10 Winter Car Hacks That’ll Help You Beat the Freeze
RealClearLife has put together a list of 10 great winter car hacks that you need to add to your routine yesterday. Because that next snowstorm is going to come out of nowhere, and you’re going to be like, “Damn, I should’ve taken that RCL list for seriously.” Let this be a warning.
(1) Wiper’s Out – Let’s start easy. If you know that a winter weather system is going to hit that night, make sure to raise your car’s windshield wipers, so that the following morning, they’re not frozen to your front window. Common sense? Sure. But you’d be surprised how many people you see battling with molasses-y wipers the morning after a big storm.
(2) Battling Mr. Freeze – The worst thing in the world? Having to stand next to your car in the middle of 10-degree weather and scrape your iced-over windows. Here are a couple DIY hacks for deicing them: arm a spray bottle with three parts vinegar and one part water, and that should do the trick; or fill that same bottle with two parts rubbing alcohol and one part water for the same effect.
(3) Sly Scrapers – One of the worst scenarios ever: You’re on business somewhere cold and in a rental car sans scraper. What do you do? One great hack is use that plastic hotel card they gave you at the front desk as a scraper (we’ve actually tried this before, and it works quite well). Or you could always just use your credit card.
(4) Cardboard for the Win – Keeping an unfolded cardboard box in your trunk during the winter might make you a lot of friends in your neighborhood. Say, the guy next door’s car is stuck in a snowbank. Simply retrieve your cardboard, put it under his front tire, and boom, he’ll get some much-needed traction. And you’ll probably get a free six-pack.
(5) Snowbanks From Hell – This one is for those of you who just laughed at that cardboard/traction scenario. Well, we have a solution for you guys, too. Try Track N Go, which literally turns your truck or SUV into a fierce winter-fighting machine. Order those bad boys here.
(6) Mats Appeal – You probably didn’t think the floor mats in your car did anything. Well, when the weather goes from pretty (fall) to downright terrible (winter) in one fell swoop, you’ll want to trick out your floors with all-weather mats. What they do is keep the mud, salt, and other gunk off your car’s flooring; and also remove the hazard of liquids (like melting snow) from under your feet. Because, G-d forbid, you should be driving along at 65 on the highway and your gas-pedal foot slips, all heck could break loose. Order some great all-weather mats here.
(7) Lube Up Your Rubber – Get your heads out of the gutter, people. One way of making sure your doors don’t freeze shut is spraying a little WD-40 on the rubber lining before a deep-freeze occurs. The following morning, you’ll be the only one on the block with doors that don’t suck.
(8) Get a Broom – So what if you have a piece of cardboard and a broom in your trunk? You’ll get the last laugh. Brooms are best for SUV drivers, because most of us aren’t tall enough to brush accumulated snow off the roofs of our car. A broom is the way to go. Why do you even need to do this? After a big recent snowstorm, we were driving on the highway, when a giant chunk of snow came careening down our windshield, partially obscuring it. That’s why.
(9) Go East, My Friends – By that, we mean park your car so it’s facing eastward. That way, the following morning, when the sun rises, however weak it may be in the winter months, your windshield will be the first to enjoy its rays. (Obviously, this doesn’t apply as well for city dwellers, who might have opposite side parking rules in effect. But most snowstorms in the city make those rules go away.)
(10) Keep It Clean – One of the biggest mistakes people make during the winter months is letting their cars “wear” whatever’s on them. You’ve seen the woman who’s red car looks like it’s been airbrushed with rock salt. What she’s actually doing is harmfully corroding the exterior and underside of her car, and over time, that will lead to rust and other issues. Don’t be that woman. Bring your car into the carwash on a semi-regular basis.
—Will Levith for RealClearLife