Car in snowIn this long, cold winter, we can never have too many winter driving tips. Here are some more good ones. Chris Perkins lists the following in his article for Jalopnik titled “The Ten Best Winter Car Hacks”:

  • When possible, park your vehicle so that it faces the sun. That will help the snow to melt and make learning the car off much easier.
  • Keep a strong coat of wax on your vehicle. That will lessen the effect of road salt and ice on the car’s surface.
  • When adding weight to your vehicle, make sure it is situated over the wheels that do not get traction. “You’ll probably waste a bit more fuel, but it beats being stuck,” Perkins writes.
  • When you park your vehicle, lift the windshield wipers up. That way they will not get stuck or broken if there is snow or ice.
  • Carry (clay-type) kitty litter to use as traction should your car get stuck in ice or snow.
  • You can also use the car’s floor mats for traction. Perkins suggests carrying the ones that came with the car in the trunk and replacing them in the car with all-weather floor mats.
  • Lubricate the door seals with a silicone lubricant to prevent the doors from freezing shut.
  • If possible, park on the side of the street that snow plows do not push the snow toward.
  • Coat the underside of your vehicle with Fluid Film to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Place a sheet over your car’s windshield to prevent ice. In the morning, simply remove the sheet.

Commenters to Perkins’s article also recommend the following:

  • Monsterajr suggests using remote start if your vehicle has that feature;
  • the dangler recommends using heated seats if your vehicle has that feature;
  • Jaime suggests using a tarp over the windshield, not a sheet;
  • Paul’r writes that ashes from a fireplace or wood stove work better for traction than kitty litter does, and other commenters concur;
  • GreenN_Gold writes: “ ‘Get a garage’ should be on the list.”
  • N8 writes: “A friend of mine in Colorado replaced his Audi’s plastic engine splash cover/guard/sheild (whatever you want to call it) with a similar aluminum panel to act more like a skid plate on the snow.”

And Jonathan McFadden writes for the Charlotte Observer:

  • Keep a shovel in the trunk, a windshield scraper, flashlight, batteries, battery powered radio with a NOAA weather band, bottled water, blanket, tow chain or rope, road slat or sand, booster cables, fully charged cell phone, and emergency flares.
  • Have a distress flag in your car, in case you need to hang it out the window
  • Keep sand bags in the trunk, for extra weight should you get stuck in snow
  • Make sure the windshield wipers are in good condition
  • Keep the windshield washer fluid tank full
  • Leave lots of room between you and the vehicle in front of yours
  • Drive slowly
  • Be especially careful when driving on hills and bridges, ramps, and overpasses, as they tend to be more slippery
  • Leave extra time to reach your destination
  • If you are trapped in your car, call for help and stay inside the vehicle; run the heat for about 10 minutes each hour to stay warm; make sure your tail pipe is not clogged with snow; keep your windows slightly open to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Stay warm by exercising in your seat and huddling with others in the car to share body heat

Image by Sergey Galyonkin

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