Tips For Your Car’s Survival This Winter

March 5, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

When the weather is freezing cold in most states across the country. Not only does that mean your whole day can be affected, but it could also be taking a toll on your car. It’s frustrating when snowy weather makes it impossible to get your destination, but it also doesn’t help that the car itself is going to need some care before you even take off. Luckily there are some tricks you can start using to make your life easier and to protect your car in the midst of winter weather. Here’s a look at some tricks to help your car survive the winter season.

Before the Cold Weather Season

When cold weather is around the corner, the best thing to do first is to replace an older battery. Get winter tires for when the temps drop – KKTV says winter tires have a special compound that help them keep traction when the temp dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, prepare an emergency kit with a thermal blanket, water, snacks, some cash, flashlights, an ice scraper, cat litter to throw under your tires if you get stuck and a charged-up battery booster. Start keeping your gas tank full as well.

Proactive Ways to Skip Scraping Icy Windshields

As cold weather arrives, start warming up your car or truck before driving, not only for a more comfortable drive, but because revving a cold engine is going to place unnecessary wear on your car. One of the worst parts of snowy or icy weather is scraping the ice off of your car but warming it up will help this process. Prevent ice on the windshield by placing the floor mats or a flat piece of cardboard over it and securing with the wipers. When you crack the wipers free, you can remove the cardboard and you’ll be ice-free for your drive later in the day. When you get home, raise the wipers and cover them with socks to prevent them from freezing to the window.

Alternatives to an Ice Scraper

Did you lose your ice scraper? Just grab a plastic kitchen spatula or a credit card from your wallet and you’ll have a temporary solution. Keep fine grain salt in the car because you can pour it on ice and it will be much easier to scrape away. Be sure to never use hot water to melt ice on your windows or you’ll end up with a shattered windshield. At the end of the day, park your car towards the East to get the sunlight to help defrost your windshields in the morning.

Dealing with Frozen Locks

If the locks freeze, warm your key with a lighter and then try thawing the lock. To avoid this, next time cover the locks with a thin magnet strip until you’re ready to unlock. If the lighter doesn’t work, Varooma says to de-ice the car lock with hand sanitizer. Since it contains alcohol, it will melt the ice. Just put it on your key, insert it as far as it will go and then the sanitizer will start to melt the ice inside the lock.

Get Organized & Clean

When you make your emergency kit, get a shoe organizer to put on the back of your seat. This is the place to put items that you’ll need to be able to find quickly. Keep a broom in the car to help clean snow off and cut the handle down to store it in the trunk. In an emergency, use the hubcap as a shovel if your car is stuck in the snow.

Messy Winter Weather Aftermath

At the end of the cold weather season, remove road salt from the carpet be making as solution of equal parts water and vinegar. Clean your headlights, chrome and enamel with baking soda and hit the car wash right away to get salt off before it causes rusting. Salt can also affect your fuel and brake lines. Be sure to get the car wash with the option of having the bottom cleaned as well.

This winter, make your life easier by protecting your car and improving your daily drive by using these easy and fun tips.