Tips to prevent icy car problems in winter

June 30, 2015

If you live anywhere with cold winter weather, it's important to know how to get your car out of related trouble. As important, but less discussed, is how to prevent some of those situations from happening in the first place. The tips below should help with that.

Tips to prevent icy car problems in winter

Use oil to prevent stuck doors

Prevent car and trunk doors from freezing shut in the winter by spraying or wiping the rubber gaskets with a coating of a commercial multi-purpose lubricant or vegetable oil. The oil will seal out any water that could later freeze. This causes no harm to the gaskets.

Tape locks at the car wash

Put a strip of tape over your car door locks before going through a car wash in cold weather. This will keep out water that could later freeze and make the locks inoperable. Once you're out of the car wash, remove the tape.

Keep ice off wipers

To keep ice from forming on windshield wiper blades and hampering their operation, wipe each blade with a soft cloth soaked in full-strength rubbing alcohol.

Raw onion windshield rub

No one enjoys scraping ice off the windshield on a freezing cold morning. To avoid the tedious job, slice an onion in half and rub the cut sides against your windshield and car windows the night before a freeze to keep frost from forming.

Shield your windshield with rubber bath mats

To keep your windshield from frosting overnight, position inexpensive rubber bath mats over the glass. Hold them in place with the windshield wipers.

Bag your side mirrors

On cold nights, slip plastic bags over your side mirrors and hold them in place with clothespins. In the morning, remove the bags and your mirrors will be ice-free.

Don't get steamed

Winter driving can be frustrating — not to mention dangerous — when the inside of your windshield keeps fogging up. Here are three ways of dealing with foggy glass.

  • Use a clean chalkboard eraser to wipe the inside of the windshield clean.
  • Squirt a little shampoo onto a cloth and wipe the glass with it.
  • Use "outside air" instead of "recirculated air" and run the defroster.

Next time everyone else gets stuck with icy trouble, you'll be driving by with a smile after using these handy preventative tips.

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