7 Helpful Hacks for Winter Drivers

7 Hacks for Winter Driving

When it comes to oper­at­ing a vehi­cle in snow, ice, sleet, or oth­er unsa­vory win­ter con­di­tions, most of us need all the help we can get. While these clever hacks won’t improve your dri­ving abil­i­ties (that one’s on you), they will make life behind the wheel a lit­tle eas­i­er when the tem­per­a­tures drop. 

Use a nat­ur­al deic­ing agent in your dri­ve­way
Sodi­um chlo­ride, potas­si­um chlo­ride, and urea are just three of the chem­i­cal com­pounds that will effec­tive­ly melt the ice in your dri­ve­way. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, these sub­stances can be a lit­tle on the cost­ly side ― and they pose a risk to any sniff­ing and/or lick­ing ani­mals who may hap­pen to pass by. Saw­dust, sand, and cat lit­ter are some of the effec­tive nat­ur­al alter­na­tives that are a lot cheap­er, and won’t hurt your neigh­bor’s pets.

Let the sun­rise nat­u­ral­ly defrost your wind­shield
Park your car so that it faces east­ward overnight. In the morn­ing, the sun­rise will act as a defrost­ing agent for your wind­shield. Obvi­ous­ly, since clear skies and sun­shine dur­ing the win­ter­time is a require­ment, this won’t apply to a lot of people―but hey, have at it Cal­i­for­ni­ans. If you live in a place with a lot of win­ter­time cloudi­ness, try spritz­ing your wind­shield with three parts vine­gar to one part water; this will essen­tial­ly achieve the same end.

Squirt hand san­i­tiz­er onto your key if the door lock freezes
Most hand san­i­tiz­ers are at least 60-per­cent alco­hol, so dab­bing a lit­tle onto your key before attempt­ing to open a frozen lock will effec­tive­ly melt the ice. Just don’t jig­gle too harshly―otherwise you might end up with a bro­ken key. And obvi­ous­ly, alco­hol-free san­i­tiz­ers (while more sooth­ing to your hands) won’t real­ly work in this situation.

Water and cook­ing spray will keep your doors from freez­ing shut
If you live in a cold enough place, then open­ing a frozen door lock is mere­ly one of two steps for get­ting into your vehi­cle. To pre­vent your doors from freez­ing, thor­ough­ly clean the rub­ber gas­kets on each door with soap and water, and then thor­ough­ly dry them. Last­ly, spray the gas­kets with an oil-based cook­ing spray to keep them from freez­ing overnight.

Increase head­light vis­i­bil­i­ty with tooth­paste
Clear head­lights are nev­er more cru­cial than dur­ing win­ter­time dri­ves, and you can eas­i­ly improve your vehi­cle’s ante­ri­or vis­i­bil­i­ty by cov­er­ing the out­er glass of each light with tooth­paste, and then rins­ing it away with warm water. For extra clar­i­ty, apply one lay­er of tur­tle wax once you’ve removed the toothpaste.

Old socks will pre­vent your wind­shield wipers from freez­ing
This one is as sim­ple as it sounds. Cov­er your wipers with old socks to pre­vent ice crys­tals from form­ing overnight; in par­tic­u­lar­ly cold places, opt for thick­er socks (wool, if avail­able). Just don’t for­get to take them off before you set out in the morning. 

Cov­er your side-view mir­rors with Ziploc bags
If you don’t have a garage, try cov­er­ing your side-view mir­rors with Ziploc bags (or any oth­er bag that allows you to secure the bag tight­ly). This will pre­vent frost and ice crys­tals from gath­er­ing on the mirrors. 

Now it’s your turn, fel­low win­ter dri­vers; any help­ful hacks you’d like to share with the rest of us?