Before work, every minute counts. Here’s some advice on how to get snow and ice off your car in a hurry.
- Make or buy a de-icer spray and use it on the windshield, side windows and mirrors to kick ice clearing into high gear.
- Use de-icer on the wiper blades and pull them off the glass before scraping the windshield. Tears on the rubber parts of the blades could ruin them.
- A telescoping foam snow brush can help you clear hard to- reach areas on the roof. Plus, unlike brooms and shovels, foam tools are less likely to scratch a car’s finish.
- Work from the top down, pulling snow toward you. It requires less effort and helps you avoid having to clear the same areas twice.
- When possible, park facing east the night before. This will give the sun a chance to get the melting going in the a.m.
- Never use hot water to melt ice; instead, let your front and rear defrosters work their magic – just make sure the tailpipe is clear and never leave the engine running in an enclosed area like a garage.
- Removing snow and ice from your vehicle is important. Driving with snow cascading from your car’s roof can limit visibility for others on the road, putting them in danger. It is even a traffic violation in some states.
To read about items every driver should have in his or her car this winter, go to AAA.com/WinterCar.
Under the Hood
Q.Is warming up my car hurting my engine?
A. With today’s vehicles, idling is not necessary and vehicle manufacturers recommend that you drive your car right away. Modern engines require much less fuel at startup than most people think. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a car that idles for more than 30 seconds increases air pollution, wastes fuel and can cause excessive wear or damage a car’s engine components. Remember, a vehicle gets 0 mpg when idling, and the result is lower fuel economy and wasted money.
– Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council
To read about why car engines overheat, go to AAA.com/Overheat.
For driver resources and information on roadside assistance, auto repair and more, go to AAA.com/Automotive.