Is freshwater or saltwater worse for your car?

I live in Louisiana and there is nowhere I can drive right now due to flooding. I have to get food, though, so I'm going to have to drive through some water. Which is worse to drive through: fresh water or salt water?

Answer
“I hope you are okay despite the flooding!
Driving through water isn’t the safest, but when it comes to your car, salt water is worse. Your car can handle some water, but saltwater eats away at your car faster than freshwater will.
Because many components of your car, especially the undercarriage, is made of metal, water can lead to rust. Louisiana has frequent humidity and hurricanes, which means your car is already likely to have some rust.
Saltwater in particular can damage your car the longer it sits. Damage doesn’t happen immediately, but with the humidity, it will continue to eat away at the metal and corrode it. If your car gets flooded with salt water, it can ruin your car and total it.
Rinsing off the undercarriage of your car with fresh water when you get home can help if you have to drive through saltwater.
If you’re looking for more help with your car or assistance like towing coverage, lockout service, tire change, jump starts, key replacement, a mechanics hotline, and more, try a roadside assistance membership through the Jerry app.”
avatar
Lauren Smith
Answered on Sep 09, 2021
Lauren has written for World Nomads, the Matador Network, Korvia Consulting, and once upon a time Three Fates Games. She graduated from Columbia College of Chicago with a BFA in Creative Writing. After graduating, she moved overseas and lived in South Korea where she spent her free time traveling and going on road trips with friends. She misses the rest stop potatoes and is trying to figure out how to recreate them at home. She's now based outside of Chicago and when she's not writing she spends her free time reading, playing video games, and exploring whenever she can.
thumb-up

Did this answer help you?

Ask us a question by email and we will respond within a few days.
thumb-up

Have a different question?

You can meet us at our office and discuss the details of your question.

Read advice from car experts at Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free