How to Deal with Winter and your Car

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Winter not only brings Christmas, it also brings bad weather for much of the United States. Snow, sleet and ice are prevalent, and can wreak havoc on your car. Here are some excellent tips to help you deal more effectively with your car in bad weather.

  • Store your car (if it’s possible) always in a garage or in a “closed type” parking. It is very important to keep your car from the snow because it will be always clean and you will not waste your time to clean the snow from it. It is best to you to keep car in a warm place to help the snow to thaw after driving.
  • Keep your gas tank as full as you can. The temperature difference between cold conditions outside and warm conditons inside the gas tank causes the process of water condesation which can cause an “ice fuse” in fuel hoses. You then suddenly may not be able to power on your car engine, because fuel is not able to reach the engine. But, if your tank is always filled with gas, it will supersede all water drops and they simply will be burned in the engine with the fuel.
  • After washing your car, “blow” all locks of your`s car doors with a hair drier. Remember how many times you tried to open a frozen door of your car after washing? So, after washing your car, park it in a warm place (in a garage), then take a simple hair drier and blow car locks with it.You must blow warm airflow directly inside the lock for a minute ot two to make it totally dry. Then, take a dry cloth and wipe out water from the lock mechanism on the side of the door.
  • Keep an eye on your “window washer” liquid level. It`s dirty outside, isn`t it? So, to drive safely, it’s very important to have clean front windows. Go to your closest store and buy a good washer liquid for your car. Do not buy cheap products, because they can contain chemicals, which can be dangerous for you life.
    Do not buy liquid which contains methanol (CH3OH), because when in the air, it transforms into deadly Carbon Dioxide which can be very dangerous if inhaled
  • How to drive your car safely during winter? There is an ice on the road! So increase speed slowly! I said slowly!!! Give some time to your car`s wheels to hook on the ice. Remember, that the “stopping-distance” of your car varies from the weather conditions. In winter, it becomes much bigger than in summer because of the ice. So, brake in advance, to prevent collison!!! A good braking technique in winter is a “repeatedly braking technique”. Try to push on a brake pedal repeatedly, so your “brake lips” can clean the brake disk from dirt and snow and effectively stop your car.

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41 thoughts on “How to Deal with Winter and your Car”

  1. Keeping your car out of the heat as much as possible is good. The process of rust is accelerated by both heat and salt was my point. Spraying a jet of water on the undercarriage to wash off salt is good too.

  2. I also want to add that even though u think u got this fancy 4WD SUV… u still are driving on 4 patches of rubber about the size of your open hand. because that’s the only part of your car that makes contact with the ground is those small contact points from your tires. So don’t think that u driving those monsters thinking u will never slide or get stuck!

  3. Chris, have you been consuming too much di-hydrogen oxide?

    Gasoline, when burned properly, produces carbon dioxide. Diesel fuel, when burned properly, produces carbon dioxide. Fuel oil, when burned properly, produces carbon dioxide. When you eat lunch, and it is digested properly, your body produces carbon dioxide.

    If there’s TOO LITTLE carbon dioxide in the air, your body doesn’t breathe on its own, and you die.

    And methanol, when it evaporates into the air, does NOT turn into carbon dioxide. It turns into vaporous methanol. The only way it turns into carbon dioxide is if it *burns*.

    This reminds me of Mark Twain’s comment that “Turnips should never be pulled, it injures them. It is much
    better to send a boy up and let him shake the tree.”

  4. hahaha “Snow, sleet and ice”…we might get the odd winter frost here in August where the lawn freezes and the car windscreen has a light layer of ice, but aside from that I don’t know what you’re talking about. Prediction here for Christmas day is 38 deg celcius (100 F). Now that’s a traditional christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

    have a great christmas, I’ll be sitting on a beach drinking beer, swimming and eating prawns and crayfish (lobster) thinking about you ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Seattle snow is different from snow in other places. Our snow is soaking wet like a slushie as soon as it falls. Plus we have really steep hills. Not like in Iowa. If you Youtube “Seattle Ice storm” you’ll find footage of our city buses sliding down the hills sideways. :O

  6. And if you run out of washer fluid, when stopped I sometimes just hop out and chuck the wettest snow I can find at my windshield and it works temporarily.

    Also, always good to keep some salt in your trunk to help you get out of icey places, and in case of a rear wheel drive car, lots of salt in the trunk to weigh down the rear end.

  7. Very good tips. Some of them you wouldn’t even think of, but help.

    However, in the Video, Chris says Carbon Monoxide, but in the blog, it says Carbon Dioxide, which isn’t deadly at all.

  8. Move to Florida. Even as far as Jacksonville is, you don’t have to deal with scraping windshields. No frozen locks either. I’ve only had one car where the locks would freeze. A good graphite lubricant is really all you need if your locks do tend to freeze.

    If you’re in the midwest (like I was) you don’t have to worry about keeping your gas tank full as much, as all the gas sold has some level of Ethanol in it, which will make the water combine with the gas and not freeze in your gas lines.

    Cheap windshield washer fluid is chemicals? They’re all chemicals, even if you only use water. Methanol is wood alcohol, and the claim that methanol turns to carbon dioxide only happens when it’s burned. Yes, you can suffer from methanol poisoning, but that has nothing to do with carbon dioxide.

    Summer is when you kill your battery (because of the heat), but winter is when you find you’ve killed your battery because the car needs more juice from the battery to get the colder engine moving.

  9. Living in canada, i get tons of snow, it sucks. I don’t even own a car, and i know the pain of cleaning of my parents card. ๐Ÿ™ the ice scraping of the windows. breaking ice off the windows and doors, so that they can open.

  10. As a resident of Canada, I know how the cold effects(or is it affects?) one’s vehicle. It also makes me very thankful to have a heated garage. Anyhow, these are some very nice tips that I will consider using this, and following winters.

  11. Chris,
    “Do not buy liquid which contains methanol (CH3OH), because when in the air, it transforms into deadly Carbon Dioxide which can be very dangerous if inhaled”

    If this is true, you should steer clear of Ponzi, she’s exhaling large quantities of Carbon Dioxide and is dangerous to your health. Also applies to your mother, the dog, ….. Carbon Dioxide is produced by every living animal!!!!!

    I’m not sure I want methanol on my paint but Carbon Dioxide, NOOOOOOO.

  12. This is exactly what is wrong with the internet. People acting as authorities on anything and everything when they are not. This leads to inaccurate information being passed from person to person. Yes, methanol is bad if INGESTED (it can cause death), but don’t try to feed me crap about carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide for that matter. You really need to have someone look your information over before you pass it on when you go outside your realm of expertise. I’ve heard you ramble about those that pass on inaccurate information and here you do the same thing……Shame on you. How do you think you are going to look with your name associated with a false status on Snopes??

  13. I would like to add to the list just because you have four wheel drive doesn’t mean you should go any faster on ice it will slip just as well as any car will.Make sure your tires are at the proper psi level don’t run low on air it doesn’t provide better traction if anything it gives a lot less.Also put a little WD 40 inside your locks it helps with freezing by displacing the water.

  14. I know that those may seem like basic tips to some, but this is the first winter that I have my license so the tips are appreciated very much.

    Thank you Chris!

  15. If you havenโ€™t already done so, make sure you take a look at your vehicleโ€™s tires. Make sure that they are not worn too low. Winter driving requires that your tires have enough tread for you to be able to handle icy roadways.

  16. Store gas for not much more than a year!?!? I don’t know anyone who would recommend to store gasoline for more than a few months (except you). Maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt. What you meant to say was get a couple gallons and add fuel stabilizer to it…..blah, blah, blah

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