brines stick to vehicles long after the storms have passed and even into summer. They stick to frames, cradles and on the top sides of fuel tanks. Every time it rains, the brines are reactivated and start to corrode vehicle components. At least three recalls have been issued for corrosion to frames and related components. The major victims of the corrosion are brake lines and even brake pads.
 
I talked to one shop owner in Ohio who said that 30% of his business was replacing brake and fuel lines due to corrosion. He said it has been getting worse over the past four years.
 
It used to be that people stayed home if the roads were not clear and less aggressive methods, like sand and rock salt, were used. In those good old days, bolts came off easier, frames did not rust and life as a technician was easier in the snow belt.
 
Magnesium Chloride and some brine solutions can become a conductor of electricity. On busy roads where the Magnesium Chloride solution is turned into mist by passing cars, the ceramic insulators on power lines become coated with a film that can conduct electricity. This has resulted in wooden power poles catching fire and transformers exploding.
 
When you see that truck with the white tank on the back, you can think of it as an armored car increasing you bottom line. But, it is a cruel mistress that also slows down repairs and skins knuckles. 

You May Also Like

Bendix Releases Technical Materials for ADAS Support

They are designed to help technicians properly set up, inspect, and diagnose several components integrated with ADAS.

The latest technical materials from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix) are designed to help technicians properly set up, inspect and diagnose several components integrated with advanced driver assistance technologies, including trailer antilock brakes, steering systems and forward-looking cameras.

“The safety systems on today’s commercial vehicles are more road-proven and effective in supporting safe drivers than ever,” said Nicole Oreskovic, Bendix vice president, sales and marketing. “They’re also more complex and interconnected, which means we need to thoroughly support the skilled people who keep them in top operating condition."

Dayco Adds Almost 30 Part Numbers in March

The 29 new part numbers will be available by the end of March for distributors interested in adding to their product coverage.

ASE Designates June as Automotive Service Professionals Month

ASE urges industry members to embrace Automotive Service Professionals Month as a platform for expressing gratitude.

ZF Aftermarket Releases 80 New Parts

The latest additions expand coverage to more than 5 million vehicles in operation.

Vehlo Acquires Shop Management Software, Shop-Ware

Shop-Ware is a cloud-based shop management platform catering to independent automotive aftermarket repair shops.

Other Posts

Auto Care Association Launches REPAIR Act Video

The goal is to emphasize the need for federal REPAIR Act legislation, according to the Auto Care Association.

ASE Education Foundation, Goodguys Continue Partnership

Goodguys is one of many industry relationships the foundation has developed to help solve the technician shortage.

Valvoline Celebrates Female Service Center Employees

As women make up more than half of all drivers in the United States, Valvoline is taking steps to increase their vehicle care confidence.

UniClutch Launches Clutch System in the United States

From Australian manufacturer Clutch Industries, UniClutch is a clutch system that delivers uncompromised performance.