Driving conditions get all the press once the snow starts to fly. Slippery roads and massive snowdrifts are a pain, to be sure, but most of us lose sight of the fact that the majority of our winter driving woes happen before we ever hit the pavement. With heavy snowfall, freezing rain, and below-zero temperatures, most of your issues are caused by the snow, ice, and fog on your vehicle.
If you aren’t able to park your vehicle in a garage this winter, these 10 Tips to Deal with Snow, Ice, and Fog will make your winter a lot easier, physically and emotionally. So save the stress and make winter your @$%#& with these simple hacks.
Clearing snow off your vehicle is a headache in and of itself. Scraping ice off your windows is the absolute worst. Whenever I’m scraping ice, my face takes on something of a Cary Elwes vibe in Saw when he’s cutting his own foot off: I’m angry, and sad, and I just want to get it over with. It almost makes me understand those lunatics who bike to work in -25 weather. Almost.
Luckily, ice and fog aren’t really an issue for me now. Not since I started doing some of these hacks. So, if you’re climbing behind the wheel this winter (instead of sitting overtop of one on a banana seat), have no fear. These tricks of the trade will help you deal with the pesky ice that builds up on your windshield, in your locks, and on your mirrors.
If Something Happens to Your Scraper, Use a Credit Card
If your scraper somehow breaks, or you misplace it in another vehicle, or you break it over your knee Bo Jackson style in a fit of psychotic rage (all understandable occurrences), you can use a credit card in a pinch. Now, I wouldn’t suggest you do it every time—those things aren’t exactly indestructible—but if you just need a quick scrape to get yourself home, a credit or bank card will definitely do the trick.
This one sounds crazy but it works every time. If you can’t stand the ice that builds up on your side mirrors, wrap a Ziploc bag around each one and secure them in place with plastic bands. Fool proof method, even if it makes you look like a bit of a fool.
In Canada, temps can plummet to ridiculous levels. When it’s -35, sometimes your doors can actually freeze shut. The remedy? The night before a temperature drop, spray some cooking spray or WD-40 on the seals and wipe them clean. The spray will act as a lubricant on the rubber seals, making it extremely hard for ice to form.
This one’s free. Since the sun rises in the east, park your car facing east (if you can) and it will get a greater concentration of sunlight in the morning. Why pay for something to melt the ice when mother nature can do it for you? Now, in the dead of winter, when the sun doesn’t rise until 8 am, this might not do the trick. But on sunnier, milder winter days, it definitely does the trick.
If your car doesn’t have remote entry, then simply coat your key in hand sanitizer before you stick it in the lock. There’s enough alcohol in the sanitizer to defrost it. This also works with door handles. Simply rub some on, give it a minute, and you’re good to go.
Mix three parts vinegar to one part water (3:1) in a spray bottle and use it to coat your windows and mirrors. This should help coax off some of that pesky ice. You can also do this the night before to help prevent ice from forming.
If a snowfall is coming, it’s pretty common practice to leave your wipers standing up overnight to prevent them from sticking to your windshield. Even still, some ice will form on the blades, making wiping pretty much impossible for the first few minutes you’re driving. Quick fix: put some old socks over top of your wipers. The snow/ice will stick to the sock and leave your wipers clean as a whistle. Look, we never said these tips would make you look cool.
Snow gets a lot of the blame in an accident, but much of the time the issue is actually visibility. These three tips will help prevent fog and ice from forming inside your vehicle, and they’ll also help stop your vehicle from fogging up while you’re already on the road.
Okay, just hear me out. Shaving cream contains the same active ingredients as defoggers, so if you coat the inside of your windshield with (even cheap) shaving cream and then wipe it clean, the window won’t fog up. Make sure you do it on the back window as well. All six windows, really. Soap will have the same effect, but it’s messier and I find that it doesn’t work quite as well. But feel free to use whatever you have handy.
Teachers and parents, listen up. Keep a chalk eraser in your glove compartment and use it to rub away any excess fog or frost without smudging your windows. It works well, and it works fast, too!
This o ne isn’t technically for the inside of your vehicle, but it’s a bit one in terms of visibility. Just put toothpaste on a rag or some paper towel and scrub your headlights. Rinse with warm water and you’re done. Not only will it prevent ice and fog buildup that day, but it can keep them clean for days at a time.