The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just completed an investigation focused on brake failures due to corrosion in older full-size trucks and SUVs from the model years 1999 to 2003, and the findings, while important, are also pretty obvious:
Model year 2007 and earlier vehicles may be susceptible to brake pipe corrosion that can occur after seven to eight years of exposure to winter road salts. If brake pipe corrosion is not properly addressed, there is the potential of brake pipe failure which could result in a crash.
Data show that this corrosion problem is linked to brake line coating materials that several manufacturers used during this time period.
In short, NHTSA says that if you live in a cold-weather state that uses road salt, and you drive a car that's older than model-year 2006, inspect your brake system, take note of degraded performance, and make the necessary repairs.
But the incredible part of , is that the most important advice NHTSA has to offer is also the most obvious:
- Wash your car thoroughly at the end of the winter.
- Wash it throughout the winter
Seriously? We needed the feds to tell us this?
Shorter version: Take good care of your car, especially if you live in a state where you experience Annual Winter Hell.
That goes a long way.