4 Hacks to Help You Conquer Winter-Related Dilemmas on the Road
Being out on the road through certain weather conditions — like sleet or snow — can create the potential for some unexpected car troubles. By taking a few precautions, you can prepare yourself to get through weather-related issues whether you get caught in a sudden burst of heavy snow, or know freeze-inducing weather is on its way. Check out these four hacks that can help if you find yourself in a bind while out on the road.
1. De-Ice Your Locks with Hand Sanitizer
When your car is left out in snowy, cold winter weather, it may be susceptible to iced-over door locks. If you don’t have any commercial lock de-icer on hand, DoItYourself.com says hand sanitizer could do the trick as it contains alcohol — an ingredient known to help melt ice. To help de-ice the lock, cover the end of your key with hand sanitizer and insert it into the key hole, aiming to get as much product in the lock as possible. This should help melt the ice and get you back in your car and on the road. Firestone adds that a great way to ensure you have hand sanitizer on you at all times is to purchase one with a key ring on it so you can keep it hooked to your keys.
2. Get Your Vehicle Out of Snow with Kitty Litter
Sometimes there is so much snow or sleet on the ground that your car might have trouble gaining traction. Did you know you can use kitty litter to get your car moving again? Lifehacker says that spreading some litter directly in front of the tires that are stuck (this will depend on whether your car is front or rear wheel drive) may help your tires grip. So, even if you don’t have a cat, stock up on some inexpensive litter and keep it in your trunk in case your car gets stuck.
3. Prevent Windshield Wipers From Freezing with Old Socks
If you’re out running errands, putting socks over each windshield wiper blade can help keep them from freezing over and sticking to your windshield while you’re away from your car. You could also lift the wiper blades up and away from your windshield as an extra precaution, adds Lifehacker. So, next time you’re getting ready to toss out old socks, store a few pairs in your car just in case.
4. Cover Your Side Mirrors with Plastic Bags to Prevent Frost Buildup
Keeping plastic grocery store or food storage bags in your glove compartment may help you keep your side mirrors from freezing, says BobVila.com. If you’re out in freezing temperatures, especially if accompanied by rain or snow, cover each mirror with a bag to help keep the elements from icing over your mirrors. This could help save you time and effort when it comes to scraping them clean.
Using these hacks might help you deal with winter car challenges, but they’re no substitute for being prepared for seasonal weather. Consider some general winter car prep in addition to these hacks to help you stay safe on the road.
Originally published on November 6, 2014.