Fog-Proof Your Windshield
Fog-Proof Your Windshield
This one is simple- put shaving cream on the inside of your windows and then wipe it off! Shaving cream has a lot of the same ingredients that commercial defoggers have, and it leaves a layer on the window to keep the fog off.
The Sock Box
The Sock Box
Keep a pair of socks in your glove box. No, this isn't 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 your car over ice, or you just need to walk in snow and ice for some reason.
Rear Wheel Fix
Rear Wheel Fix
If you are unlucky enough to have rear wheel drive in a snowy, icy area: Throw weights in your trunk! Helps a bit with the traction to have weight directly over the drive wheels.
Natural Defrost
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
Gift Card Stash
Throw a couple gift cards in your car to your favorite local place or a Starbucks. That way, if you ever need a quick gift, you have one handy! Get stuck and need help? Grab a gift card and give it to your savior! Get snowed in and need a quick gift for a friend? Boom, gift card!
Winshield Wiper Cover
Winshield Wiper Cover
Remember those socks I mentioned earlier? You could use that pair or a second one to cover your windshield wipers at night to keep the snow off of them overnight. Raise the wipers off of the windshield and cover them up for easier de-icing in the morning.
Defensive Driving
Defensive Driving
Of course there's nothing more important that actually making it to your destination in one piece. Accelerate slowly, give yourself 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 of a ditch and get yourself more stuck by digging holes with your tires. Don't taigate! (ever!) Don't slam on the brakes 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?
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 a home, or just use any plastic card in your wallet to get under the ice and scrape it away. (Those gift cards you stashed could come in handy here!)
Basic Maintenance
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 wont 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 winshield wiper fluid.
Get Un-Stuck
Get Un-Stuck
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 and it should help give you traction to get going again. Alternatively, if you forgot 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
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 moisture 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 home, open the windows and let cold air in. That way the moisture you breathed 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
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!
De-Ice Keyholes
De-Ice Keyholes
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 Un-frozen
Keep Doors Un-frozen
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.
Cheap Winshield Washer Fluid
Cheap Winshield Washer Fluid
Mix 2 quarts rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon dish detergent to form a cheap windshield washer fluid that shouldn't freeze. Alternatively, vinegar with a bit of water could be sprayed directly onto your winshield to de-ice it and prevent more ice from forming. Be careful though, you don't want to mess up your paint job with vinegar!
Frosty Mirrors?
Frosty Mirrors?
Use large zipper storage bags to cover your mirrors. This will help keep frost from forming, avoiding a little extra scraping.
Frosty Mirrors?
Frosty Mirrors?
Use large zipper storage bags to cover your mirrors. This will help keep frost from forming, avoiding a little extra scraping.
Covering All Bases
Covering All Bases
Keep an old scrap piece of carpet, or an old rug, in your trunk during the winter. When you park, cover your windshield with it, ensuring it is help down with your wipers. This will help keep your windshield less messy. If you get in a pinch, the rug can also be used to gain traction on ice or snow.
Keep It Clean!
Keep It Clean!
Make sure to clean your car often during the winter, as deicing products can seriously damage a car after prolonged exposure. To clean the more difficult to reach under-carriage, run a lawn sprinkler underneath the car on a slightly warmer day.

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