Ways to Keep Your Vehicle Free of Snow and Ice
Why it is essential to keep your vehicle clear of snow and ice
During the cold, snowy, dreary Michigan months it is particularly important to keep your vehicle windows clear of snow and ice. Building extra time to remove snow and ice from your vehicle before driving out on the roads will prevent potential collisions. Not only are there possible external damage (for example, collision) but there is also internal damage that can occur. Before tackling the snow and ice that accumulated on the windows, check to see if the tailpipe is free of snow buildup. Snow covering the tailpipe can lead to carbon monoxide buildup in your car. Once the tailpipe is relieved of snow and ice, start the vehicle with defrost on high for both the front and rear windows. It may take some time before the vehicle warms up to start the melting process. In the meantime, clear the roof, hood, and trunk lid (if necessary) while you wait. Not clearing the snow and ice off of the roof of your vehicle can lead to extreme damage on other drivers on the road. Clear the remaining aspects of the vehicle leaving the windshield for last to allow the optimal amount of time for the defrosters to melt the ice. Do not forget to clear your exterior mirrors, headlights, tail lights, and turn signals. Finally, clear the windshield of all snow and ice, clean and dry the wiper blades, and make sure the fluid nozzles are clear. If the wiper blades are more than six months old or are not clearing the windows as they are designed to do, it may be time to replace them.
Removing frost from the windows and windshield
Frost accumulates on the windows of the vehicle due to the temperature of the glass cooling more rapidly than the air around it when the sun sets. The dew or condensation on the windshield, windows, and mirrors freezes creating frost. To clear frost from different aspects of the vehicles, use the smooth plastic side of the ice scraper. If there is not a ice scraper available, a plastic card from a wallet or purse or a non-usable CD will do the trick. Scrape the frost in vertical strokes gently removing it off of the vehicle. There are products that are specifically designed for this purpose on windows. Ask a mechanic or staff at an automotive supply store for recommendations. Be sure to follow the manufacturers recommendations on the application process.
Removing ice from the windshield
When removing ice from the windshield , use the ridged side of a plastic ice scraper. Scrape vertically down the window creating a slash then scrape horizontally to break up the ice in smaller chunks. NEVER pour hot water on an ice covered windshield. The rapid temperature difference from the windshield to the hot water can create the windshield to crack or shatter. Using other sharp objects such as screwdrivers, metal keys, etc can leave scratches or crack the glass. There are a few home remedy solutions to help prevent against ice build up.
Vinegar Spray: Each night spray the windshield with a vinegar solution (three parts vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle). Spray liberally on the windshield, side windows, and rear windows. Then wipe down each window with an old rag or squeegee.
Rubbing Alcohol: Mix two parts rubbing alcohol and one part water into a spray bottle and spray over the windshield, side windows, and rear windows.
Salt Water: A salt water solution will have the same effect as vinegar spray and rubbing alcohol. The science behind all three of these is that they freeze at a lower temperature than normal water.
Onion: Rubbing a root vegetable seems strange to rub over windows of a vehicle but by rubbing half an onion over the windows at night will stop frost from forming in the morning. Cut the onion lengthwise and apply it the night before. The oil from the onion line the glass with a coating the keeps frost and ice from developing.
Park facing east: Park your vehicle facing east and let mother nature do the work. When the sun rises in the east, it will naturally defrost the windshield.
Removing snow from the car
Fluffy snow is beautiful as it falls but not so beautiful when scraping it off your vehicle at 7:00 in the morning. To help, use a snow brush with plastic bristles or a broom to clear windows. This can be followed by a light scrape with an ice scraper if needed. Heavy snow may require clearing the snow with a push broom. Be sure to clean off the roof and hood before heading out.
Finally, watch for fog buildup on the interior windows
Sometimes the windshield visibility can be compromised fog from inside the vehicle. The reason for foggy windows has to do with the temperature and the air’s moisture content. Always keep the air vent set to “fresh” instead of “recirculate”. For best results, use the air conditioners which are designed to remove moisture from the air. This can occur even when the heaters are on. Finally, keep a clean, micro-fiber towel in the vehicle for the stubborn foggy spots.