14 Winter Car Tricks!
It doesn’t matter that I’ve lived in Buffalo my entire life, I am still never fully prepared for the snow and cold temperatures. After the surprise snow storm we had last month, everyone should be on their toes for any crazy weather we may be having this winter. The snow is finally coming back again and there are some tricks that I’ve come across that really help me during the winter months. Read and remember these tricks, you’ll thank me later xoxo.
- Fog-proof your windshield. Put a layer on shaving cream on the inside of your windows and wipe it off. Shaving cream has a lot of the same ingredients that commercial defoggers have, and it leaves a layer on after you wipe it off to help keep the windows fog-proof!
- The sock box. Keep a pair of socks in your glove compartment. No, this is not because your mother will worry about you having cold feet. It turns out that putting on some nice wool socks over your shoes will help give you much better traction in case you have to push you car over ice, or if you need to walk i the snow and ice for some reason.
- Rear wheel fix. If you are unlucky enough to have rear wheel drive in a snowy, icy area: throw weights in the trunk for extra weight. It will help a bit with the traction to have weight directly over the drive wheels.
- Natural defrost. Park facing east in the winter, that way when the sun rises it will naturally defrost your windshield and you (hopefully) won’t be stuck scraping it in the cold.
- Gift card stash. Throw a couple gift cards in your car to your favorite local places or a Tim Hortons. That way, if you ever need a quick gift you have one handy! Get stuck and a need help? Grab a gift card and give it to your savior! Get stuck in the snow and have no money? Use a gift card to walk and get some food while you wait for help.
- Windshield wiper cover. Remember those socks I mentioned earlier? You could use that pair or a second pair to cover your windshield wipers at night to keep the snow off of them. Raise the wipers off of the windshield and over them up for an easier deicing in the morning.
- Defensive Driving. Of course there’s nothing more important than actually making it to your destination in one piece. Accelerate slowly, give yourself enough room to stop in time in case of ice. Don’t rush into a green light if the side roads haven’t stopped yet- they might slide out! Don’t floor it out for a ditch and get yourself more stuck by digging holes with your tires. Don’t tailgate! Don’t slam on the breaks if you start to swerve- adjust slowly, and hopefully you gave yourself enough room to regain control if you weren’t tailgating.
- No ice scraper? If you get in a pinch and find your car windows frozen over but no ice scraper is nearby, you have a couple options- get a spatula if you’re at home, or just use any plastic card in your wallet to get under the ice and scrap away. (Those gift cards you stashed away could come in handy here!)
- Basic maintenance. There are a few things you definitely need to check on your car as winter approaches. 1) Your tires. Make sure they aren’t smooth so they can actually grip the road in tricky conditions. They’re the only thing between you and the road. 2) Wiper blades. If they don’t work now, they won’t work in the snow. 3) Batteries. The cold makes batteries less effective, so if yours is on the verge of dying now, it will probably fail at some point in the winter. 4) Restock windshield wiper fluid.
- Get unstuck. Keep a bag of kitty litter or salt in your trunk at all times. That way if you find yourself stuck with spinning tires in the snow, just throw down some litter or sale and it should help you get traction to get you going again. Alternatively, if you forget to do this, take out a floor mat and use that under the spinning tire. (The litter also doubles as a weight for you rear-wheel-drive folks)
- Prevent fog at all. If you don’t want to put stuff on your windshield, there are steps you can take to simply reduce the moisture in your car to prevent fog in the first place. You could keep those silicone gel absorbers that come with new products sometimes and put them in your car. You could fill a stocking with kitty litter which absorbs water and keep that in your car overnight. Or before you turn your car off each night, right before you arrive at your house, open the windows and let cold air in. That way the moisture you breath in your car will be reset with dryer winter air. Also, the AC is one of the best defoggers around. The compressor takes the humidity out of the air.
- Headlight protection. You need your headlights in the winter. So, in order to keep snow from sticking to them and covering them up, rub car wax (normally reserved for the body) on them. It will keep snow and water from sticking to them for weeks!
- Deice key holes. Just put some hand sanitizer on your key as your try to use it to unlock your car. The alcohol in the hand sanitzer will melt the ice and shortly allow you to unlock your car. Sometimes putting WD-40 in the keyhole before the winter will keep any ice from forming in there in the first place.
- Keep doors unfrozen. Cooking spray in the cracks of your doors and on the rubber will prevent them from freezing shut at night. Water that melts during the day runs in between your doors and freezes, but cooking spray keeps the water from resting in the cracks in the first place.