Winter Car Hacks

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

Winter driving can cause a massive headache–icy roads, frosted windshields, and limited roadside parking.  Winter conditions are especially challenging for those of us who deal with both snow AND extremely cold temperatures.  I’ve scoured the internet and compiled my favorite (read: most useful) hacks to help you (and your car) survive the winter.

  1. Prevent car windows from fogging.  When temperatures drop, the air can’t hold the moisture and much of it is deposited on your windows.
    • Spray a layer of shaving cream on the inside of your car windows, and wipe clean.  The soap from the shaving cream creates a protective film over the glass to keep it from fogging.  Pro tip: A little goes a long way!
    • Since moisture from the air is the culprit, avoid additional moisture by filling a sock or stocking with kitty litter to prevent frost.
    • Avoid leaving bottles of water in your car overnight as it adds to the moisture in the air.
  2. Prevent car doors from freezing shut. Spray cooking spray on the rubber seals around the car doors and rub it in with a paper towel.  The oils from the cooking spray should protect against melting water.
  3. Vinegar + Water = De-Icer.  Use three parts vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle. Bonus: if you spray vinegar on the windows the night before, you can prevent icing in mildly cold temperatures.
  4. Socks as windshield wiper covers. Use socks to cover your windshield wipers at night to keep the snow off of them.  Raise the wipers off the windshield and cover them up for easier de-icing in the morning.
  5. Prepare side mirrors with plastic bags.  Cover your car’s side mirrors with plastic gallon bags and a rubber band the night before a storm or frost.  The mirrors will be ice free when you remove the bag the next morning!
  6. Park your car facing east.  If possible, park your car facing east and let mother nature’s sun act as a natural defroster for your windshield.
  7. Don’t use hot water!  Whatever you do, don’t use hot water to melt the ice on your windows.  The difference in temperature causes stress on the glass, shattering it.
  8. Keep some kitty litter in your trunk.  To give the back tires of a rear-wheel drive car a little more weight for better traction, buy a 20-pound bag of kitty litter and leave it in the trunk of your car. This will help ground your rear tires over snowy roads. You can also use a heavy bag of road salt.

Stay tuned for our next installment in which we talk to Oak Lawn Toyota’s Weather Guy AND I help you pack an emergency kit to keep in your car this winter.

 

Thanks for reading!

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