drive it in snow/salt or not? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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drive it in snow/salt or not?

Let me give a little background for you to consider and then I would like to hear real car guys (girls) advice. I have a new 2010 e550 4matic. I live in the NY snowbelt and the roads are salt/sand covered all winter. I don t need to drive the car in winter and it is garaged. This past year I put 5000 miles on the E. I am wondering how much damage the salt will do to the underbody components. Does MB do anything different than other manufactuers to combat this. I ve seen brake lines etc. destroyed in only a few short years on other vehicles under these conditions. The other side is I payed all that money and do not use it as often as I would like.I like to keep my vehicles in top condition and do run a small auto detail shop, so keeping it washed is not the issue. What do you think? Here is my daily driver below... thanks all


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 06:53 PM
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My MB never experiences salt or snow and like you I have a couple of daily drivers that I use when the winter weather is lousy. The main reason I am cautious is I have a W210 and the front spring perches are a weak point when it comes to rust. Remember that they get a lot of snow in Germany so you're probably fine with your newer (than mine) car. What I don't know is what they use to treat the roads over there or if they make any changes in the bodywork for the cars exported to the US.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-17-2010, 11:52 PM
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Keeping it garaged for 4-5 months because of few days with salt on the road?
Why not have both and drive E on nice winter days and Chevy during snowstorms.
It is nice to afford to have 2 or more cars for such the occasion, but economically keeping 2nd car cost you more than drive Mercedes in bad weather and repair it, or trade sooner.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 12:02 AM
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I don't drive my car in regions that get snow and salted roads, thankfully here in Oregon that's not a concern. When it does snow in the Portland area they don't use salt because of the environmental concerns about contaminating freshwater streams and killing fish. When I spent last winter in the Midwest the roads were covered with salt. I was lucky enough to be able to drive a new Dodge Challenger for the winter months (I say lucky because that car uses many components from E-Class and S-Class MB's). I always noticed that many, many cars in these regions are salt damaged and it's not worth the risk to me.

Even if MB uses better protected body panels these days, and I'm not convinced they do, most of the remaining exposed parts are made just like they have been for the last few decades, meaning your suspension, metal lines, supports and connectors, under-body components, brake components, etc. will still likely suffer from corrosion because you can't reach them easily. You also have to consider that the salt is held in solution in the melted road water so it get's thrown all over your car, slipping down crevices around windshield, under trim pieces, etc. and can corrode seemingly from the inside out. Sure you might miss driving your car for a couple of months, but the reunion will just be all the sweeter come spring.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 09:49 AM
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Only you know whether you can afford the luxury of owning two cars, one too good to be used in Winter. A lot of sports car owners also face this dilemma!

Also it depends how long you intend to keep your new E550. The MB body panel corrosion improvements were introduced in about 2003/4, and I have yet to see a rusty MB built after that date. Of course things can go bad underneath, but you should not expect to get severe corrosion on your suspension parts and brake lines in less than 10 years, imo. There have been continuous improvements in the design of these materials.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Its not a matter of affording it, I would like to drive the MB also in the winter but I don t want the added maintaince/trouble issues of a salt driven car. I miss driving it sometimes because it s a 4 months period that the roads are snow/salt covered here. See that above picture, that s how my road will be until late March... I did use it a few times last year during the winter.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 11:39 AM
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I did/do own Mercedes that spend several years in snow countries.
W123 spend over a decade in Baton Rouge and only had couple of spots on the paint, that buffed off. No actual corrosion damages.
Our present driver W210 spend over 7 years in Pennsylvania. It shows that PO did take good care about it, but my close inspection shows no corrosion at all.
I did drive Fiats on salty Polish roads and they had corrosion holes after 3 years, so I am familiar what salt can do, but per my experience -clean snow or mud is not that harmful.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-18-2010, 11:40 AM
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Did I say "clean mud" ?
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