Driving in the winter can be a hassle if you aren’t prepared or used to changing conditions. Depending on where you live or travel, you might face snow and freezing temperatures for extended periods. This especially rings true in the Snowbelt region near the Great Lakes, where heavy lake-effect snow is widespread and can start unexpectedly with a slight shift in the wind’s direction. Before you know it, snow covers your car and your windshield freezes with ice. When this happens, getting ready in the morning becomes much more time-consuming.
But transitioning into the winter driving season doesn’t have to be a hassle. There are steps you can take to save time in the morning, like preventing your car’s windshield from freezing altogether, helping you to avoid needing to clean it off in the morning.
But how do you prevent ice buildup on your car windows? Let’s find out!
Store the Car in Your Garage
Although this suggestion appears self-evident, some homeowners who have a garage don’t actually use the space to house their vehicles. Maybe the car is too big—which is becoming increasingly more common—or the garage is over cluttered. Still, keeping your vehicle out of the elements is the simplest way to prevent snow and ice accumulation if you have an area that you can use.
Cover It Up
One of the easiest ways to prevent ice or frost from accumulating on the windshield is by protecting it with a windshield cover or other material. Various stores like Walmart and Amazon specifically sell waterproof windshield covers for the wintertime. However, you can save yourself money by placing a piece of cloth or cardboard on your windshield to achieve the same result.
Just lift your wipers, place the material on your windshield, and then return your winters to their normal position. Snapping them back in place should sufficiently hold the fabric or cardboard down and prevent condensation from accumulating on the glass. But be careful not to break your wipers, as broken wiper blades are one of the most common repairs car owners face.
Likewise, you can use grocery store plastic bags to wrap your side mirrors to prevent ice or frost buildup come morning. Just be sure to secure the bags with large rubber bands so they don’t fly off in the wind.
Rub It With an Onion or Potato
Sometimes a suggestion sounds ridiculous, and this one is likely a prime example. However, as crazy as it may seem, according to several websites, including Accuweather.com, the natural oils found in an onion and a potato’s starch can prevent ice buildup on glass. So what do you do?
Before nighttime, take an onion or a potato and cut it in half, straight down the middle. Next, rub the window with the cut side facing down against the glass, making sure to treat the entire area and any other glass surfaces you want to keep from freezing. The same trick can work on the inside of your car to help limit fogging issues and ice crystal formation.
Apply a Liquid Solution
Did you know that there are several recipes you can use to produce your own antifreeze mixture with products found in most people’s homes? It’s true!
Vinegar or Rubbing Alcohol
To create a solution that defrosts your car fast, first, combine either three parts vinegar and 1 part water OR 2 parts rubbing alcohol and 1 part water in a spray bottle. However, it’s essential not to heat the water. Applying a hot liquid to a frigid windshield causes a sudden temperature change and increased pressure, which could ultimately crack your glass. And the last thing you need is to deal with unplanned repair costs.
Next, spray the mixture onto your windshield’s exterior and the side mirrors in the evening before temperatures drop. Finally, you can do one of two things. Either wipe the solution off your windows and mirrors with a towel or let it sit overnight. Unfortunately, there are differing opinions on which method is best.
Some suggest applying vinegar to the windshield the night before and immediately wiping it off because vinegar will remove wax from your vehicle. In contrast, others recommend spraying the solution and leaving it on overnight.
That being said, it may be wise to try both on a small area to see which option is the most efficient or choose a different defrosting method altogether. Both possibilities could cause paint damage upon contact, and your car warranty may not cover the restoration.
Speak With a Professional
Sometimes, the most helpful step you can take is to speak with a reliable certified mechanic regarding car-related problems. A seasoned technician can direct you toward the safest and most affordable option for caring for your vehicle and help prevent expensive car repairs before they happen. Furthermore, they can give you advice on winter preparedness and how to keep your car in top condition through extreme weather conditions.
Be Ready for Anything
Having to repair your car, especially when you least expect it, can be a great nuisance. You might not have the extra money to pay the repair bill, or you could get stuck without transportation because your car is out of commission. Ease the inconveniences before they happen by investing in a solid extended car warranty from a highly rated third-party provider. You might find a provider who offers comprehensive coverage at a reasonable rate and rental car benefits. Start your search today!